Reviewed by JONATHAN LEWIS:         

TAZA, SON OF COCHISE. Universal International, 1954. Rock Hudson (Taza), Barbara Rush, Gregg Palmer, Rex Reason (as Bart Roberts), Morris Ankrum, Ian McDonald, Jeff Chandler (Cochise, uncredited). Director: Douglas Sirk.

   Directed by Douglas Sirk, Taza, Son of Cochise is an above average, although unforgivingly predictable and formulaic, mid-1950s Western. Rock Hudson, in a somewhat early role, portrays the title character, Taza, one of the Apache leader’s two sons. Unlike his brother, Taza wants to maintain cordial relations with U.S. government. But it’s not going to be so easy. Not when his brother, Naiche (Rex Reason), and rival Apache leader, Geronimo (Ian MacDonald), both are inimical to his peaceful intentions towards the Whites.

   There really isn’t anything the matter with Taza, Son of Cochise. The plot makes perfect sense, the actors are all more than competent, and the outdoor scenery transports the viewer to the American Southwest. It’s a perfectly fine escapist adventure.

   And yet one gets the feeling as if one as seen this all play out before.

   You know what I mean: good Apaches (on the side of the Whites) face off against renegade warlike Apaches (on Geronimo’s side), all under the watchful eyes of the U.S. Cavalry led by the alternatingly competent and clueless Captain Burnett (Gregg Palmer). Then there’s the love interest, Oona (Barbara Rush), a beautiful Apache woman that both Taza and Naiche lust after. Taza, Son of Cochise is a competently made film, no doubt about it. It’s just not a particularly daring one.

   It’s worth keeping an eye out for Jeff Chandler in an uncredited cameo as Cochise, a character he portrayed with distinction in 1950’s Broken Arrow.