He's a man called Chuka and you don't forget it!

Action Drama Western
105 min     6     1967     USA


A group under siege at an Army fort grapple with painful memories.


John Chard wrote:
We're the scum of the United States Army. Colonel. Chuka is directed by Gordon Douglas and adapted to screenplay by Richard Jessup from his own novel. It stars Rod Taylor, John Mills, Ernest Borgnine, Luciana Paluzzi, James Whimore, Louis Hayward and Victoria Vetri. Music is by Leith Stevens and Pthe Color photography by Harold E. Stine. 1876 and Fort Clendenon is host to a bunch of army misfits and a lovelorn gunslinger, hardly a group capable of defending the Fort against an impending Arapaho attack... A super cast and a rather gorgeous colour print can't avert this being a distinctly average Siege Oater. Prodution wise it's a hodgepodge, an uneasy blend of stuffy looking studio bound sequences, matte paintings and airy locales, while the acting, sparse characterisations and general reliance on non meaty chatty filler scenes, all make it an odd viewing experience. The chat angle is most frustrating, not so much because there is so much of it so as to make this a 90% talky piece, but in that there are moments of great dialogue, where interesting character arcs are dangled, but alas they are threads that are never pulled to the benefit of all. Action is sparse but what there is is competently staged, with the siege itself - while not worth the wait - has enough moments of excitement and intelligence so as to not annoy. A very good and intriguing ending further adds to the strange mix of poor and good of it all, but ultimately it's average and hardly essential for fans of Westerns and the stars involved. 5/10