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Indian Paint


Indian Paint:

This is the exciting and realistic story of a young American Indian of two hundred years ago and his life in the plains region of what is now known as northern Texas.

Nishko (Johnny Crawford) is a young buck in the Arikara tribe and he is the son of the chief, Hevatenu (Jay Silverheels). As the chief's son, Nishko has the burden of extra responsibilities as he grows up, but his main pleasure in life is the capturing, raising and training of his first horse - a wild one.

In this color feature movie (based on a best-selling novel by Glenn Balch), Nishko develops a friendly rivalry with Wacopi (Bobby Crawford), and they share the hazards of taming the wild colt, Mecapo.

More than 80 per cent of the actors and extras who appear in Indian Paint are complete American Indian or part Indian descent. There is no white man portrayed in this gripping, sometimes humorous but always exciting motion picture.

A staggering amount of research was required before shooting began, as both the producer and director were determined that the film should be as authentic as possible. Instead of renting costumes and accouterments from one of the great Hollywood suppliers, practically all of the hundreds of items required for the picture were hand-crafted. Even the tepees, which in an ordinary "western" movie, would be of painted canvass, were made from soft-tanned skins.

Even before the first scene was shot, it became apparent that Indian Paint would prove to be one of the most expensive motion pictures of its type ever made. That the heavy financial investment was justified was amply proven when after viewing the film, the distinguished editors of Parent's Magazine honored it with their coveted Family Medal Award.

Filmed on location along the far reaches and high limestone cliffs of the beautiful Brazos River country in north-central Texas, Indian Paint was the first motion picture to utilize the spectacular vistas of a region that has been a favorite haunt of hunters, trappers and fishermen since pre-historic times.

Jay Silverheels, the most famous Indian actor of our time, is a full blood of the Mohawk Tribe. Born on the reservation near Brantford, Ontario, Canada, he started his theatrical career at the age of eighteen, when he entered the field of motion pictures.

Among the many films in which he was featured are Captain From Castile with Tyrone Power, Broken Arrow with Jeff Chandler, Saskatchewan with Alan Ladd and Ceil B. DeMille's circus epic, The Greatest Show on Earth.

It was as "Tonto" in the long-continued The Lone Ranger television series that he so fully identified himself with his role that total strangers greeted him as "Tonto". He also had featured roles in many of the other major western television series, including Wagon Train, John Slaughter, Wanted Dead or Alive, Daniel Boone, Rawhide, Gunsmoke and the most popular series of all, Bonanza.

Jay guest-starred on such major network television shows as The Jack Paar Show, The Price is Right, Flashback and To Tell the Truth. Much of his time was devoted to personal appearances as the stellar attraction at such major events as the Shrine Circus, the Madison Square Garden rodeo, and the Calgary Stampede.

Johnny as Nishko


Johnny and Bobby

Johnny and Jay Silverheels

Johnny and Jay Silverheels

Nishko and his father, Hevatenu, take time out for target practice.

Smoking the peace pipe

Hevatenu and Sutamakis smoke the peace pipe.

Tribal Council

Nishko and Wacopi at a tribal council with other young men of their tribe.

War games

Nishko conquers an opponent during war games.

Johnny and Two Bits

Johnny rides his own horse, Two Bits, in this movie.

All Native American actors

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