Here is where things go sideways for me. There is a brief romance and then Eli marries Miss Julie. I was expecting more shootouts and cowboy stuff, but we get this instead. Okay fine… but then there is a subplot with a local Indian leader, played by the very white Robert Dix (yikes!). He is friendly and has a treaty with the army, but that ends poorly when a local merchant guns one of his braves down and is in turn killed. Even that makes little sense because they go from friendly to let’s kill everyone without every trying to either hide the crime or explain what happened. Oh, there is also a subplot where Miss Julie hops into bed with another soldier that causes some drama but goes nowhere.
I suppose I would have enjoyed this movie if it had picked one of the storylines and stuck with it. Even if that wasn’t the action that I expected at least I could have followed and maybe had some sort of resolution. Instead what we get is a mess of plot threads that all unravel and never get resolved. Eli is supposed to be our main character, at least I think so. But after spending so much time with him and the fallout from him discovering Miss Julie’s affair he is unceremoniously killed off before the big finale involving the Indians! Yeah, the last ten minutes we are minus what has been the focus of the prior hour and fifteen minutes of plot development.
The cast is solid with the previously mentioned Robert Dix as well as the legendary Cesar Romero, Isabel Sanford (The Jeffersons), Barbara Hale (Perry Mason), and Robert DoQuil (Robocop, Walking Tall II). There was a lot of talent in front of the camera as well as behind it with one of my personal favorites, John “Bud” Cardos, behind it directing the action. The fact that they are so let down with a terrible script that also has some very clunky and awkward dialogue makes for an extremely disappointing experience. Obviously, I’m not recommending The Red, White, and Black.
© Copyright 2023