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L'histoire, qui semble dans le film se situer avant le départ (la déportation) des Cheyennes pour l'Oklahoma, est en fait basée sur une histoire vraie, mais qui s'est passée en 1890, une douzaine d'années après le retour dans le Montana donc. Deux jeunes Cheyennes ('Head Chief', âgé de 25 ans et 'Youngmule', qui n'en avait pas quinze, et vouait une admiration à son aîné) refusèrent l'assimilation et voulurent regagner un statut de guerrier. Ils "prirent donc le sentier de la guerre" contre les Blancs, tuant un jeune garçon blanc. L'armée fut envoyée pour arrêter les deux "hot heads" mais dans un dernier geste de défi digne et suicidaire, les deux amis chargèrent depuis une colline qui se trouve sur la réserve des Cheyennes du Nord (anciennement nommée "Squaw's Hill" et récemment renommée 'Head Chief Memorial Hill'). Ils connurent le sort du film. (On retrouve une histoire similaire, transposée chez les Pieds-Noirs voisins et dans un cadre moderne, dans "War Party/Jeu de Guerre" de Franc/k Roddam (1988).)
J'ai gardé un bon souvenir de ce film, malgré le jeu peu nuancé (un Indien doit avoir le visage fermé) et le "costume haute couture" de Hugh O'Brian : la caméra montre des travaux de tous les jours dans le camp, Jeffrey Hunter dans ce qui doit être la tente du Gardien du "Medicine Hat", revoir Milburn Stone, visage familier de la série "Gunsmoke" ...
Iron Eyes a, je crois, davantage été relégué aux seconds plans sans dialogues, avec possibilité de faire un peu de cabotinage, que dans des rôles consistants.
Dans la liste des pires 'white eyes' que j'aie vus, Royal Dano et Morris Ankrum ...
Mais c'est bien agréable de voir les jeunes premiers de cette époque tout gamins,et l'histoire d'amitié entre Petit Chien et Josh est bien sympa.
De plus, c'est l'heureuse époque où Hollywood nous alignait des centaines de figurants à cheval, bien loin des saletés d'image de synthèse actuelles.
Mon cher LimpyChris, il va de soi que tes informations sont exactes, et pour nos amis forumeurs, j'ai mis ci-dessous l'histoire de ces deux jeunes cheyennes, en anglais, le texte original étant préférable.
L'histoire se comprend aisément de plus.
The Death Of Head Chief And Young Mule
This is a true story that took place in 1890, but it is also a legend among our people. Head Chief was a young man in his twenties. He was proud. He would have liked to be a warrior, but the days when a man could gain honour by counting coup were over. The Cheyennes had been put on reservations, the buffalo were gone. The fine old life was over.
That year the people were starving, and the promised government rations did not arrive. Head Chief said: "There's nothing left but a little coffee and a piece of fry bread. How can we live? I'm going hunting, and maybe I'll find some deer." Some relatives tried to talk him out of it, saying: "There's no game left on the reservation. It has all been hunted out, and if you go outside the reservation, there will be trouble with the white men."
Head Chief said: "All this land from horizon to horizon used to be ours. Since when can white men forbid me to hunt? I go now." Young Mule, a boy of fourteen, always followed Head Chief around like a puppy dog. Head Chief was teaching him how to be a man, how to behave like a warrior. "Head Chief, let me come hunting with you," Young Mule said.
“Ipewa, it is well. You can come." They got on their horses and rode off.
Soon they were outside the reservation. They found neither deer nor antelope; what they found was a lone cow. A white rancher's cow. "It probably belongs to a white man," said Young Mule.
"I don't care who it belongs to," said Head Chief. "They killed all the buffalo on the plains and shouldn't begrudge us a single cow. We're starving; I must bring meat to my people." Head Chief shot the cow. After they had butchered it and were loading the meat on their horses, a white man called Boyle rode up. He was the nephew of the rancher whose cow they had butchered. Boyle saw what had happened and started cursing the two Cheyenne.
"What's he saying?" asked Head Chief, who could not talk English.
"He's calling us lousy dogs," answered Young Mule, who had been to the white man's school.
"Oh, is that what he is saying?" Head Chief's blood was up, and he went for his rifle.
Seeing this, the white man stopped cursing. He tried to whip up his horse and get away, but it was too late. Head Chief shot him through the head; he was lying there dead.
"Now what do we do?" asked Young Mule.
"Bury him, I guess." Head Chief put a handkerchief over Boyle's face so it wouldn't get dirty as they buried him. Then Head Chief and Young Mule rode back to their camp.
"They'll hang you for this," the elders said. "No they won't," said Head Chief. "If you don't surrender, we must fight to defend you," the older men said. "It will be the end of the Tistsistas, the end of our people."
"No," said Head Chief, "I don't want anyone to die for me. The days when we could fight them are over."
Boyle was missed; and a search party found the body and what was left of the cow. The white police came to the reservation, saying: "We want the one who did this."
Head Chief sent word to them that he and he alone had done it. "Tell them I am the guilty one," he said. The white sheriff sent word that he would come to arrest Head Chief.
"I'll be coming for that Indian," said the sheriff. "He'll be tried and hanged for sure. There had better be no resistance, either. A lot of soldiers are stationed here, and if you try to help that boy, you'll be wiped out."
Then Head Chief sent some of the elders and headmen to the sheriff. They told him: "Head Chief is ready to die, but not ready to be hanged. He will die like a man. On the next ration day, he wants you to bring the soldiers and line them all up at the foot of that hill. Then he'll come riding out at them as if counting coup. But he won't be armed, and the soldiers can shoot him as if it was in a battle. This will be a good death. Then there won't be any hard feelings."
"But this isn't the regular way of handling it," said the sheriff. "Maybe it isn't, but if you try to arrest and hang him, then we don't know whether we'll be able to hold back our young men, especially the Dog Soldiers. Then you might have a real battle on your hands. Is doing things regularly worth that?"
The sheriff went back to the white folks and the soldier chief to talk things over. He sent word: "It's all right; we'll do this Head Chief's way."
So the night before ration day, Head Chief put on his finest war shirt. He painted his face for battle. He got a fine sorrel horse. He told his father: Cheer up! It's what I like. Sing a song for me." He and the other warriors went up to Squaw Hill and pitched a tent there. They were singing and feasting and telling stories all night. The Dog soldiers guarded them in case the white men decided to come and try to make an arrest.
Toward morning the elders told all the young men to leave. They didn't want them on that hill for fear the young braves would start to fight. "Go; leave now," they said. "Do it for the people." Very unwillingly, the young men of the warrior societies obeyed. Then the chiefs had criers ride through the camp, telling the women not to call out and not to make high-pitched war cries which could get the young men's blood up. The old ones wanted no accidents which could cause a massacre. They knew that you can't fight the white man. They said: "The people must survive." Early that morning there were a lot of white people, on horseback and in buggies, come "to see the show."
A company of soldiers was lined up in the gulch at the bottom of Squaw Hill with their guns loaded. Then everybody saw Head Chief on his sorrel horse at the top of the hill. While they watched, he put on his grandfather's warbonnet.
His people were proud of him.
Then suddenly there was a second one with him -- the figure of a young boy. It was Young Mule, riding a mule because he didn't own a horse. He had told people: "I won't have it said that I was not with my friend in his last battle. He let me come along when there was hunting and feasting and good times. I might just as well die with him too." The white men were not interested in Young Mule. They knew he was only fourteen, and they knew he hadn't shot Boyle. They had told the chiefs: "We don't want that kid. We only want the older one, the one who shot Boyle." But here Young Mule was, all the same. Then those two friends rode down upon the soldiers side by side, singing their death songs. The Long Knives were waiting for them, the foot soldiers flanked by cavalry.
These two boys circled around some soldiers, counting coup on them, daring them to shoot. Then the soldiers opened up, but didn't seem to have their hearts in it. The boys made it back to the top of the hill. They might already have been hit; nobody knows. Then Head Chief turned his horse for a last charge, coming down the hill at a dead run. The boy's mule had been crippled by bullets, so he made his charge on foot, running zig-zag, defying the soldiers to hit him. Now the women could not hold back. They made the brave-heart cry, though they had been told not to.
Even hardened warriors wept. One old man said: "Watch and see how a warrior should die." Head Chief had told the young boy: "I shall be riding through the enemy line. Even if I've been shot dead already, my body will still ride through their line." He did just that. He rode through them, then fell off his horse, for he had been hit many times. He lay there, and one of the officers went over and finished him with a shot in the head.
The young boy, Young Mule, was counting coups right and left. He went after the soldiers with a knife. Some say he had a gun hidden on him and was using it, but nobody knows for sure. Finally the soldiers killed him too. Then they marched off, as if ashamed. They brought the bodies of these two friends to camp and laid them out. The people came to see them then. They said that the boys looked as if they were sleeping, with a little smile on their lips.
During that last charge, a feather from Head Chief's warbonnet had come off and was fluttering in the wind near where he was killed. Somebody grabbed this eagle feather and tied it to a rock, right where the officer had gunned him. Head Chief's blood was still on that rock. The eagle feather was there for a long time until, after many years, it finally rotted away. But the rock will be there forever.
* Recorded on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Busby, Montana, 1972
Of course, you need parler anglais the fingers in the nose; I'm sure that you have remarqué que that is mon cas.
I quitte you because I want to kill a buffalo to bouffer ce soir, but I'm tranquille, the Pony Express find you all around the world.
Just a last for the road, and see you soon.
Your nephew, William Chaiquesepire.
Pour l'anecdote, je me souviens lors de sa diffusion il y a une vingtaine d'années d'une scène qui m'avait alors frappé: la rencontre de Josh avec "petit chien" et ses comparses ou Josh leur tient tête en dégainant.... son peigne avec lequel il se coiffe négligemment
Globalement, un très bon souvenir même si les conditions de visionnage d'alors étaient loin de permettre une immersion satisfaisante dans le film. L'un des nombreux films que je me suis promis de revoir prochainement ....
mortimer a écrit :west_figurines a écrit :Quelqu'un sait-il si on peut se procurer le film en français ? Je l'ai en anglais non sous titré et je comprends pas toujours le sens des répliques...
sur le zone 1 sorti par les studios Twentieth Century Fox il y a une VF
il n'a pas l'air d'avoir la VF après vérif sur le site amazon.com :
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Region: Region 1"
Oui, euh, j'en suis pôs fier de celle-là ...
Peut être que si on n'attire pas l'attention dessus, personne ne saura que tu es un fan de The Voice, mais avec un (très) léger souci de traduction.
Diffusion du 15 Décembre 1987 sur FR3.
C'est à l'heure actuelle l'unique passage télévisuel de ce western.
Très bonne mise en scène, impressionante par la figuration. De très belles photo et un musique bien adaptée. Un final inattendu. que demander de plus ?
Bref,une très bonne soirée même si on pouvait espérer un peu mieux du jeu des acteurs. Heureusement il y a le sourire, un peu naïf, de Debra "White teeth" Paget !!!
"What is this ? The stuff that dreams are made of." (W.Shakespeare)
"What is this ? The stuff that dreams are made of." (W.Shakespeare)
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