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Escort West (1959)

Victor Mature is Ben Lassiter, a sturdy, dependable hero in this westward journey undertaken by several but finished by few.

He’s an ex-Confederate officer travelling west with his daughter, Abbey (Reba Waters, an unusually tolerable child). Rudely denied the companionship of a Union cavalry unit, he ends up rendering assistance to the survivors – two beautiful sisters, a wounded black soldier and a payroll – when the cavalry is attacked by marauding Modoc Indians.

Further troubles encountered – two Yankee deserters want the payroll, the Modocs return etc – are from the western movie-makers’ cliche collection of things to enliven western treks.

Escort West is an unremarkable but fairly entertaining western. The script is routine, but director Francis D Lyon has paced it with sufficient know-how, even during the talking stretches, to keep interest alive in both the characters and the events.

Elaine Stewart and Faith Domergue are the women who are good to look at in their emoting with Vic.

Rex Ingram plays the elderly black soldier, but the role is not allowed to make the impact it could have with a better script.

The cast includes a few western veterans like Noah Beery, Harry Carey Jr, Leo Gordon (who co-authored the script) and Slim Pickens.

Ben Lassiter
Victor Mature
Beth Drury
Elaine Stewart
Martha Drury
Faith Domergue
Abbey Lassiter
Reba Waters
Lt. Jamison
Noah Beery Jr.
Trooper Vogel
Leo Gordon
Nelson Walker
Rex Ingram
Lt. Weeks
John Hubbard
Trooper Travis
Harry Carey Jr.
Cpl. Wheeler
Slim Pickens
Sgt. Doyle
Roy Barcroft
Capt. Howard Poole
William Ching
Trooper Burch
Ken Curtis
Mrs Kate Fenniman
Claire Du Brey
Elwood Fenniman
Syd Saylor

Francis D Lyon