Ambush (1950 film)

Ambush is a 1950 western film directed by Sam Wood and starring Robert Taylor, John Hodiak and Arlene Dahl. The plot is based on the serial story Ambush by Luke Short in The Saturday Evening Post (25 Dec 1948–12 Feb 1949). It is also the first MGM film in the 1950s'. [3]

Film poster
Directed bySam Wood
Produced byArmand Deutsch, Sam Wood
Screenplay byMarguerite Roberts
Based onAmbush
1948 serial story
by Luke Short
StarringRobert Taylor
John Hodiak
Arlene Dahl
Music byRudolph G. Kopp
CinematographyHarold Lipstein
Edited byBen Lewis
Distributed byLoew's Inc.[1]
Release date
January 13, 1950
Running time
89 mins.
CountryUnited States
Box office$3,215,000[2]

The movie was filmed on location at the Corriganville Ranch in Simi Valley, California, home of hundreds of western movies and television shows through the decades as well as such outdoor action films as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and Jungle Jim (1948). Additional location work for the film took place in and around Gallup, New Mexico.[4]

Plot summary

In 1878, Ward Kinsman (Robert Taylor), a prospector and Indian scout, has been persuaded by the US Cavalry to find Mary Carlyle, the daughter of a general, who has been taken by Apaches.

Setting out on the trail with a few cavalrymen and Ann Duverall (Arlene Dahl), Mary’s sister, they come across an Apache encampment. Ward learns from an Apache woman that Mary has been taken by an Apache called Diablito. Returning to the cavalry fort with Tana, a captive Apache, preparations are made for a full-scale expedition to find Diablito.

Captain Lorrison (John Hodiak) proposes to Ann. Ann tells Ward that she has accepted his marriage proposal, but Ward persuades her that she is in love with him.

The expedition sets off. Tana tries a double-cross and Ward kills him in self-defence. Eventually the trackers come across Diablito’s camp and stampede the horses. A gun battle ensues. A cavalry re-enforcement column arrives and routs the band of Indians. Ward rescues Mary. Lorrison sets off in pursuit of the escaping Apache, but he is ambushed and killed. Mary and Ann are re-united back at the fort.



According to MGM records the film earned $2,108,000 in the US and Canada and $1,107,000 overseas, resulting in a $401,000 profit.[2]


  1. Ambush at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
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