Cinema Station

Western Impressions: Ulzana’s Raid (1972) | January 8, 2015

As a precursor to our film project, 12 Western Feature-Length Films in 12 Months, produced by our company Running Wild Films and 5J Media which will begin production in 2016, I have decided to share my thoughts on films from the genre as I study Westerns in preparation to make our own.

This series of short blogs is titled “Western Impressions”.

Ulzana’s Raid (1972)


It wasn’t what I expected. Sharp’s writing is there but overshadowed by a sentimental and overabundant need to question the “Apache’s” intention. Aldrich’s tough cinema isn’t quite as tough as I always hoped it would be. The best part was the end, Lancaster under a wagon, getting shot and shooting Apaches and wanting to just die out in the desert.

Lasting impression: The final shot of Lancaster licking the cigarette paper.


  1. Sorry to hear this one didn’t do it for you. Personally, I like it a lot and would put it up there with Aldrich’s best. For me, the grown up approach to a difficult and potentially divisive issue is one of its great strengths. Still, it’s not a film everyone likes, nor is Aldrich a director who appeals to all,
    I wrote a piece on this myself a few years back –

    Comment by Colin — January 8, 2015 @ 8:24 pm

    • I remember reading your piece and your affection for the film. Gus Edwards, the other filmmaker/writer for Cinema Station, loves it. But yes, I didn’t though most films from Sharp’s screenplays are great. Perhaps, I will revisit in the coming years.

      Comment by gustravis — January 8, 2015 @ 9:34 pm

      • Yes, Sharp was a fine writer. I actually enjoy hearing from those who don’t like a particular movie as much as I do – I think it’s good to get a diverse range of opinion and it also helps to hear what aspects do and don’t work for people.

        Comment by Colin — January 8, 2015 @ 9:37 pm

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