Seminole (film)

Seminole is a 1953 American Western film directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Rock Hudson, Barbara Hale, Anthony Quinn and Richard Carlson. Much of the film was shot in the Everglades National Park, Florida. The film depicts the Second Seminole War (1835-1842).[2]

Poster of the movie Seminole.jpg
Directed byBudd Boetticher
Screenplay byCharles K. Peck Jr.
Story byCharles K. Peck Jr.
Produced byHoward Christie
StarringRock Hudson
Anthony Quinn
Barbara Hale
Richard Carlson
CinematographyRussell Metty
Edited byVirgil W. Vogel
Color processTechnicolor
Universal International Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • March 20, 1953 (1953-03-20) (Los Angeles)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.4 million (US)[1]


At Fort King, Florida, in 1835, Lieutenant Lance Caldwell is charged with the murder of a sentry. At his court martial, he recounts the story of the fragile peace between the settlers and the native Seminole and how that peace is threatened by the strict fort commander, Major Harlan Degan, who wants to wipe out the natives. Caldwell’s childhood sweetheart, Revere Muldoon, meets Osceola, a Seminole chief and old friend of Lt. Caldwell's. Through respect for Caldwell, Osceola comes to the fort under a flag of truce, but is imprisoned by Maj. Degan. Osceola dies while in captivity and Caldwell is accused of his murder and jailed. Eventually, the truth comes out and the Seminole rescue Caldwell from his prison.


Historical AccuracyEdit

Osceola was arrested under the treacherous and unwholesome circumstances which the film portrays. The character of Major Harlan Degan is based on the real life General Thomas Jesup who eventually had to resign in disgrace over the incident. The name "Jesup" was abruptly changed to "Degan" at the last minute, only days before filming started, to prevent being sued by living descendants of Jesup. The ambush in which Jesup and his men attempt to kill an encampment of Seminole while they're sleeping, only to find they've bayoneted bales of straw wrapped in blankets and disguised as sleeping people, is based on a real incident; Jesup attempted to ambush a Seminole encampment in between what is today Umatilla, Florida and Lake Yale and the Seminole carried out a counter-ambush in which Jesup was wounded, most of his men were killed and he was carried to safety (after being shot with an arrow) by two of his own soldiers. The film is considered exceptionally realistic in its portrayal of the flaws in U.S. strategy during the Second Seminole War, its portrayal of Jesup, U.S. military uniforms and weaponry of the time period, and American social norms pertaining to race and gender. The film was also considerably ahead of its time in its overwhelmingly sympathetic and realistic portrayal of the Seminole people.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1953', Variety, January 13, 1954
  2. ^ Budd Boetticher: The Last Interview Wheeler, Winston Dixon. Film Criticism; Meadville Vol. 26, Iss. 3, (Spring 2002): 52-0_3.
  3. ^ The Florida Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, 1998 pg. 323

External linksEdit