Captain Richard Lance (Gregory Peck in a role originally intended for Gary Cooper) is a strong, silent cavalry officer who is hated for his by-the-book strictness.
To save a frontier post from being overwhelmed, he takes seven of his worst men – including a drunken corporal (Ward Bond), a bullying sergeant bitter that he never received a commission (Neville Brand), a coward (Terry Kilburn), a deserter (Steve Brodie) and an Armenian Arab trooper (Lon Chaney Jr.) – to the abandoned Fort Invincible to hold a narrow mountain pass against the Apache hordes, led by Chief Tuscos (Michael Ansara).
Lance seems more in danger of a bullet in the back than an arrow in the chest, but he licks his men into shape and – with dynamite and a couple of machine guns – prepares for the attack in which they will be outnumbered by thousands to one.
Only The Valiant was filmed on the cheap, and it shows. It certainly isn’t a classic, but it is entertaining – though Gregory Peck later branded it as the worst film he ever made.
Captain Richard Lance
Cpl. Timothy Gilchrist
Lt. William Holloway
Lon Chaney Jr.
Sgt. Ben Murdock
Lt. Jerry Winters