Run of the Arrow (1957, Samuel Fuller)

One of Fuller’s final-shot ruminations – that the moment a war ends, killing turns from a heroic act into a criminal one. Feeling oppressed by the North and betrayed by his own losing side, an Irish-Confederate soldier (Rod Steiger, warmonger general of Mars Attacks!) joins a Sioux tribe against all whites. He gets guidance from doomed scout Walking Coyote (Jay Flippen, father-figure crook in The Killing), falls for a girl called Yellow Mocassin (Spanish superstar Sara Montiel, overdubbed by Angie Dickinson), and tricks suspicious Sioux warrior Crazy Wolf. A bunch of whites-vs-natives twists and betrayals later, Steiger and Moccasin leave the tribe, deciding to try their hand with the new USA instead.

Kiss Me Deadly star Ralph Meeker plays the Union officer shot twice by the same bullet (long story), and “newcomer Charles Bronson” plays a Sioux chief. There were actual Sioux players in the film, but relegated to smaller roles.


The boys at RKO loved my yarn and gave me a green light to produce the picture the way I wanted. Indians would be depicted as a community of people with their own rules and rituals, not – as in most studio movies – like a pack of marauding killers. .. I think [Rod Steiger] earned more on that picture than I did. After all, I was only the writer, director and coproducer.