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The Yellow Tomahawk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Yellow Tomahawk
The Yellow Tomahawk poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLesley Selander
Screenplay byRichard Alan Simmons
Story byHarold Jack Bloom
Produced byHoward W. Koch
StarringRory Calhoun
Peggie Castle
Noah Beery, Jr.
Warner Anderson
Peter Graves
Lee Van Cleef
Rita Moreno
CinematographyGordon Avil
Edited byJohn F. Schreyer
Music byLes Baxter
Bel-Air Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • May 1954 (1954-05)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Yellow Tomahawk is a 1954 American Western film directed by Lesley Selander and written by Richard Alan Simmons. The film stars Rory Calhoun, Peggie Castle, Noah Beery, Jr., Warner Anderson, Peter Graves, Lee Van Cleef and Rita Moreno.[1][2] The film was released in May 1954, by United Artists.


Scout and tracker Adam Reed is handed a yellow tomahawk by Cheyenne warrior Fire Knife to deliver to a U.S. Army fort commanded by Major Ives as a proclamation of war, a warning to evacuate women and children before the attack.

Ives is known as "the butcher" for having given Cheyenne women and children no such warning during previous bloodshed. Ives scoffs at the tomahawk and Adam decides the major's superior officers at another fort must be notified of his actions.

The only woman who heeds Adam's warning to leave is Kate Bohlen, sweetheart of Lt. Bascom, who misses her native Boston. An attack is mounted before Kate can safely get away. Adam is knocked unconscious, but Fire Knife makes sure his life is spared. Bascom and many others are killed.

Extending the bow as a gesture of peace, Adam appeals to Fire Knife to let the major's fate be left up to the Army's justice. Fire Knife's thirst for vengeance is too great, so he prepares to kill Ives, who in desperation reveals that he is actually of Cheyenne descent himself. Adam cannot allow Ives to be killed in cold blood, so he kills his Indian friend.

Riding off toward the next fort to report what has happened, Adam leaves with Kate as a humiliated Ives pleads with him not to reveal his secret.



Parts of the film were shot in Strawberry Valley, Kanab movie fort, Kanab Creek, Kanab Canyon, and Three Lakes in Utah.[3]


  1. ^ "The Yellow Tomahawk (1954) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  2. ^ "The Yellow Tomahawk". TV Guide. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  3. ^ D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 January 2022, at 12:57
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