Each Monday, I continue to share Western movie reviews as I go through the process of finishing post and releasing my 12 Westerns in 12 Months during 2020. I am watching these films not from an audience perspective but as a filmmaker, as a student of the genre.
Week 102: Apache Rifles
There is one guarantee with an Audie Murphy Western: the actor will bring a level of realism to the role that most of his peers were not capable of. Murphy’s war experience always shows on screen, mostly in his eyes, in the natural grit that makes his characters more authentic than others.
He is the best part of Apache Rifles, a movie that handles the conflict between white and Native American people better than many of its day. The central idea posed by the film, that if a man makes a promise to another should he keep that promise even if it means betraying his country? I wish the film had focused more on this and led Murphy down a darker journey.
Also, no spoilers, I wish they’d had the guts to let the tragic ending be instead of tacking on the typical Hollywood conclusion. This is the kind of film that should leave you hurting but instead it gives you nice fuzzy warm feelings about something that wasn’t nice at all.
Watched on Tubi.