Ten Who Dared

Ten Who Dared is a 1960 film directed by William Beaudine and starring Brian Keith, Ben Johnson, John Beal and James Drury. It was produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution. It tells the story of United States Army officer John Wesley Powell, who was the first to travel down the Colorado River, and the dangers that he and nine other men had to face while making a map of the region during their 1869 expedition. Hired by Walt Disney Studios in 1959 as a technical adviser, Otis R. Marston led a film crew through the Grand Canyon to film river running and background scenes for the film.[1]

Ten Who Dared
Poster of the movie Ten Who Dared.jpg
Directed byWilliam Beaudine
Produced byWalt Disney
James Algar
Written byLawrence Edward Watkin
Based onjournal
by John Wesley Powell
StarringBrian Keith
Ben Johnson
John Beal
James Drury
Music byOliver Wallace
CinematographyGordon Avil
Edited byNorman Palmer
Cotton Warburton
Distributed byBuena Vista Distribution
Release date
  • November 1, 1960 (1960-11-01)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States


The film is set in the United States, in 1869.

Thanks to the activity of explorers, soldiers and trappers, the American territory is now well known. On the cards, there are few places marked with an explicit Unexplored (unexplored). One of these places shrouded in mystery and avoided because they are believed to be full of danger is the Colorado River.

John Wesley Powell, a former Northern major of enormous scientific culture, but without an arm, lost at the Battle of Shiloh during the Civil War, gathers 9 men, including his brother Walter, marked by the sufferings of Southern captivity, and obtains 4 boats to set out to discover Colorado.

The journey is long and difficult. On the way, a boat is destroyed by the whiskey drunk occupants.

The meeting with Baker, trapper husband of an Indian and friend of Powell, who tells of terrible waterfalls, makes one of the men abandon the company. Three others mutiny, continuing the journey overland alone, but are killed by the Indians who pass them off as the killers of a squaw.

Powell eventually finds the point where the Colorado flows into Lake Mead, concluding the great feat with success.



Besides the Grand Canyon, other parts of the film were shot at the Big Bend of the Colorado River, Professor Valley, Arches, Dead Horse Point, Dewey, Castle Valley, and Westwater Canyon in Utah.[2]

The Grand Canyon production crew included producer James Algar, assistant director of script Herb Hirst, assistant director and production manager Russ Haverick, assistant producer Alessandro "Vee" Bodrero, head cameraman Gordon Avil, operative cameraman Richard Kelley, medical control Forrest "Doc" Reed, special effects Ray Bolton, makeup and wardrobe Frank LaRue, radioman Lester Gear, mechanic Don "Doc" Hill and rim control Matthew Bruttig.

One of the replica boats used on the film, the Emma Dean, was recovered by local raconteur, Stan A. Jones, in 1969 from the Golden Oak Ranch, a Disney movie lot in Placerita Canyon, Newhall, Santa Clarita, California.[3] The boat is on display at the Powell Museum in Page, Arizona.[4]


According to Allmovie, critics consistently rate this as one of the worst movies made by Disney.[5] Halliwell's Film Guide calls it "tedious and unconvincing".[6] Leonard Maltin's annual publication "TV Movies" gives the film a BOMB rating, describing it as "rock-bottom Disney."

Comic book adaptionEdit


  1. ^ "Otis R. Marston Collection, Huntington Library". Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  2. ^ D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
  3. ^ Stan Jones (1998). "Emma Dean's Last Voyage". Stan Jones' Ramblings By Boat and Boot in Lake Powell Country. Page, Arizona: Sun Country Publications. pp. 75–77.
  4. ^ "Powell Museum boat vandalized". Lake Powell Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
  5. ^ "Ten Who Dared". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  6. ^ Gritten, David, ed. (2007). "Ten Who Dared". Halliwell's Film Guide 2008. Hammersmith, London: HarperCollins Publishers. p. 1178. ISBN 978-0-00-726080-5.
  7. ^ "Dell Four Color #1178". Grand Comics Database.
  8. ^ Dell Four Color #1178 at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)

External linksEdit