War Arrow

War Arrow is a 1954 American Technicolor Western film directed by George Sherman and starring Maureen O'Hara and Jeff Chandler. Filmed by Universal Pictures and based on the Seminole Scouts, the film was shot in Agoura, California.[2]

War Arrow
Directed byGeorge Sherman
Produced byJohn W. Rogers
Written byJohn Michael Hayes
StarringMaureen O'Hara
Jeff Chandler
CinematographyWilliam H. Daniels
Edited byFrank Gross
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • December 26, 1953 (1953-12-26) (Los Angeles)
  • January 6, 1954 (1954-01-06) (United States)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.4 million[1]


Major Howell Brady (Jeff Chandler), a cavalry officer, is sent from Washington D.C. to Fort Clark, Texas, to subdue a Kiowa uprising that has been raiding both white settlements and villages on Seminole reservations. Brady requests that the post commander Colonel Meade (John McIntire) send his troops out in fast moving small units to engage the Kiowa but the Colonel fears his men would be slaughtered in piecemeal actions and only feels the Kiowa are impressed by large numbers of troops.

Together with his two sergeants, Brady enlists the help of the Seminole chief, Maygro (Henry Brandon}, by giving him $500 and promising his people food and land. The three of them arm 25 Seminoles with state of the art Henry repeating rifles and train them as counter guerillas; luring the Kiowa in then ambushing them. Col. Meade and his officers resent Brady’s interference and mistrust the Seminoles.

At Fort Clark, Brady meets and falls in love with Elaine Corwin (Maureen O'Hara), the widow of a cavalry officer. However, when "Brady's Bunch" of Seminoles successfully repel a Kiowa attack, Brady spots a white man with the Kiowa. Although he does not get a good look at him, he recovers his sabre. The engraved sabre turns out to belong to Captain R. G. Corwin, the supposedly deceased husband of Elaine. The Seminoles confirm Corwin is still alive through torturing a Kiowa prisoner.

Meanwhile, Meade fails to deliver promised food to the Seminole so Maygro leads his people from the fort. Brady steals the food from the fort and delivers it himself to Maygro, for which Meade jails Brady. Brady is freed by Elaine and some of the Seminoles.

Brady discovers the Kiowa are preparing to attack the fort that is defended by only 20 men due to Meade's forces being away pursuing the elusive Kiowa. He returns to warn Meade, but he ignores him. He is about to throw Brady back in jail when a cavalry patrol returns with the same news that the Kiowa are preparing to attack. A fierce battle ensues and the Kiowa are defeated. Amongst the dead is the traitor R. G. Corwin, whom it turns out has been collaborating with a group of Mexicans to incite war.



The film was known as Brady's Bunch.[3] John Michael Hayes wrote the original story and there was reported interest from the studios about turning it into a vehicle for Burt Lancaster, Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power before it was bought by Universal for Jeff Chandler.[4]

Filming started 2 March 1953.[5][6] O'Hara said that "Jeff Chandler was a nice man but a bad actor."[7]


"Wars are won by initiative, not authorisation!" - Major Brady.
"Don't worry, I'm a woman" - Elaine Corwin.

See also


  1. http://www.teako170.com/box50-59.html
  2. p.292 Blottner, Gene Universal-International Westerns, 1947-1963: The Complete Filmography McFarland, 01/08/2000
  3. Jeff Chandler Will Head 'Brady's Bunch' Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 05 Feb 1953: A8
  4. Ethel Merman Likely to Pursue Films; 'Texas' Beckoning Lancaster Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Aug 1952: B7.
  5. FOX TO DO 2 FILMS IN NATURAL VISION: Studio Plans 'Inferno' in Color and 'Vicki' -- Allied Artists, Metro to Use Process By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 05 Feb 1953: 19.
  6. CINERAMA SLATES FULL-LENGTH FILM: 'Paint Your Wagon,' With New Music and Lyrics, on Tap as First Feature in Process By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 11 Feb 1953: 35.
  7. http://www.westernclippings.com/interview/maureenohara_interview.shtml
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