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Across the Wide Missouri (1951)

aka Across the Wide Missouri

Directed By: 
Written By:  Writer details not available
Details: 78 mins · English, French

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Cast:

Small Flint Mitchell
Small Ironshirt
Small Brecan
Small Pierre
Small Looking Glass
Small Bear Ghost
Small Capt. Humberstone Lyon
Small Gowie
Small Dick
No_movie_poster Kamiah
Small

Crew:

Small William A. Wellman Director
No_movie_poster Talbot Jennings Other
No_movie_poster Talbot Jennings Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Frank Cavett Story Contributor

Plot:

In the 1830s in the Rocky Mountains, fur trapper Flint Mitchell (Clark Gable) meets at the summer "Rendezvous" with other mountain men, cashing in his furs, drinking, and enjoying contests among his friends. He organizes a hunting "brigade" into the beaver-rich Blackfoot territory, buying horses and recruiting trappers, despite protests from his Scottish friend and former trading partner, Brecan (John Hodiak), who lives among the Blackfoot and warns him that the land belongs to them. Flint outbids Brecan for Kamiah (María Elena Marqués), the granddaughter of Blackfoot medicine man Bear Ghost and adopted daughter of a Nez Perce chief, Looking Glass (J. Carrol Naish). Brecan wants to return her to the Blackfoot, to promote peace between the tribes, while Flint wants to marry Kamiah and ensure the brigade's safety.

Pierre (Adolphe Menjou), a French Canadian trapper, and Captain Humberstone Lyon (Alan Napier), another Scotsman, who fought in the Battle of Waterloo, join Flint on the dangerous expedition. Kamiah successfully guides Flint and his men on their trek through the high passes filled with crippling snow drifts and delivers them to the Blackfoot territory, where they build a stockade. Flint narrowly escapes capture and death by Ironshirt (Ricardo Montalban), a young Blackfoot prince and war chief, who kills Baptiste DuNord, one of Flint's best trappers. Ironshirt steals the brigade's horses, but Flint impresses Bear Ghost (Jack Holt), who orders them returned.

Though he marries Kamiah for reasons other than love, and cannot speak her language, Flint falls in love with her. As Flint and Kamiah grow closer, Flint and Bear Ghost become good friends. Bear Ghost prevents Ironshirt from harming Flint and his men, but catastrophe strikes when Roy DuNord, another of Flint's men, kills Bear Ghost to avenge his brother's death. Although Brecan kills Roy, and Flint sinks into a grieving depression over the death of Bear Ghost, Ironshirt succeeds Bear Ghost as chief and resumes his campaign to drive the white trappers out of his country.

In the spring, Kamiah gives birth to a boy, Chip. On the way to Rendezvous, the brigade is attacked by a large war party under Ironshirt and Kamiah is killed. With Chip strapped to its back, Kamiah's horse bolts during the attack and is chased by Ironshirt, intent on killing the boy. Flint manages to kill Ironshirt, however, and rescue his son. As the years pass, Flint takes Chip to live in the Blackfoot camp, where, Flint believes, Kamiah would have wanted him. Although Flint intends to have the boy formally educated in the East, Chip persuades him year after year to postpone his schooling, learning the ways of the mountains from his father.