Starring the always solid Gregory Peck & Eva Marie Saint, this movie could have been Part II of The Searchers if John Wayne & handsome Jeffrey Hunter hadn't rescued Natalie Wood.
Yeah because in The Stalking Moon (Robert Mulligan; 1968) super cool army scout Gregory Peck decides to give Eva Marie Saint and her child a (horse) lift.
But Eva was found living in an Indian tribe and she has a mixed-race son, so after the army..."dispersed" the tribe, she's completely lost. And what Greg doesn't know is that the father of the child is a super Indian that wants to recover his son at any cost.
Seriously, the movie poster is not kidding, he's like a ninja merged with a samurai mixed with Harry Potter using the invisibility cape: you just are able to follow his blood trail. He even killed a poor innocent horse (the one of the lift). And he's coming after Gregory and company.
The not-horror-films that present enemies as a powerful, omnipotent, nightmarish force always fascinate me. Remember the bad guys sent to kill Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid? After being chased and chased by some dark figures on horses, a worried Paul Newman asks Robert Redford "Who are those guys?".
Not knowing who's the enemy, but the range of his rage (cacophony!) is one of the things that makes The Stalking Moon so engaging. The movie never loses tension and it's very well developed: even in the final confrontation you don't really know how the movie is going to end.
The other, engaging aspect is, of course, the question I asked in this film too: will poor Eva Marie Saint be able to start a new life and be happy? With Gregory? Yeah, because he decided to protect her and invited her to live in his ranch.
There are great secondary characters like a neat mixed-race scout (Robert Forster) that admires Greg and tries to help him. The scenery is also very beautiful when they reach the ranch (cacophony!)...before that it was just dust and sun. Mountains, pines and lovely streams suggest that Greg, Eva and the kid could be very happy there if they hadn't such an enemy following them.
Now the moral question: who is right in this movie and who's wrong? My dad thought the Indian had all the rights to take his kid back; but I thought the child was the product of a kidnapping, so the guy couldn't possibly have any "rights".
What do you think? Have you seen this movie? If you haven't, don't believe in Imdb ratings, but my film review: The Stalking Moon is awesome, a real classic in my books :)
Bonus track: the movie trailer.