Cavalry Charge (La Carga de la Policía Montada) Review

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Cavalry Charge (La carga de la policía montada) (See Database Page)

In 1964 everybody in Europe seemed busy making westerns. This one's a Spanish production, and like the Germans and Italians, the Spaniards thought a genuine western couldn't do without some American acting talent. The movie was made with a decent budget, so instead of one, we get two American B-actors, Frank Latimore and Alan Scott.

Latimore is Paul, a young officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a womanizer who is kicked out of every regiment because he has a habit of seducing the wives of his superiors. Even before arriving at his new post, he helps a lovely young lady out of trouble, and yes, she turns out to be the fiancée of his new commander. "This means I'm in trouble," Paul says to his best friend, a trapper working for the Mounties as a scout. And yes, he is. But he is not the only one: A young Indian is killed by a group of poachers, who also try to rape the young warrior's sister. Paul, who has witnessed the incident from a distance, saves the girl's life, but the poachers escape. The Indian chief Brown Bear then declares war on the white man ...

The film is set in Canada, in and around a Mountie Fort, and therefore it has been described as a Spanish effort to emulate an American Cavalry western. The bombastic theme song does indeed sound American, but otherwise the movie has more in common with the German Karl May Westerns. Some story elements, like the hero being liberated at night by an Indian whose life he had saved earlier on, are directly taken from the Winnetou movies. The difference is that in this case the Indian is a girl, not a young warrior sympathizing with the young white Indian friend. The romantic subplot is quite nice: we get two men competing for the hand of the same woman, and two women competing for the hand of the same man. If you want to know how this awkward situation is solved, you'll have to watch to movie, I'm not going to give it all away.

La Carga de la Policia Montada is not much worse than most Winnetou movies, nor is it much better, which means (I'm afraid) that it's not very good. The action scenes look quite spectacular, but with the Indians launching suicide attacks on the fort in broad daylight, they also look a bit ridiculous. There's some very ugly horse-tripping and a couple of stunts look terribly dangerous, with stuntmen falling from great heights without any object breaking their fall. It's a confirmation of these stories about Spanish stuntmen being real reckless daredevils. On Fistful of Leone it is noticed that a mistake was made in relation to the Mountie uniform: "the white lanyard to which a Mountie's revolver is attached, should be worn on a loop around the neck instead of bandoleer style." (1). If you're a sucker for Mountie movies (I've been told that such people do exist) or like the Winnetou movies (I already knew such people exist), this one might give you some hokey-pokey fun, but if you don't manage to get hold of a copy, I wouldn't be too disenchanted, worse things happen in a western buff's life.

Director: Ramon Torrado - Cast: Frank Latimore, Alan Scott, Diana Lorys, Maria Silva, Alfonso Rojas, Xan Das Bolas, Tito Garcia


Simon Gelten
Simon Gelten is a long time contributor to the SWDb. "I'm not as old as Tom B. but I'm working on it. I hope to catch up with him by the end of the next decade.", he says. Simon saw all movies by Sergio Leone and several by Sergio Corbucci in cinema, most of the time in Eindhoven, the city where he was born. Currently, Simon is living in Turnhout, Belgium. Simon is active within the database as both Scherpschutter and his alter ego Tiratore Scelto.
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