Hondo (John Farrow, USA, 1953): Starring Michael Pate (1920–2008), b. Drummoyne, NSW
Michael Pate starred as Vittorio, a Chiricahua Apache chief, in the 3D Western film Hondo.
Despite having no Native American ancestry, Pate was offered the role by producer John Wayne after it was turned down by Gilbert Roland and Pedro Armendáriz, two Mexican American actors.
Pate gained a reputation in Hollywood for playing Native American roles – he later recalled that 25 of his 350 film roles were Native American.
Prior to his move abroad, Pate worked with Charles Chauvel on Forty Thousand Horsemen (1940) and Chips Rafferty in Horsemen and Bitter Springs (1950).
This poster clearly communicates one of cinema’s major recurring themes – the lone cowboy. The inclusion of a woman suggests romance, but she also appears as a barrier to his chosen life of freedom and solitude.
Notes by Michelle Davenport