A Movie A Day #218: White Comanche (1967, directed by Jose Briz)

Johnny Moon (William Shatner) is a half-breed.  His father was white and his mother was a Comanche.  Johnny was raised Comanche but he now lives as a white man.  He is a good and law-abiding citizen but he has a problem.  Johnny has a twin brother named Notah (played, of course, by William Shatner) and, hooked on peyote, Notah keeps holding up stagecoaches, killing white men, and raping white women.  Sick and tired of people constantly trying to lynch him, Johnny contacts Notah and demands a final showdown.  At the same time, Johnny refuses to tell anyone about Notah’s existence so everyone still wants to kill Johnny.  The only person who realizes that Johnny and Notah are not the same is one of Notah’s victims, a showgirl named Kelly (Rosanna Yanni).  She sees that good Johnny has blue eyes while bad Notah has black eyes.

William Shatner has described White Comanche as being his worst film, which is saying something when you consider some of the movies that Shatner made between the cancellation of Star Trek and the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  Still: William Shatner as twins, one of whom spends the entire movie tripping on peyote.  That sounds like it should be fun and it would be except that, for the first and only time in his career, Shatner actually gives a low-key performance.  When Shatner is playing Notah, he is the Shatner that we all know and love.  But when Shatner plays Johnny Moon, he tries to give a subtle and restrained performance and, unfortunately, the movie is about 75% Johnny.  That’s not what we pay money to see when we watch a William Shatner movie!

This one is for Shatner completists only.


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