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Slaughter Trail (1951)

Approved | | Western | 17 April 1953 (Australia)
Fort Marcy's commandant has a dilemma when 3 outlaws, who killed a few Navajo for their horses, request protection from the vengeful Indians.


Irving Allen


Sid Kuller (screen play)


Cast overview:
Brian Donlevy ... Capt. Dempster
Gig Young ... Ike Vaughn
Virginia Grey ... Lorabelle Larkin
Andy Devine ... Sgt. Macintosh
Robert Hutton ... Lt. Morgan
Terry Gilkyson Terry Gilkyson ... Singalong
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Three outlaws rob the stage and then flee. When their horses give out they murder some Indians to get fresh ones. But this puts the Indians on the war path and they have to take refuge in an Army fort to avoid them. The Indians then arrive offering peace if the three men are turned over to them. The fort's commanding Officer wants peace but the rules say the men must be tried in a white man's court leaving the Indians no choice but to attack. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Navajo hordes on the vengeance warpath ... as desert sands run scarlet !




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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


According to the "In Hollywood" column, by Erskine Johnson (syndicated by NEA), Terry Gilkyson, the Montana cowboy author of "Cry of the Wild Goose," was hired for a film role in "Slaughter Trail", whereupon he fell off his horse and broke his arm. (San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Thursday 22 March 1951, Volume LVII, Number 174, page 6.) See more »


When Chief Paako is talking, he frequently slips into a northeastern accent and the rapid and fluent way of speaking American English from early American movies and TV, without any hint of the 'Indian' accent and broken English that actors portraying Native Americans in old westerns typically used. See more »


Woman Dancer: You know, I can look into your eyes and see you have led a gay, romantic life. If I'm not too personal, what do you do for a living?
Rufus Black: I sell coffins!
See more »


Jittery Deer-Foot Dan
By Terry Gilkyson
See more »

User Reviews

A sublimely stupid western
11 March 2016 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

Leonard Maltin must have delicate ears. He called 1951's "Slaughter Trail" soundtrack "indescribably awful." Something "indescribably awful" to hear is a Siamese cat giving birth. The soundtrack is like the Sons of the Pioneers with below-par lyrics, with an occasional zinger mixed in.

This is a sublimely stupid Western, where the "Indians" wear obvious wigs, the makeup people painted their chests but forgot their backs, the soldiers throw up their arms and fall and die before the sound effects tell the viewer they've been hit, the leading lady smooches with a highwayman and her very obvious lipstick is on his face and yet nobody comments on it. When asked if anyone was killed during a robbery, Andy Devine says "just the stagecoach driver. No one important"(!?)

Another line that seems to indicate the film was meant as a satire (or maybe just poorly written). Devine asks if an Indian had been hit. Soldier: "No, but he won't be riding a horse for a longgg time." I'd pass on this one. The western genre was big in the 50's because so many social issues could be discussed in the context of the old west rather than cause controversy by discussing them in a modern setting. But then there was always a film just trying to make a buck off the popularity of the genre. This is one of those films.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

17 April 1953 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Drumul măcelului See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Cinecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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