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Film / Against a Crooked Sky

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Against a Crooked Sky is a 1975 western film directed by Earl Bellamy.

Charlotte Sutter (Jewel Blanch), the daughter of a pioneer family, is kidnapped by Indians from an unknown tribe, and her brother Sam (Stewart Petersen) pursues them. He joins forces with Russian (Richard Boone), a drunken prospector, and a former member of the tribe known only as Cut Tongue (Henry Wilcoxon).

Against a Crooked Sky contains examples of:

  • Big Friendly Dog: Russian's large, scruffy dog, Bar Killer, loves Sam and follows him around the small cave where they're staying.
  • Disney Death: Sam thinks Charlotte has been executed for the murder of Cut Tongue, and say so to his parents, but in fact Ashkea took the arrow for her, as the Sutters learn when Charlotte suddenly shows up for a visit.
  • Furniture Blockade: Sam and Charlotte push the table up to their door and pile chairs around it to stop the Indians from breaking into their cabin. It doesn't work, because one of them breaks the window with his spear, climbs through, and pushes the furniture aside so the others can get in.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: At the beginning of the movie, Charlotte is bathing in a pond, and Sam steals her clothes and starts dressing up his calf, Callie. When he hears a neighbor arriving on a wagon, he gives her her clothes back.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Sam and Ashkea (Brenda Venus) discuss Charlotte's fate during a day-for-night shot.
  • It's All My Fault: Sam tells his parents that Charlotte's kidnapping was his fault because while he and Charlotte were fleeing the Indians, he went back for Callie. His mother is furious at him.
  • Left for Dead: Cut Tongue was left to die in the desert by his rival for the position of chief. Some Apaches caught him trying to steal from them and took him in.
  • Race Against the Clock: Sam is told that he can prevent Charlotte's execution only one way: by running across a plain and climbing a giant mesa during the short period of time that the shadow of a statue falls across the vein of gold that runs under it, at which point he will be executed in her place. He's just a second too late, but she ends up suffering a Disney Death anyway.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Bar Killer is killed in a fight. At the end of the movie, Sam buys Russian a new puppy, also named Bar Killer.
  • Title Theme Tune: A song that begins with "An arrow flies against a crooked sky..." plays over a montage showing the year after Charlotte's kidnapping, and later over the end credits.
  • Tongue Trauma: Cut Tongue's tongue was cut out before he was expelled from his tribe. He communicates via sign language.