Cheyenne [1996]

In the 1870s, pregnant Rebecca (Kelly Preston) and her husband are on their way across the West when they stop at a trading post. Her husband's naivete (and his prized Henry rifle) soon leads to his death at the hands of a ruthless buffalo hunter, and the proprietor of the trading post (Dan Haggerty) is killed as well. Cheyenne warrior chief Hawk (Pato Hoffman) is wounded in the fight with the buffalo hunter, and Rebecca helps nurse him back to health again, opting to stay at the trading post rather than go along with Hawk. Hawk returns to his tribe, but comes back to the post when Rebecca's baby is due (undoubtedly having figured out the date and put it in his Palm Pilot). Together they form a strange sort of love-hate affair and learn to get around their cultural differences, at the cost of Hawk's affiliation with his own people. There are problems with the script and direction of this movie; for instance, the baby sort of disappears for a prolonged period, and Rebecca seems to get over her husband's death within days. Still, there is the spectacular Colorado (?) scenery and considerable attention to period detail in clothing, weapons, etc. Pato Hoffman is excellent as the Cheyenne Hawk; why isn't this actor better known? --Jerry Renshaw

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