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Geronimo: An American Legend is a 1993 film, starring Wes Studi as Geronimo, Jason Patric as 1st Lt. Charles B. Gatewood, Gene Hackman as Brig. Gen. George Crook, Robert Duvall as Chief of Scouts Al Sieber, and Matt Damon as 2nd Lt. Britton Davis. The film was directed by Walter Hill from a screenplay by John Milius. It was shot in Utahmarker, Tucson, Arizonamarker, and Culver City, Californiamarker. It was released on December 10, 1993 by Columbia Pictures. There was also a TNT telefilm about the same historical Apache warrior who was played by Pueblo actor Joseph Runningfox.


The movie follows the events leading up to the capture of Geronimo in 1886. The Apache Indians have reluctantly agreed to settle on a US Government approved reservation. Not all the Apaches are able to adapt to the life of corn farmers, and one in particular, Geronimo, is restless. Pushed over the edge by broken promises and unnecessary actions by the government, Geronimo and thirty other warriors form an attack team which humiliates the government by evading capture, while reclaiming what is rightfully theirs.

Historical accuracy

Many of the major figures wrote memoirs that tell a different story from the one portrayed in the movie. The events in the movie do not maintain the historical chronology of the events and many events were merged together, skipped over, drawn out, or otherwise altered. This does not impact the quality of the drama, but it does change this from a historical account of the events to the category of legend that the title gives it. The movie is particularly at odds with the 1929 book by Britton Davis. Such figures as Tom Horn and Capt. Emmet Crawford, which figure prominently in the histories, are omitted.

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