Flaming Feather is a 1952 Technicolor Western film directed by Ray Enright and starring Sterling Hayden. The film was shot on location around Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona, Arizona, and at the Montezuma Castle National Monument near Sedona. The local Yavapai Indians, who were employed as extras on the production, refused to enter the cliff-dwellings because they represented the "dwelling place of the dead." Consequently, production was delayed while a band of Navajos was brought in from a reservation 137 miles away to replace them.
Newspaper advertisement for Flaming Feather and The Boogie Man Will Get You
|Directed by||Ray Enright|
|Produced by||Nat Holt|
|Written by||Gerald Drayson Adams|
|Music by||Paul Sawtell|
|Edited by||Elmo Billings|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$1.25 million (US rentals)|
A mysterious outlaw, known only as The Sidewinder (Victor Jory), is terrorizing Arizona settlers. A rancher whose property was raided, Tex McCloud (Sterling Hayden), and a U.S. Cavalry officer named Blaine (Forrest Tucker) both decide to seek justice. They even make a friendly wager over which one will get to The Sidewinder first.
A wealthy saloon entertainer, Carolina (Arleen Whelan), tries to persuade Tex to also go after Lucky Lee, a mine owner who owes her $20,000. She also tries to seduce Tex, but he's not interested.
After he changes hotel rooms with Lucky's longtime sweetheart, Nora Logan (Barbara Rush), an ambush is attempted by gambler Showdown Calhoun (Richard Arlen) and his partner, who come to the wrong room. Nora is the one they're after, and she becomes a kidnap victim on the stagecoach. For the second time, though, Tex rides to her rescue.
Nora explains that she's involved with Lucky only out of gratitude for one saving her from a similar assault. Lucky offers a theory that Tombstone Jack is the notorious Sidewinder, but after Carolina sneaks up on Tombstone and kills him, Tex and Blaine begin to suspect that Lucky is the man they're after. Turquoise (Carol Thurston), a Ute woman who loves Lucky, knows for a fact he's the outlaw.
Now the marshal for the territory, Tex and a posse go after Lucky, who has snatched Nora and ridden off to a hideout. Lucky conspires with a band of Utes to attack the posse. Carolina and Showdown are killed. Tex and Blaine get to the hideout, but the jealous Turquoise has already killed Lucky, beating them to the punch. The men call off their wager.
- Sterling Hayden as Tex McCloud
- Forrest Tucker as Lt. Tom Blaine
- Arleen Whelan as Carolina
- Barbara Rush as Nora Logan
- Victor Jory as Lucky Lee aka Sidewinder
- Richard Arlen as Eddie 'Showdown' Calhoun
- Edgar Buchanan as Sgt. O'Rourke
- Carol Thurston as Turquoise
- Ian MacDonald as Tombstone Jack
- George Cleveland as Doc Fallon
- 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953