Escape from Fort Bravo (1953) - full transcript

A ruthless Union captain is renowned throughout his prison fort as the toughest soldier in the business, capable of capturing every escaped convict under his supervision. However, when he falls in love with a visiting woman some of the prisoners seize the advantage and try to escape while he is in a more "mellow" mood.


In 1863, while the War Between
the States still raged,

a large group of Confederate
prisoners were held

in a sun baked stockade
at Fort Bravo, Arizona Territory.

Captor and captive,

these men in blue and gray,

eyed each other with hatred.

In the wilderness around

them a common enemy
eyed them both,

the deadly Mescalero Indians.

Take him.

How far did he get?
Casa Grande.

Thank you, sir.
Sit down.

Where's his horse?

He was so scared of being caught,
he ran it to death.

Didn't bother to shoot it.
Just left it to die.

ls that why you made him walk back?
Do you love horses?

That's one reason.

What's the other?
You hate men?

Drink? No, thanks.

When l see you work at
soldiering, Roper,

l'm glad we're in the same Army.

But l don't like what
you've just done.

l know how you think.
You bring one of them back like that.

Maybe the others won't try it,
is that right?

That's right.
You don't see the whole picture.

l used to have a full
regiment in this area,

now l've got one troop.

l've got as many Confederate
prisoners as l have men.

l know it and the lndians
know it.

l don't know who's going to win
this war, the North or the South.

But we're here to hold this country
for one of them...

even if we have to arm
those reb prisoners.

lt's a difficult position.

lt's hard to know what to do.

Roper, am l losing my nerve
or am l getting old?

Go ahead and say it.

This is hard country to stay
alive, in colonel,

much less stay young.

Anything else, sir?

Four of Crandall's supply wagons

are overdue,
with rifles in them.

l'll look them up tomorrow.


Yes, sir.

l'm taking out a patrol tomorrow
to look for supply wagons.

Detail of 16 men.

Two Kiowa scouts,
Sergeants Chavez and Jones.

Yes, sir.

They don't like what l
did, do they?

l don't either.

Well, that makes it unanimous.

Anything else, captain?

No, that's all.

Don't tell me you're sick.

l'm tired.
Then go to bed.

l am.

Don't know why you should be tired.
You rode the horse.

How is he? He'll live.

Drag a man across the desert

at the end of a rope and
you wanna know how he is.

Should've brought some flowers.

You raise flowers, don't you?

You don't raise them
to destroy them, do you?

Look, doctor, l'm asking
how the man is, not how l am.

You should ask me that some time.
You tell me anyway.

Roper, there are two
big businesses in the world.

One of them is to keep people alive.
The other one seems to be yours.

lt's not a world l made.


Yes, Marsh?
l'd like to talk to you.

All right. Come on.

Wonder what the captain
is gonna say to him.

He didn't tell me.

How did a decrepit old man like
you ever get in the war?

Because all the smart young men
like you was losing it.

Captain. Evening, Symore.

All right, Marsh, go ahead.

l'd like permission to see Bailey,
the man you brought in.

Why don't you ask the Colonel?
l want it from you.

All right, you got it.

There's something else,
isn't there?

lf he'd done it like a man,
even fought like one...

l'd have brought
him back that way.

But he isn't.
He's a fool and a coward.

He's a boy and a poet
and my friend.

l could have let
the lndians take him.

They don't lose prisoners
and they don't keep any.

When you make your break...

it won't be like a fool nor
a boy or a poet, will it?

l hope not, captain.

You're a good officer, Marsh.

Only you're unlucky.
You got in the wrong army.

But the right cause.

They say that's
the one that wins.

l shouldn't have tried it.

l should have waited for you,
but l couldn't stand it.

l had to get home.

lt's all right, Bob.

l don't think l could make it
again, even with you.

lt's awful out there.

Just space and death.

l know.

You know where l lived?

Virginia town on a street
of maple trees.

At the end of that street,
a brook ran under a stone bridge.

That's all l tried to think
about all day, coming back.

l think about it too. We all do.

l'm sorry about not telling you.
That's all right, Bob.

l'm so. lt's all right, Bob.

l'll get you home.

How's Bailey, captain?
He's all right.

What got into him?
He go crazy or something?

lt's not hard to do around here, is it?
lt ain't hard to do anywhere.

Bailey didn't think we'd
ever make the break.

Beginning to wonder myself.

What are we waiting for?
The right time.

When's that? When l say so.


You want to steal a horse
and run off like Bailey?

You wanna come back
on the end of a rope?

That Roper is as mean
and tough as they come.

l think that Roper
suspects something.

He doesn't know exactly
what's happening...

but he's watching and listening.

That's why he did that
to Bailey, so we could see it.

But l'm not Bailey.

Neither am l.

Think he knows what he's doing?

l know you don't.


What about them?

l was just thinking
about you getting scalped...

with all that pretty black hair.
Ah, ah!...

lt's still your move.

All present?
All present or accounted for.

Hundred rounds per man, sir.

Very good.

Left wheel by twos,
forward, ho.

Over here, captain.


Post a guard.
That's right!...


Where are the drivers?

They won't be far.

You want to see them, captain?

Bury them up on the hill.
Yes, sir.

Carter. Storder.

ls this the way they make war?

Didn't they teach you
that at the Point?

Why do they have to do that?

When you're in the grave, Beecher,
it doesn't matter how you got there.

l think it matters.
l think it does.

Write the War Department.

Our father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done on Earth
as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses...

as we forgive those
who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.


Eternal rest,
grant on them, O Lord...

and let perpetual light
shine upon them.

May their souls rest in peace.

ln the name of the father,
the son and the Holy Ghost.


Mount up.

How long have we had them?

All the time from Dry Springs.

Did you know we had visitors,

What do we do? lnvite them in?

Avoid them.

Why don't they jump?

They pick their spots.

Take the flank.

Check carbine.

Check carbine.

l'm glad we're out
of that canyon.

So am l.

Well, l don't think.

Get back.

We'll put him up on my horse.
Yes, sir.

Double up on the wounded.
Mount up.

Jones, take the lead out.
Yes, sir.

We'll send a burial party
back later. Right.

Captain, shall l take Lt.
Beecher now?

No, it's all right.
We'll be in Rock Springs in an hour.

l can taste that water now.

Everything nice and peaceful?

Beautiful, captain, beautiful.

lt's crazy, Chavez.

All this beautiful country,
and in a canyon...

a lot of men trying
to kill each other.

Very crazy.

lt will make sense some day.

Only to the living, captain.


Glad to see you, soldiers.


You did real good, lady.

l didn't know whether it
was a nightmare or real.

Out here,
they're pretty much the same.

What's this thing?

They tell me it's
a deadly weapon.

l can smell the coffee,

May l have some?

Certainly. Right this way.

All right, Chavez?
Beautiful, captain.

Double the guard.
Yes, sir.

You're the 18th Cavalry?

C Troop. l'm Captain Roper.

Fort Bravo? That's right.

l'm Carla Forester.
l'm going there to visit the colonel.

Well, you may be just in time.

Well, in a couple of days,
we may not have a fort.

You shouldn't try
to frighten a lady.

l can see l'm not.

We had lndians too.

He's bleeding.

Well, what's this?


The bandage is too loose.

ls there a clean one?

Anything we could use
for a bandage? Yes, sir.

Are you going to? Shh.

Are you a friend
of the colonel's?

l went to school with Alice
before the war.

You don't sound
like a northerner.

l'm not.

Or a southerner.


You must be from Texas.

He can ride back
in the coach with me.

l'll take care of him.

Take good care of him, because
he's gonna marry your friend.

We'll be pulling out at dawn.
Try to get some sleep.

All right, captain.

Good night.

Good night.

Ran into a band coming home,
Canyon Diablo.

How many casualties?

Two dead, five wounded,
one badly.

How is he?
Good enough to save.

Put him on the litter, boys.


lt's all right, dear. Later.

Go on. Don't worry.

He'll be all right.

We weren't expecting you
so soon, Carla.

l took an earlier stage.

lf you'll excuse me, Captain Roper
will escort you to my quarters.

We'll talk later
at dinner tonight.

Perhaps the captain
will join us.

Roper? A pleasure, sir.

l'll take the rest of your report then.
Yes, sir.

You've come at a bad time,
l'm afraid.

l'm not.

Carla's a beautiful girl,
sn't she?

Yes, she is.

Times like these,
l wish she hadn't come.

l was thinking
of sending Alice to visit her.

lf we've got an lndian
war on our hands,

you think the rebs
would fight with us?

For their lives, they will.

Only if we win,
we might belong to them.

lt'd still be better
than the lndians.

For me,
it would be the same thing.

Coffee. Hot, fresh and strong.

Will the captain be at
the dance tomorrow night?

Have you ever been
to a dance, captain?

Once l went to a war
dance with an lndian.

A young squaw?

No. An old chief, a Rio Verdes.

Oh, they roughed me up a bit.
Didn't hurt.

Just made me about
five years older.

Oh colonel, l prefer to have
a drink from that bottle...

you keep hidden
behind your gun cabinet.

Do you know everything
that goes on in this fort?

l have to. l'm the eyes
in the back of your head.

Thank you.

Where are your quarters,

At the far end of the post.

May l walk you home?

What part of Texas are you from?

l must go there some time.
You'd enjoy it.

l've never been in a fort before.

ls it safe to walk
around at night?

No. l mean, with you.

You'll burn yourself.

l asked you a question.

May l walk you home?

Aren't the prisoners guarded?

Where would they go
without arms and horses?

Over that hill,
there are four more hills,

and then miles
of desert to Mescal.

Nothing much in Mescal.
At least for a rebel.

Do any of them
ever try to escape?


What happens?

l find them.

You're the man
who finds everybody.

Well, l had to ask you
if l could walk you home.

Do l have to ask you to take me
to the dance tomorrow night?

l'd like to hear you ask me.

Perhaps l'm moving too fast.

Perhaps you are
and perhaps you're not.

l'll pick you up at 7.

Oh, l should tell you, captain...

l can be a little trouble.

l believe that.

But then you look big enough
to handle a little trouble.

Good night.

Good night.

l see some
of the prisoners are here.

lt's the colonel's idea.

Esprit de corps.
One big happy family.

You don't seem
to think much of the idea.

l don't do the thinking.

Where's Alice? She took
punch and cakes to Beecher.

Oh, how's he feeling?
He's all right.

He could get up now,
but he likes the attention

he's getting from Alice.
Ah ah.

With your permission, sir.

May l have the pleasure
of this dance?

Well, it's never been done.

l like doing what's
never been done.

Miss Forester,
may l present Captain Marsh?

Miss Forester. Colonel.


lt's been so long just
to touch you again.

Darling, l know, l know.
Then smile.

ls it still the night
of Beecher's wedding?

There will be four of us now.

Then l'll meet you in Texas.

We'll have a wedding
of our own.

There's only one danger.

Captain Roper.

Don't worry.
l can handle him.

You falling in love
with that girl, Roper?

How's that, sir?

You're beginning to act human.

You even showed fear as though that
Johnny Reb might run away with her.

Have some more punch, sir.

Did you see her?
Did you talk to her?

When do we go?

Why does it have
to be such a big secret?

Because l'm not supposed
to have brains?

That's a good question.
And an even better answer.

Take it easy, Cabot, take it easy.
lt's gonna be all right.

l wanna get out of here
as much as both of you.

And Bailey too.

But it can't be done by
just being bold and tough.

Roper is both.

He's something else too.
He's pretty smart about men.

l'll go with that.
About men, that is.

Meaning, women might be
something else.

They always have been.

Only, don't that go for you too?

Sure. But l know it.

Maybe Roper doesn't.

You said Bailey?
Mm, hm.

Does he have to go?
Yes, he has to go.

Why do l have to
take a punk like him?

Because l said so.

You act like he was
your kid brother.

All men are brothers, Cabot.

Most of them are kids.

One of these days...

l'm gonna take that little gray cap
and knock it right off your head.

And do you know something,

From that day on,
l'll be wearing yours.

Do you think it's proper?

A little water and a little dirt,
a few cuttings from back East.

You raised these?

Roper's roses.
Always good for a laugh.

Green thumb on an iron hand.

You should have been a farmer,
not a soldier.

My old man had a dream
about this country.

He dreamt about finding water,
growing crops, raising cattle.

l guess he handed it down to me.

That's why l do this.

lt isn't much, is it?

l think it is.

What was your father like?

Well, he was something.

He taught me how to ride
and how to shoot...

how to see and how to hear.

He was big.

Do you know what l mean?

A man is bigger
than anything he does.

Or should be.

lt's like a Bible that's
bigger than any religion.

l guess he was my Bible.

Did he ever teach you to smile?

He did that too but
l guess l forgot.

lt's so quiet.

Yes, isn't it?

So completely quiet.

That's the wonderful thing
about this country.

Everything about it
is so complete.

That's the way you want
to live, isn't it?

Everything complete.

Why settle for anything less?

l think you'd better
walk me home now.

Yes, l think l'd better.

You're smiling now, captain.

Am l?

Good morning.
Good morning.

So you're off to Mescal
to buy a wedding gown.

lsn't it wonderful?
Nicest thing that happened to Beecher.

What about me?

You could have done better.
You might have got me.

Are you going too?
Certainly l'm going.

Don't you know it takes
two women to buy a dress?

Shouldn't there at least be
one man?

There should always be
at least one man.

All right, then, l'll go too.

l didn't mean that.
l know it, but l do.

Think she can do it?
lf it can be done.

What's Roper going for,

l don't know.

lt seems that when anything
has to be gone and got for...

this Roper has to be in with it.

He is the most
going- and- bringing- back

mortal l ever run into.

Pretty soon,
it might be me and you, boy.

lt will be different
than bringing in Bailey...

or getting a wedding dress.

A wedding dress, anyway.

When l got hold of a gun, Campbell...

better start being careful
with what you say.

You can start being careful
with the gun, boy...

because we're both gonna
get one at the same time.

Thank you.

Captain, could you show Carla
where Watson's store is?

Oh, no. l can find it.

l'll show you.
l was going there myself.

l'll see you back here, Carla.
All right, dear.

What are you gonna buy?
Nothing for myself.

l thought l might find
some lace for Alice's trousseau.

Watch out for Watson.

He's a robber turned honest,
and it bothers him.

Well, Watson,
how's the world of business?

Oh, fair.
Fair to middling, captain.

l brought you some.
This is Miss Forester.

How do you do?
She'd like to buy some lace.

Oh, well, right this way,
Miss Forester. Thank you.

This is very nice material.

From Captain Marsh.

Ah, have you anything else?

Well, yes. Well, l have a shipment
that just arrived from St. Louis.

lt's not unpacked, but it's
in the back room if you'd care to see it.

Yes, yes, l would. Thank you.

Right this way Miss.

Are you out of your mind
bringing Roper here?

Don't worry about Roper.

So you're a Southern

Have you got the money?

How much sympathy
have you counted?

What will you need?

Four horses,
supplies, old clothes,

remount horses at
Lordsville and guns.

Yes, but this is only half.

You'll get the rest at the fort.
l see.

Service the fort with dry goods?

All right. There will be
a wedding there on the 1 9th.

All will be invited
for the reception.

Combine business with pleasure.

Fill your wagon with supplies
and leave with whatever you haul.

Flour sacks, sometimes laundry.
The men will leave in your wagon.

I have the horse
and supplies at Canyon Verde.

l don't know.
What's the matter?

They told me you were
a good rebel. l am.

l'm just thinking.
Well, just do it.

lf you have to think,
think about the money

you're getting for
your patriotism.

Yes, this is very nice.
l'll take it.

Better be careful.
You'll cut yourself.

Oh, l had a few too
many last night.

Did you get what you wanted?

Did you?
Yeah, a wedding present.

Oh, you can't do that.
You can't give her a nightgown.

Oh, it's not for her.
lt's for Beecher.

Don't it occur to
you that this girl

and Roper are getting
kind of thick?

Yes, it does.

You trust her pretty good, huh?
Mm, hm.

Pretty good.

Only it still cuts you
a little, huh?

A little.

Not enough to bleed.

What makes you
so sure of yourself?


What makes you so sure about me?

The way you light a man's cigar.

You've been after me from the first
moment we met, Carla.

And l liked the way you did it.

Open and direct
and just fast enough.

Well, l had that coming.

l've seen the view.
You can take me back now.

l've thought about you a lot.

l've thought of you fighting.

l've thought of you
not fighting at all.

And have declared the same
by giving and receiving a ring...

and by joining hands...

l pronounce that they
are man and wife.


How long is this
thing gonna last?

Getting nervous, boy?

Roper's probably enjoying it.

Didn't she look lovely?


The women always look beautiful
when they get married.

And the men always look scared.

They both get over it.

Everything's all set.

The only extra sentry's posted

on the far gate
of the parade ground.

You go down and wait
for Watson's wagon.

Don't worry about Roper.
Remember now.

Behind the mess hall,
through the blacksmith shop.

l know, l know.

Watson will be there?

He says he will.

Goodbye. Goodbye...

Now that the wedding's over,
l suppose you'll be leaving soon.


Well, a fort's no place
for a woman, anyway, l guess.

Will you miss me?

Yes, l'll miss you.

Oh, for a week or a month maybe.

For the rest of my life.

l haven't stopped thinking about you
from the first moment l saw you.

lt's been the same with you.

You have a way of hitting with
the truth that can really hurt.

l don't mean to hurt.

lt's just that l have no other way
of telling you l love you, except...

l love you.

Oh, yes life.

l will miss you for
the rest of my life.

Come on. l'll walk you home.

Where's Watson?

He's in the shack getting
a pass or something.

All right. Climb in.

How do you feel, Bob?

Scared. Who isn't?

Don't look so sad.
You haven't lost me yet.

You don't have to go, you know.

Don't l?

l'm asking you to marry me.

There's a kind of life
l always wanted.

l never got it.

Maybe l was afraid of it.

Afraid of trying for it.
l don't know.

l know l could never
have it by myself...

but l do know
we could have it together.

l'd make it good for you.
l can promise you that.


Let me be alone to think
about what you said.

l'll ask you every time
l see you from now on.

Good night.

Carla, what are you doing here?
l'm going with you.

You're crazy.
You can't do that. l'm going.

What's she here for?
She's going with us.

l don't care who goes,
but get inside.

What are you standing
here like this for?

l could be hanged for this.
Now, go on, get inside.

Hey, boy.

l got it here somewheres.

You leaving, Watson?

Ah yes, but l lost my pass.
lt was...

Oh, yes, here it is.

l have to pull out, captain.
l got a big day tomorrow.

On Sunday?

Well, it's the only chance l get
to check my stocks, on Sundays.

What's in the wagon?
There's nothing.

There's just flour
sacks and laundry's all.

All right. l was wondering why
you're pulling out without escort.

Yeah, why would they want
to bushwhack a man...

with nothing but a load
of dirty laundry?

Yeah, why would they?

Hmm!... Well, good night.
Good night.

They're missing, sir.

Dismiss them. Yes, sir.



Right, face.

Forward, march.

Well, it's happened.
Marsh, Young, Campbell, Bailey.

We couldn't hold them,
we won't hold any of them.

Roper, get them back.

l've brought one of them back.
Nobody liked it.

Didn't do any good anyway.

Let them go.
How far can they get?

lt isn't just
the prisoners, Roper.

No? What is it? Carla.

What about Carla?
She's gone too.

Can't you see it?
The girl planned the thing.

She came here for that purpose.
She made fools out of us.

l can't believe it.
lt just doesn't make sense to me.

lt does to me.

l know how you feel.

l don't feel anything.

You see, we have
to bring them back.

We have to bring her back
in spite of what she's done.

l can't let her get killed
out there.

You want me to send Beecher?

For what, his honeymoon?

No, l'll bring them back.

Like she said, l'm the man
who finds everybody.

Come in.

Well, what is it?

l understand you're
going after them.

That's right.

Where do you think they'll go?

Texas. They ought to be
across the Gila by now.

They'll need fresh horses.
That should be Lordsville.

Five of them?

Three men,
a woman and a coward.

l wanna request permission
to go along.

Ask the colonel.
l got it from him. l need it from you.

What's the matter?
Don't you trust me?

Think l'll shoot them in the back
or tie them to an ant hill?

l'm thinking about the same
thing you are. The girl.

l don't know whether you'll save or
kill them, l just know l'm going along.

With my permission, you are.

Or without it. That's right.

All right. Maybe you're right.

We'll take Chavez and Eilota.

And pick six men.
And l mean pick them. Yes, sir.

Symore. Yes, sir.

l'm pulling out.
Take care of the flowers. Yes, sir.

You don't, l'll dig them up
and plant you. l know you will.

Now, if l don't come back.
You'll be back, captain.

Only the good die young.

ln that case,
l'd say l've got a long time.

l'd say forever.

Beecher. Yes, sir.

Take them outside
of town and camp.

l'll look for the man
who's afraid.

Where, captain?
ln the saloon, where else? Chavez.

l just love a man in uniform.

All right. Let me stay in it.

Something for you, captain?
l'm looking for a man.

Who's stopping you?

He's about 25, sandy hair,

blue eyes, should be crying
in his beer.

Would whiskey do?
Just as good.

Try him.

What's this? Nothing.

I do not know
The axioms and fables tell

Faith was a bloodstain.
Where a hero fell

Or was it a jungle
Where two children trod,

Looking for violets
Angleworms and God?

Don't try and understand
that, Roper.

That's a poem.

l won't.
You're not after poems.

You're the man that's
always after people.

And you get them all, don't you?

You see, Roper, you were right.

l'm yellow.

Haven't you ever been yellow?

Do you know what it
feels like to be yellow?

No, because you have to have a heart
for that. And you haven't got one.

You've got a big fist inside you
that's always doubled up.

l'm glad you got me.
l'm glad it's over.

Where are they, Bailey?

Halfway home.

How long were they here?
They haven't got a chance, Roper.

When we got here, they told us
the whole country's alive with Mescaleros.

You know how they kill a man.

Yeah, l do.
l couldn't go with them.

l'd rather you got me.

You see how yellow l am, Roper?

Well, every man isn't like you.

Or Cabot or even Marsh.

Some men are like me.

They aren't killers
and they can't be.

They're told to be.

There's something, in the world
except being a hero, Roper.

There's something better
than being tough.

All right.

Take me back.

l'll take you back, Bailey,
but all together.

You'll have company.

This is Captain Roper.

Sergeant Compton, sir.
What is it, sergeant?

He's bogged down 20 miles north
with a settler's wagon train.

Women and children.

We got jumped this morning.
l don't like to take them alone.

Who attacked you? Mescaleros.

About 30 of them.

They have arms?
About half of them.

What shape are you in?
Not good, sir.

Beecher, take
the detail and help them.

You're going on alone?

l'll take the scout and Bailey.

Doesn't seem like three runaway
Confederates are important.

They aren't,
but l gotta get them back.

lt's just the book?
That's right.

Then l'm going.
All right.

Chavez, get these people
back, to town

and then report to headquarters.
Yes, sir.

Campbell? Yes, boy?

You all think Roper's
still following us?

He'll follow us, boy.

Clear into Richmond, Virginia.

He's the kind who'll follow
a man right around the Earth.

And if he's following a woman,

he's liable to
walk right off it.

But don't you fret, boy.
You still got me.

l wasn't fretting, Campbell.

l was just trying
to keep you from singing.

ln Lordsville, they said
there'd be lndians everywhere.

We haven't seen a living thing.

What are you thinking
about, Carla?

Something's the matter.

l said it's nothing.

Well, it's this country, l guess.
lt frightens us all.

lt's why Campbell is singing
and Cabot can't bear to listen to him.

Perhaps we're beginning
to hope Roper catches us.

Maybe that's what
you're afraid of.

Or that he might not.

Don't worry, Bailey.
l'm not lost.

l'll get you to your friends.
You stay here.


Carla, forgive me, will you?

You know l will.

What l said about Roper,
l had no right to say.

No, you didn't.
Will you forget it?

l already have. Carla...

Oh, Carla, Carla.

We got a rough road ahead,

but we'll have that wedding
of our own.

Let's just remember that
and forget everything else.

Yes, soon we'll be home.


Carla, we have
a lifetime ahead of us.

lsn't that enough?

Or isn't it?

That was a stupid thing to do.
So l shot a rattlesnake.

What do you all want me to do?

Take it home and
keep it for a pet?

lt wasn't the snake, Cabot.
lt was the noise.

A shot here's like spitting
in the ocean.

but one fish might hear it.

lf it's Roper you're scared of,
l'll stay behind and wait for him.

l'd just as soon shoot him too.
One snake or another.

lt's not Roper.
You're talking like a fool, Young.

Give me that gun. No, it ain't Roper
and it ain't the snake.

l'll tell you what it is.
lt's your girl, Marsh.

She got you tied up
in knots, hog- tied.

Give me that gun.
Take it.

not that l care about you,

or you, Cabot, or this gal.

But we're gonna need each other
if we wanna get through.

And l'm a homesick old man.

Drop that gun, Cabot.

Drop that gun, Cabot.

That's right, Cabot. Drop it.

You too, Campbell.

Get their arms.

Pack this stuff up.
l'm taking it back.

How, Roper? The same way
you brought Bailey back?

l was thinking of the girl.

l wasn't.

Mind if l tell you something?

You can't tell me a thing, Marsh.
l'll try if you put that gun away.

What do you wanna tell me?
That you're a liar.

What are you trying to do?
Kill him?

Why don't you take it out on me?

That's what you'd
really like to do.

l'm the one who made
a fool of you.

Proud of it? Yes, l am.

Well, don't be.
lt wasn't that hard to do.

Saddle up.
We're getting out of here.

Shut up, Campbell.

Looks like we're gonna ride
till we fall out of the saddle.

That's all right with me.
He might fall out first.

lt's all right with me too boy.

l almost got born on a saddle.

My old woman was
riding a plow horse

in Kentucky when
it come my turn.

Campbell, l can't imagine
you being born.

Even in Kentucky.

Oh, a man can't pick his spot.

But all things considered...

a man who got born on a horse
might as well die on one.


At the gallop.

Go on ahead.

Dismount. Take cover.

Take cover in that hole.

Stampede the horses.

Where'd they go?
Around that ridge.

Did you fire that shot?

ln any other place than this,
l'd thank you.

Any other place,
you wouldn't get the chance.

Keep the gun.
Thank you, captain.

How about giving me
something to lose with?

l'm a dead shot with a carbine.

Never lost at a turkey shoot.
That's a fair trade.

Thanks, son.
Come on!...

Are you itching to trade
too, Young?

Yes, sir. Here you are. Yah.

Here they come.

You must've missed.

No. We just killed
the same one twice.

See what l mean?

They won't try that again.

Don't waste ammunition.

Covered all around.

As long as we're in this position,
l don't think they can get to us.

You are right, son,
they can't get to us.

But we ain't going
anywhere either.

Well, they won't charge.
Just keep us pinned down.

Beecher and Cabot, look out.

One question, Roper.

Why did you run off the horses?

lf you'd ever been pinned down on the
desert with a dead horse, you'd know.

What now? Wait.


Well, l guess you
all know how bad this is.

l got an inkling.

Hey. Hey, l've been thinking,
l can get out of here.

l could sneak through
the shadows.

You'd wind up staked out
in the sun in the morning.

Ask Lt. Beecher.

Mescaleros never attack at night,
but don't think they're asleep.

And where would you
go if you did get out?

Must be 50 miles to the fort.

Well, anything'd be
better than this.

What's that?

They're burying their dead.


One always comes back.

The lndians don't see him.
Yes, they do.

They're waiting for someone
to make a break.

l'll make the break.

No, it's the girl
l wanna get out of here.

Come on.

Come on, boy.
Come on, black horse.

Easy, captain.
He's getting scared.

You're losing him.
Let me make the break.

Why, that dirty, rotten coward.

l told you.

l told you not to bring him.
Shut up.

That dirty, rotten coward.

Well, that's that.

Yeah, it is for tonight.

l'll take over, Cabot.

Wonder what time it is.

You got some place to go?

Oh, what are they waiting for?
Why don't they hit us?

Why don't you ask them?

They were on their way
to Cochise.

Maybe they quit.

They never quit.
They've got all kinds of weapons.

For instance?

Like up there, Campbell, hun.

The sun.

Think Bailey made it?
Could be.

A nice clear road
to Texas, and home.

Take it easy.

You wanna last longer?

Friend of yours, Campbell?

He don't want me.

He's looking for you, Cabot.

All soft and young like,
a nice quail.

Wouldn't it be funny if Bailey
ran into a patrol from Bravo...

or even went to the fort?

He'd never be that foolish.

There's a limit to everything, boy,
except foolishness.

Believe me, boy,
it ain't got any limit.

lt's got one limit, Campbell.

Why don't you just
take a nice nap

and l'll wake you
when you're dead?

Here they come.

Hold it.

All right.

What was that for?

He must have got sunstroked.

Here they come again.

How is it?
l'm having a regular picnic.

This is very curious fighting.

What are they trying to do?
Build a fence around us?

l don't understand.

l'm all right. l'm all right.

Over and left, like artillery.


We're bracketed.

Flatten out.

Clear out. This way.

Get back.

Campbell. Young.

They'll take us now.
No, they won't.

They'll sit out there
and watch us die.

They're in no hurry.

What are they doing now?

Waiting to see if we're dead.

When will they come
to make sure?

Oh, in a little while. Dawn.

Roper, you could be a long
way from here by then.

Take that and Carla
and get out of here.

l'm still in command here,

As long as l am, l'm staying.

You're not gonna die for me,

You got that country
you talked about to win.

Now, go back and fight for it.

Go back and water your roses,

Be quiet.
You'll talk yourself to death.

Now, you can get out of here
and take Carla with you...

or l'll kill you.

One more thing about Carla.

She had a job to do.
She did it.

What no one counted on was
her falling in love with you.

Well, she did.

Now, take her and get out.

Come on.

Anything you want me
to tell Alice, Beecher?

Tell her l love her.

You know what that is, Roper?

l've heard of it.
All right, get out.

l'm sorry, John.
l'm sorry.

There's only one chance.

lf l can make them believe
that l'm the last one alive...

that the rest
of you are all dead.

When they come out, they may
leave you to the buzzards...

and go ahead and join Cochise.

lt means Beecher's life
and Marsh's...

What about you?

ls this in the book too, Roper?


You look real good, boy.


We are deeply grateful
to the Department of the interior,

National Park Service,
for the permission to photograph

scene in Death Valley
National Monument.