Synopsis by Hal Erickson
One of the better Disney features of the late 1960s, Smith relies not upon humanized Volkswagens or singing bears but on the considerable talents of its cast. Glenn Ford stars as Smith, a tenacious modern-day rancher who comes to the aid of a fugitive Native American boy (Frank Ramirez). When a sadistic sheriff (Keenan Wynn), anxious to railroad the boy into jail on a trumped-up murder charge, begins stomping upon the basic civil rights of everyone within his reach, Smith vows to see that justice is done. Acting as the boy's defense counsel, Smith profoundly moves the jury with an impassioned speech about the wrongs done the American Indian in the name of "The Law." As good as Glenn Ford is (and this is one of his finest and subtlest performances), Smith is stolen by its hand-picked supporting cast, including Warren Oates as an Indian turncoat and Jay "Tonto" Silverheels in a minor role. Many of the bit parts are expertly filled by members of the Indian Actors Workshop of Hollywood.
boy, Native-American, false-accusation, corruption, sheriff, defense [courtroom], rancher, trial [courtroom], cross-cultural-relations, racism