Geronimo: An American Legend
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Geronimo: An American Legend

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Director: Walter Hill, Jason Patric, Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall

Cast: Walter Hill, Jason Patric, Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall

     
 

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Walter Hill directs John Milius's script (co-written by Larry Gross) depicting a revisionist perspective on the "Geronimo Campaign" and how Geronimo, with 34 men, managed to elude 5000 U.S. cavalry men between 1885 and 1886 before his surrender at the Canyon of the Skeletons in September 1886. The film centers upon Charles Gatewood (Jason Patric), the U.S. Cavalry

Overview

Walter Hill directs John Milius's script (co-written by Larry Gross) depicting a revisionist perspective on the "Geronimo Campaign" and how Geronimo, with 34 men, managed to elude 5000 U.S. cavalry men between 1885 and 1886 before his surrender at the Canyon of the Skeletons in September 1886. The film centers upon Charles Gatewood (Jason Patric), the U.S. Cavalry lieutenant who is charged with capturing the elusive Apache leader. Gatewood is torn by a grudging respect for Geronimo and his people and his duty to his country. But then all the white men in the film have a respect for Geronimo, even as they are trying to hunt him down and kill him. General Charles Crook (Gene Hackman), charged with overseeing the forced settlement of the Apaches on reservations, has nothing but admiration for Geronimo.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
One of two tragically underrated Westerns produced in the mid-'90s (the other being 1994's Wyatt Earp), this grand, sweeping adventure boasts taut direction from Walter Hill and several great performances from its male leads. While a naïve soldier well played by a then-unknown Matt Damon is ostensibly the main character here, the real heart and soul of the film is Charles Gatewood, a soldier sympathetic with his enemy nearly to the point of sedition and played with mute, feral feverishness by Jason Patric. Superlative performances are also delivered by Gene Hackman as a morally conflicted general, Robert Duvall as an uneducated scout, and particularly Wes Studi as the title character, repeating his intense, furious supporting work in the previous year's The Last of the Mohicans (1992). The sad outcome of the Native Americans' war against the U.S. Army is well known, but the film's script by John Milius focuses on key events and battle strategy -- predictably, given the screenwriter's martial interests -- making the film more textbook history lesson than emotional journey. For those seeking another Dances with Wolves (1990), the end result is sure to be disappointing, but for those seeking a more dispassionate, realistic handling of Western lore, the film is ultimately a satisfying one. The lack of audience interest in Geronimo: An American Legend may be at least partially explained by the competing made-for-TV movie Geronimo (1993), which was released the same year, necessitating a last-minute title change for this version.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/17/1998
UPC:
0043396587090
Original Release:
1993
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:55:00

Special Features

Theatrical Trailers ; Interactive Menus ; Scene Selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jason Patric Lt. Charles Gatewood
Gene Hackman Brigadier General George Crook
Robert Duvall Al Sieber
Wes Studi Geronimo
Matt Damon Lieutenant Britton Davis
Rodney A. Grant Mangas
Kevin Tighe Brigadier General Nelson Miles
Steve Reevis Chato
Carlos Palomino Sgt. Turkey
Victor Aaron Ulzana
Stuart Proud Eagle Grant Sergeant Dutchy
Stephen McHattie Schoonover
Reuben Cannon Actor
David Barry Gray Actor
Richard Martin Actor
John Finn Capt. Hentig
Lee de Broux City Marshall Hawkins
Rino Thunder Old Nana
Hoke Howell Billy Pickett
Pato Hoffmann The Dreamer
Roger Callard Sgt. Mulrey
Mark Boone Afraid Miner
M.C. Gainey Unafraid Miner
Michael Ruud Chaplain
Jonathan Ward C.S. Fly
Luis Contreras Rurale Officer
Scott Wilson Redondo
Sonny Skyhawk Schoonover Gang
Michael Adams Schoonover Gang
Anthony Schmidt Schoonover Gang
Jim Beaver Proclamation Officer
Jesus Franco Native American
George Lee Native American
Robert Erickson Cavalryman
Michael Stein Cavalryman
Greg Goossen Schoonover Gang
Walter Robles Schoonover Gang

Technical Credits
Walter Hill Director,Producer
Lloyd Ahern Cinematographer
Joe Alves Production Designer
Donn Aron Editor
Fred C. Blau Makeup
Reuben Cannon Casting
Neil Canton Producer
Chris Carpenter Sound/Sound Designer
Ry Cooder Score Composer
Danny Costa Stunts
Freeman Davies Editor
Carmel Davies Editor
Tom Elliott Stunts
Michael S. Glick Executive Producer
Richard C. Goddard Set Decoration/Design
Alan Lee Graf Stunts
Larry Gross Screenwriter
Doug Hemphill Sound/Sound Designer
Robert La Bonge Camera Operator
Norman Langley Camera Operator
Dennis Liddiard Makeup
Bill McIntosh Stunts
Josh McLaglen Asst. Director
John Milius Screenwriter
Dan Moore Costumes/Costume Designer
Lee Orloff Musical Direction/Supervision
Scott Ritenour Art Director
Manilo Rocchetti Makeup
R. Bruce Steinheimer Special Effects
Jack Verbois Stunts
Greg Walker Stunts
Webster Whinery Stunts

Videos

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Geronimo: An American Legend 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
jsphtnnr3920152 More than 1 year ago
Best Action & Adventure Western Movie On DVD or Encore Western.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have the movie and I watch it when ever I can and each time I find something I have missed before. Each time is like the first the story line is that good, it is not just told from the white point of view but from the Indians.Iam part Indian myself and was a little tired of the truth being hiden from the public, for so many years the stories led people to beleieve the Indians were the reason why the west was so unsafe. They were just a people who wanted to live there lives the way they had until the migation of the whites.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sometimes, stunning camera work adds significant value to a film¿s overall merit. Case in point is 2001: A SPACE ODDYSSEY, in which the visuals (and musical score) contributed to make it one of the great films of all time. (I saw it 8 times when originally on the big screen.) Yet the acting and storyline were so nondescript that who can remember who the actors or their characters were beyond Hal? Although certainly not carrying the same weight as 2001 in the evolution of movie making, the 1993 release GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND is elevated for the same reason, and the acting is much better besides. Matt Damon plays 2nd Lt. Britton Davis, newly commissioned out of West Point, who arrives in Arizona in the mid-1880¿s just in time to accompany the savvy 1st Lt. Charles Gatewood, played by Jason Patric, on a mission to accept the surrender of Geronimo, and bring the Apache leader to the reservation. Eventually, Geronimo abandons the reservation to again take up arms against the white man, ultimately fleeing into Mexico. The local Army cavalry command led by Gen. George Crook, played by Gene Hackman, and which includes Davis and Gatewood, must then go retrieve the war chief and his followers. Robert Duvall has the role of Al Sieber, the army unit¿s Chief Scout. As I¿ve indicated, the cinematography in GERONIMO is absolutely gorgeous, the film being shot in the scenic expanses of southeastern Utah. Moreover, the acting doesn¿t deserve the reproach it¿s received. The Crook character, criticized as too bland, is played just right. By that time in his long military career, Gen. Crook had seen it all when it came to battling the Indians, and his unflappability, evenhandedness, and strength of character were fully established. There is no need for flamboyant theatrics on his part. The moody reserve of the Gatewood character is perfectly understandable. He came from a patrician Virginia family and, had it been 30 years previous, would have fought for the Confederacy. Fighting for the victorious Federals against another oppressed people (as the Southerners saw themselves) was certain to cause much self-examination. As Sieber put it to Gatewood, ¿You don¿t love who you¿re fighting for, and you don¿t hate who you¿re fighting against.¿ Duvall, as Sieber, plays a role somewhat reminiscent of his Gus McCrae in LONESOME DOVE, but without the easygoing humor. In any case, his on-screen time is way too short. Wes Studi as Geronimo is more than adequate. I can¿t think of another Native American actor ¿ and how many of those are there? ¿ who could have done better. Matt Damon, as the likable Britton, serves as the film¿s narrator for the viewers¿ perspective. True, the plot incorporates no dramatic, climactic battles. That¿s because there weren¿t any in the real-life Geronimo saga, and Hollywood mercifully refrained, for once, from the unashamed embellishment of history. Rather, the story is portrayed for what it was ¿ the inexorable, relatively low-key subjugation of one people by another ¿ with all its attendant moral and ethical issues. The ending is particularly poignant. Maybe I just like westerns, but I think this a wonderful, haunting film. It¿s definitely worth seeing, especially if you have one of those home entertainment centers that aspires to be a big screen theater.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just fact - the greatest story of a great American Indian I have ever seen. We need more of the TRUTH.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The real history is not kind or outstanding to the eye ladies and gentleman. Like all other countries, it's filled with bodies and bodies, yet America is unique because it can deny these sort of things without apologizing. America, no matter what anyone says, is the weirdest civilization. Believe me, I'm a part Cherokee, Welsh, Irish, English, Hillbilly, Scots-Irish, Scot, French , Dutch and German, yet somehow this country's made it and thrived. Geronimo is one of the unfortunate casaulties of our history, who like Chief Joseph, was a real humanist but the powers that be and the settlers, miners and land speculators made him fight. As the real history of this film displays, most people that fought him had a grudging admiration for him. At least he didn't kill women or children.