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Apache Rifles

USA 1964
produced by
Admiral Pictures/20th Century Fox
directed by William Witney
starring Audie Murphy, Michael Dante, Linda Lawson, L.Q. Jones, Ken Lynch, Joseph Vitale, Robert Brubaker, Eugene Iglesias, Pat O'Malley, John Archer, Charles Wats, Howard Wright, Peter Hansen, Robert Karnes, Hugh Sanders, Sydney Smith, S.John Launer, Robert Williams
story by Kenneth Gamet, Richard Schayer, screnplay by Charls B.Smith, music by Richard LaSalle

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Captain Stanton (Audie Murphy) is sent to an army outpost in Arizona to guard the locals - mainly miners - from the Apaches led by Victorio (Joseph Vitale), who have left their reservation and threaten the white settlers. Initially, Stanton is full of prejudice against the Indians, but soon, he is convinced by Dawn (Linda Lawson), a half-breed missionary, that it was the white men who broke the peace between settlers and Apaches first. Somehow he manages to broker a peace between the two factions, but a handful of miners aren't happy, so they use an Indian arrow to kill the local Indian agent (Howard Wright), just to make the others believe the Indians are actually on the warpath and lead a revenge expedition ... and suddenly, Stanton and his soldiers find themselves guarding the Apaches against the settlers in a shoot-out (in which Dawn is seriously wounded by the way) - but this does not go by without consequences: Stanton is relieved of his command, replaced by Colonel Perry (John Archer), who is more sympathetic to the cause of the white man. And to add insult to injury, Stanton is kept at the outpost as Perry's adjutant. When he still tries to act on behalf of the Apaches, he is even placed under arrest ...

Eventually, Colonel Perry and the soldiers try to track the Apaches down, but they are led into an ambush, and it looks as if Red Hawk (Michael Dante), son of Victorio (who has been killed off-screen in the meantime), is going to snuff them all out. However, Stanton is called onto the scene just in time to once again broker a peace ... but as soon as he has succeeded, it turns out that Perry has only used Stanton to lead the Apaches into a trap, and as a thank-you, Stanton is even speared by an angry Red Hawk ...

In the end, Stanton, still injured but recovering fast, quits his duty with the army, but Red Hawk, who has in the meantime seen his (understandable) error, urges him to stay on, while he and his tribe are shipped off to Texas ...


For the most part, this is little more than a rather conventional, even old-fashioned Western - even though its treatment of the American natives is laudable -, and the work of action specialist William Witney fails to make it special ... until the finale, which has Audie Murphy drag a white outlaw (L.Q.Jones) through the battlelines to the surrounded army battalion he's trying to save - this is where Witney's class and his strength for action setpieces actually show.

Still, the film is far from an actual classic, due in part to a low budget, in part to Audie Murphy as the rather uncharismatic lead, in part to the less than special story. That said, Apache Rifles is still totally watchable.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD