Gregory Peck plays San Varner, a scout for the U.S. cavalry on his last mission, which is to round up some Apaches to take to the reservation. This particular group follows Salvaje (Nathaniel Narcisco), the famed warrior who likes to hunt his enemies alone, using a Sharps buffalo rifle for long distance killing and a knife for up close and personal. Salvaje is not among the group, but they do find Sarah Carver (Eva Marie Saint), a while woman who has been living with the tribe for some time, and her boy (Noland Clay), who happens to be the son of Salvaje. After this final mission Varner is going to retire to his ranch in the mountains of New Mexico, while Sarah and her son are supposed to go East to find relatives. But they both know that the pair will never find acceptance back there and Varner ends up taking them to New Mexico.
After they settle Varner gets a visit from his protégé, the half-breed scout Nick Tana (Robert Forster) to report that Salvaje has learned about what happened to his woman and child, and is leaving a trail of corpses across the Southwest making his way to the ranch. The stage is then set for the deadly two-sided game of cat and mouse between these men.Read more ›
Peck plays Sam Varner, a scout in the Southwest working to round up the last vestiges of the fierce Apache tribe. Reluctantly he succumbs to the insistent appeals of a white woman (Eva Marie Saint), whom he has rescued from ten years of captivity among the Apaches, to take her and her half-breed son away from their makeshift camp. The one detail that she withholds is that her husband and the father of the boy is the notorious, bloodthirsty and diabolical Apache warrior Salvaje. And you don't have to be historian to recognize that Salvaje is patterned after the real-life Apache warrior Geronimo.
Without knowing of the carnage that Salvaje is reaping in the wake of his wife and son being taken from him, Varner takes the woman and child with him to New Mexico. It isn't until Nick Tana (Robert Forster), Varner's friend and protégé, shows up and recounts all that has happened that Varner realizes that Salvaje is coming from the child, the woman and for him.
The movie masterfully masks the warrior until the very end, increasing the intensity of its plot and suspense with every discordant strum of the guitars in the soundtrack.
THE STALKING MOON is a must-see western. Gregory Peck is wonderful and defines Varner as only he could. Robert Forster and Eve Marie Saint are also terrific. Wish this one were on DVD!