The following is from the back cover of a book depicting a true story. The book is called BLUE JACKET by Allan W. Eckert, Landfall Press, Inc., Dayton, Ohio, Copyright 1969 by Allan W. Eckert:
"In the year 1771, a white boy named Marmaduke Van Swearingen was captured by Shawnee Indians in what is now West Virginia but was then the edge of the American frontier. Impressed with his bravery, he was not killed but instead was taken to Ohio where he was adopted into the tribe and given the name Blue Jacket, from the blue shirt he was wearing at the time of his capture. The boy grew to excel as a warrior and leader and became the only white to be made war cheif of the Shawnee."
So famous is this story that every summer in Xenia, Ohio, very near where many of the noteworthy historical exents depicted in this book actually took place, the story of BLUE JACKET is performed live on stage in an ampitheatre in the form of classic outdoor drama.
Good people, don't allow the ignorance of others to mislead you into their conclusions. Indeed, this film is highly entertaining whether it is well-researched or not; and it does stand upon its own merit against the test of time whether or not some people who write negative rewiews of this film have well-researched this film and the validity of its subject matter or not. My opinion is to hand controversy over to the controversial; and instead allow for the art of filmmaking to color your own, personal take on this movie as you experience this film and all it means to you instead of what it means to others; for far more colorful and enjoyable this film will be when taken in the context in which it was clearly intended to be, and that is the study of a man who is desperately struggling to uncover his own personal values, and then discover what to do with them. Richard Harris delivers a soulful and well-rounded performance that, if missed, would surely be unfortunate. Yes indeed, five stars for A MAN CALLED HORSE.
It's true the cast speaks in an Indian language but I wonder if that's just to cover up all their different accents. And even though there is a note at the beginning of the movie that the ritual has been well researched, it is doubtful that any white man ever had this honor, which is played with all its gruesome reality with the intent to shock. I can't believe that a white man would ever become chief either. This was supposed to be a groundbreaking film in 1970 because it depicted life inside the Indian camp, which I assume was based on historical research. But the lead was still played by a white man and the entire story is seen through his eyes. And thr emphasis was placed on the Indians' cruelty. This is unacceptable to my sensibilities even though the film did hold my interest, the cinematography was good and I learned a few details about Indian life. Richard Harris is a good actor and the rest of the cast did the best they could with the material given them. But I cannot recommend this video.
Maybe someday they'll be a good film about Native Americans. This isn't it!