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The title refers to the symbol used by Indians to signal their intention to wage war, but White Feather is actually more about peace. Set in the late 1870s, director Robert Webb's film centers on efforts by the U.S. Cavalry, led by Col. Lindsay (John Lund), to negotiate a treaty with various tribes wherein the Indians will relocate and leave their Wyoming territory so white settlers can prospect for gold. The Blackfeet, Crow, Sioux, and Arapaho all seem willing; only the Cheyenne, led by pragmatic Chief Broken Hand (an affecting Eduard Franz) and his fiery son Little Dog (Jeffrey Hunter), are holding out. Enter Josh Tanner (Robert Wagner), a surveyor who's there to map out the town that will spring up once the gold is mined. Tanner makes friends with Little Dog and his sidekick, American Horse (Hugh O'Brian, who was about to assume the role of Wyatt Earp in the TV series about that legendary marshal), and falls in love with Little Dog's sister, Appearing Day (Debra Paget). Complications ensue, as this Western Side Story romance threatens to derail the impending treaty, leading to a final confrontation brought on by the delivery of the white feather. Notwithstanding the inherent absurdity of the treaty (as in most such agreements, the Indians were screwed), the filmmakers handle the issues even-handedly, taking a peaceful point of view that shows considerable sympathy toward the Cheyenne and allows both sides to proceed with dignity and honor. There are plenty of flaws: Wagner, just 25 at the time of this 1955 film, is handsome but bland in the lead role; the romance is handled rather clumsily (after their first kiss, Appearing Day tells Tanner, "I would like it again, please... but longer?"); and even though the Indians are depicted respectfully (of course, they didn't go so far as to cast actual Native American actors), the stereotype of the proud, noble savage so primitive that he can be entranced by a pocket comb persists. Still, White Feather looks good (it was filmed in Technicolor and CinemaScope) and more than holds one's attention throughout its 102-minute running time. Extras include an "interactive pressbook gallery," various still photos, and more.

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Special Features Disc 1 Side A: Full Frame Feature Disc 1 Side B: Widescreen Feature Interactive Press Gallery Theatrical Trailer Still Galleries 2 Western Theatre Trailers

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FX2243693 White Feather DVD (1955/Robert Wagner) $14.98 $13.49