(1964)2.5Craig ButlerDirector Raoul Walsh ended a distinguished career with the middling, run-of-the-mill A Distant Trumpet. Walsh by this time could have made a Western in his sleep, and it at times feels as if that's what he did here. Granted, the director was working with two disadvantages: the so-so screenplay and the deadly lack of acting skills of leading man Troy Donahue. It has to be admitted that there's not a lot that could be done with either one. The plot is okay, neither great nor terrible, although it does get a bit confused as to how it wants to treat Native Americans. But the writers don't take the plot and make it into anything of any real interest. Worse, Donahue drains the screen of any interest whenever he appears. His performance is one-note and wooden, and he lacks the power that a Western star needs in order to hold the film together and, ultimately, force it to make sense. Walsh does have feisty Suzanne Pleshette on hand, and she enlivens things, and there's some decent work from Diane McBain and James Gregory. But the only part of Trumpet that is really exceptional is the stunning cinematography by the dependably William Clothier, creating gorgeous vistas that do tend to knock one's socks off.