Blood-Mad Savage! Geronimo's Long Career in Movies Photo Gallery
In Imagining Geronimo, author William A. Clements writes of the Apache leader that "his enduring reputation and even his physical appearance make Geronimo ideal for film treatment." Hollywood is great at depicting landscapes, chases and fights -- just ask anyone who's seen The Lone Ranger. But Hollywood is not so great at conveying the complexities of history -- indeed, Hollywood isn't always even interested in the complexities of history. Movies need good guys and bad guys.
Clements writes, "Early in his cinematic career, Geronimo took the role of what Michael T. Marsden and Jack Nachbar call the 'Savage Reactionary,' a stereotypical villain. Of the two dimensions the 'Hollywood Indian' was capable of representing—'the old bloodthirsty savage and his alter ego, the noble savage'—Geronimo usually assumed the role of the former."
In this gallery, we chart Geronimo's celluloid evolution, from the baddie played by Chief Thundercloud to the compelling historical figure portrayed by Wes Studi. William A Clements' full history is here: "Geronimo: Hollywood's Favorite Native for Over 100 Years."