Ulzana's Raid

Director: Robert Aldrich
Year Released: 1972
Rating: 2.0

A cunning Apache, Ulzana (Joaquin Martinez), is roaming around Arizona with his men, raping, killing and pillaging, so a group of soldiers - led by a lieutenant (Bruce Davison) and an experienced outdoorsman (Burt Lancaster) - are dispatched to find him and eliminate him. Lancaster's role is to try to "bridge the gap" of cultural misunderstanding between the white man and the Native Americans, but the way the callow Davison character is written - one minute understanding, one minute cruel and repulsive - does little for the movie on an intellectual level (though Aldrich was never known for making especially thought-provoking movies), and the suggestion that this is actually an allegory for the U.S.'s involvement in Vietnam is thin (to reduce Vietnam to hunting down a rogue man and a few bandits who have their own 'code' is lazy, if you ask me). The periodic stops in order to espouse unremarkable philosophy only drag down an already mundane storyline, though those wheat fields sure are pretty.