Two Flags West

  • 1950
  • 1 HR 32 MIN
  • NR
  • Western

During the Civil War, Cotten is the leader of a band of Confederate prisoners in a Northern camp. Conditions are appalling, but when Wilde, a Union officer wounded out of the war, approaches them with an offer to go West with him to fight Indians, they refuse to help the Union cause in any form. Eventually they change their minds, planning to desert at...read more

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During the Civil War, Cotten is the leader of a band of Confederate prisoners in a Northern camp. Conditions are appalling, but when Wilde, a Union officer wounded out of the war, approaches them with an offer to go West with him to fight Indians, they refuse to help the Union cause in any

form. Eventually they change their minds, planning to desert at the first opportunity to head back to the South and the war. They arrive in New Mexico at a fort commanded by Chandler, another wounded Union officer sent West. He is embittered by his inability to fight in the big war and by the

death of his brother in an early action. He takes an immediate dislike to the Rebels under his command. Compounding the tension is Darnell, the widow of Chandler's brother, for whom Chandler holds an affection he dares not admit, whom Wilde falls in love with, and whom Cotten shows some interest

in. Cotten and his men are about to make their break for freedom when Chandler provokes the local Indians by killing the son of the chief. The full fury of the tribe comes down on the fort and only heroic action by Cotten and his Southerners saves the day. Chandler finally brings an end to the

attacks by sacrificing himself to the Indians. Given the stars and the plot, this should have been a better film than it actually turns out to be. Chandler, on whom the whole story pivots, brings almost no depth to his role, and Cotten and Wilde are little more than devices for delivering

important lines. Still, the film does move at a good clip, the Indian attack is exciting, and Wise's direction pushes the right buttons. The cinematography is also quite good, capturing the bleakness of the desert outpost.

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