A conventional drama—Indian-wise old scout (Burt Lancaster) and young officer with a lot to learn (Bruce Davison) clash over how to deal with renegade Apaches—given superior treatment by director Robert Aldrich. Aldrich's characters receive condemnation or praise purely as a matter of circumstance—they come to understand cruelty and violence as few are ever allowed (or forced) to. The issues, as Lancaster notes, get kind of confused, but the directorial viewpoint is clear.
See our full review:
Robert Aldrich's allegory depicts a struggle that continues.