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Pillars of the Sky


Pillars Of The Sky (1956) Jeff Chandler, Dorothy Malone, Ward Bond


In Oregon Country, 1868, several tribes of Native Americans have been placed on a reservation north of the Snake River. Here Doctor Holden has built a church, and many of the tribes have accepted Christianity and Christian names. Sgt. Emmett Bell is in charge of maintaining order here. When the cavalry, under the command of Col. Stedlow, arrives, building a bridge across the river and intending to open a road across the reservation to areas north, some of the tribal chiefs feel their treaty has been violated. As the cavalry column advances into the reservation, Kamiakin vows to lead the tribes in battle against the encroaching white men.

Pillars of the Sky is a 1956 film directed by George Marshall. It stars Jeff Chandler and Dorothy Malone.


Oregon territory, 1868: Indian natives of many tribes trust Sgt. Emmett Bell, who rides into Dr. Joseph Holden’s mission with his scouts. But troop and weapon movement by new U.S. Cavalry commanding officer Col. Steadlow has endangered the peace and angered the chiefs, in particular one called Kamiakin.

An outraged Bell tries to appeal to Steadlow as well as Capt. Tom Gaxton, whose wife Calla was once in love with him. Calla and another woman are taken captive and are rescued with Bell, rekinding their romance.

Cavalry soldiers are massacred by the Indians, and appeals for a truce go in vain. But a particularly bloodthirsty act by Kamiakin results in his being killed by one of his own, whereupon Bell and the chiefs agree to do whatever’s necessary to restore the peace.



The film was partly shot on location in Oregon over six weeks. At one stage it was announced the film was going to be directed by John Ford and star John Wayne.

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