Proofread The movie Geronimo: An american Legend is an excellent piece of cinamotography. Jason Patrick and Robert Duvall, as usual provide the movie with memorable characters. The movie is shown trough the eyes of Lt. Britton Davis (Matt Dillon) who is sent to assist Lt. Charles Gatewood in Geronimo's (Wes Studi) surrender. Geronimo is then placed in the San Carlos reservation.
A dispute between a the military and the indians results in an indian massacre and Geronimo flee's fron the reservation. Geronimo forms a small band of indians who then go out and seek retribution by killing settlers and miners. Gatewood and Davis the search for Geronimo who has gone south of the border. Through the assistance of an apache scout they eventually track Geronimo and his band down. After a discussion between Geronimo and Gatewood he surrenders and is sent to reservation land in Florida. What particularly sets Geronimo apart from many westerns is it's potrayel of native americans.
Many westerns portray indians as blood thirsty saves that fight and kill settlers. In Geronimo the viewer is allowed to see things trough their eyes. One particular instance of this is in the indian massacre seen. The scene opens with a medicine man and a small group of indians involved in a religeous ceremony.
The military did not look favorably upon medicine men, who they be lived preached against the white man and instigated rebellion and conflicts. A small cavalry is sent to break up the ceremony, yet the indians pay no attention and continue the ceremony. At this point one can clearly see how indians were often not given equal rights as a people, most notably religeous freedom. In what is one of the gris slyest scenes of anti-indian violence, the medicine man is lassoed, beaten and then shot. Of course this pushes all the other indians over the edge and violence erupts result in in many dead indians.
Of notable interest is the films depiction o Gen. Crook, and his effectiveness in dealing with the indians. Crook treats the indians with respect and attempts to reason with them. Crook speaks directly to Geronimo and explains to him what his orders are. Crook knows native Americans are intelligent and attempts to communicate with geronimo to control his people. Similar to Crook is Gateways methods of dealing with indians.
In tead of trying to just give indians orders and shooting any of them that opposes, he attempts to reason with them. Gatewood has much respect for Native Americans and has learned their ways and language. These traits make him ver effective in dealing with tha Apaches. He uses Apache scouts to track Geronimo, knowing that the scouts know the land and indian mentality. All these things contribute to his success in capturing Geronimo at the end. Providing a yang to General Crooks yin is Gen.
Nelson A. Miles (Walter Hill). Miles methods in dealing with the indians is entirely different. Through Miles eyes indians are savages that must be corral ed into reservations to keep them from terrorizing "real Americans." Miles doesn't attempt to reason or see things from the indians perspective. He simply enforces orders, using deadly force if neccasary.