This is a 1950's western starring Guy Madison as the 'doc.' After a confrontation with Indians his cavalry unit loses its Captain and Madison is chosen to lead them to a small nearby town where he will be replaced. The second-in-command would normally take over but he isn't Captain material, so the Doctor reluctantly agrees.
The rest of the unit don't respect him as he only joined the cavalry a few months ago and has no command experience. However the second-in-command out of respect for his dead Captain orders them into shape.
When they reach their destination they see an infantry unit based there. With rivalry between the two groups and the embarassment to admit having no Captain and being led by a Doctor Madison agrees to pretend to be a Captain.
But when the unit is ordered to escort a wagon train of civilians with the infantry he has no choice but to continue the charade.
As they start their journey the town they left is destroyed by Indians and slowly the wagon train shows possible signs of smallpox. Madison is torn, he cannot examine the patients properly without revealing who he really is. The divided wagon train for quarantine is picked off by the Indians and the Infantry leader has a heart attack. This leaves Madison in charge of the whole mission and a change of tactics.
Being close to safety through a montain pass, which if the Indians get to first will have the advantage. In the night the civilians walk to the pass while all the able men stay and pretend to camp for the night. At dawn when the Indians circle them and get close the wagon break the defensive formation and fight on the run. Canons fire from the back of wagons and men shoot the Indians while at full gallop. A sequence of sword fighting and then hand to hand combat by Madison before the Indians over take the cavalry.
Only the civilians have got to the pass first and force the Indians to retreat. The second-in-command shows respect for the Doctor/Captain when he thought he was shot and the Colonel infantry leader finds out about him being a Doctor and rewards him saying the tactic he used will never probably never be authorised to be used again.
Madison also discovers the reason the Indians retreated so easily- they caught chickenpox from the civilians they killed, who didn't really have smallpox. They continue on their way with Madison riding with his female civilian interest who helped nurse the sick children.
An interesting film which is a pleasant change to the usual Western. One of the best scenes is where we see Madison being a Doctor at heart, feel guilty about the Indians catch a disease they have no immunity for and having to kill them when he sees their point of view.
The review of this Movie prepared by H Louise