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GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND IN LIFE AND ON SCREEN

american legend

Image via jeffarnoldblog.blogspot.com

The film came out in 1993 for an American legend.

 

One of the kickers in Frontier Communications are free On Demand movies.

The Sony Channel skips commercials and runs them straight through from all appearances.

A recent cruise through the selections turned up Geronimo: An American Legend.

Like Days of Heaven with Richard Gere, Geronimo: An American Legend shows beautiful landscape.

Unlike a vanity pic for a handsome man movie man star, Geronimo gets dirty.

Through graphic violence and inhumane treatment, you get the feeling of being there.

Even further, it makes you question what you’d do in the same place, the same circumstances, as the historical characters.

It’s the sort of movie that welcomes opinions when it shows the consequences of choice.

Geronimo is the star of his own bio-pic, but others crowd the screen for attention.

There’s Robert Duvall, one of my favorites and not because he reminds me of my grandpa, though he does.

Any movie he shows up in deserves an extra star.

In Geronimo he plays the tracker helping the Army find the band of Indians off their reservation.

But the most engaging moments come from a young Jason Patric playing Lt. Charles B. Gatewood.

Patric’s Gatewood character knew how to rope, ride, and shoot.

If you’ve seen enough westerns you can tell who’s comfy in the saddle.

In one scene Patric rides against a single opponent, stops, yanks his horse down for cover, shoots the other guy, and stays in the saddle while his horse gains its feet.

It looked tough on the horse. Too many horses seemed to get worked in a realistic way, the way outlawed by animal cruelty in movies, but it was 1993.

We all remember Geronimo. Maybe not for his escapades with the U.S. Army, but in what was popular to yell just before taking a chance.

“Here we go. Geronimo.”

Hardly anyone remembers Charles B. Gatewood.

His omission from what he did to help race relations in the Geronimo days comes from breaking the chain of command.

A West Point ring knocker, put up for the Medal of Honor, Gatewood died at forty three from conditions sustained during his Army service. He’s buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

From wiki:

On May 23, 1896, Colonel D. S. Gordon, commander of the 6th Cavalry, issued General Order 19, which stated:

It is with extreme sorrow and regret that the Colonel commanding the regiment announced the death of First Lieutenant Charles B. Gatewood at Fort Monroe May 20. Too much cannot be said in honor of this brave officer and it is lamentable that he should have died with only the rank of a Lieutenant, after his brilliant services to the Government. That no material advantages reverted to him is regretted by every officer of his regiment, who extend to his bereaved family their most profound, earnest and sincere sympathy. As a mark of respect to his memory, the officers of the regiment will wear the usual badge of mourning for the period of 30 days.

History, big and little history, is full of people who did the heavy lifting.

Putting them in context helps fill out the stories they were in.

Instead of Generals and Chiefs, include the lieutenant.

He deserves it.

Who do you know, who have your heard about, that carries a bigger load then they get credit for?

About David Gillaspie
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