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29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Throughout the West, one name means action: Chuka! Tension builds for soldiers guarding a besieged prairie fort against Indian attacks. Their nerves are frayed and their spirits are dying. But there's a glimmer of hope: the lone gunfighter who's come to help them is the man called Chuka!

Rod Taylor co-produced the 1967 Chuka and stars as the titular gunslinger whose lonely path leads to a U.S. Army outpost manned by foul-ups, degenerates, and a half-mad, alcoholic commander (John Mills). Surrounded by starving Arapaho Indians clearly getting ready to massacre the fort's inhabitants, Mills' character, Colonel Valois, refuses to yield to Chuka's demand that everyone clear out and allow the Arapaho to take provisions they need to survive. With Valois drunk and unbending, a creepy second-in-command (Louis Hayward) leading a mutiny, a two-fisted sergeant (Ernest Borgnine) defending Valois against any criticism, and the presence of two Mexican women (one of whom has a romantic past with Chuka) who will not be spared during a slaughter, Chuka does what he can to broker a peaceful way out of the dilemma. Directed by Gordon Douglas (The Detective), Chuka is self-consciously arty (camera angles turn up in the weirdest of places) yet dramatically enthralling. Very much an actor's vehicle that, on the one hand, allows the likes of James Whitmore to wallow in mannerisms, Chuka also features several startlingly emotional scenes. Among them is the aftermath of a brutal fight between Taylor and Borgnine, in which their bloodied characters--too exhausted to speak--communicate mutual respect by pawing at each other's heads, like infant brothers. --Tom Keogh

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Rod Taylor, Ernest Borgnine, John Mills, Luciana Paluzzi, James Whitmore
  • Directors: Gordon Douglas
  • Writers: Richard Jessup
  • Producers: Rod Taylor, Jack Jason
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2005
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007Y08TW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,870 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Chuka" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dennis C. Clements on July 5, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This is one of the better westerns around. The cast is fantastic. The story is very entertaining and action packed. I don't see how anyone could give it 2 stars. The Indians win and the army loses, maybe that's why. But in any event the story line is intriging. Rod Taylor is at his finest as a hired gun with ethics and a deep appreciation for the Arapahoe Indians plight. John Mills, Ernest Borgnine, Luciana Paluzzi, Louis Hayword, James Whitmore et. al. are all excellent in this 1967 western. By the way the fight scene between Rod and Ernie is the greatest fist fight ever seen on film. The Indian attack on the fort is spectacular and the spear scene with Rod Taylor will stun your senses. The ending is special, so don't miss it.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Rob on September 14, 2004
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
A question arises from the movie's prologue, which is actually its epilogue: Did they all die? Then the story begins for this superior Western and gather 'round the campfire buckos, because its a humdinger!

At stake is a doomed outpost of misfit soldiers facing a nation of hungry, irritable Arapahoes, and an unfortunate group of visitors, including two beautiful Mexican ladies and the enigmatic gunfighter Chuka {Taylor). Chuka's duds are so cool, they rival anything Lee Van Cleef ever swaggered in. Late in the film, we are treated to witnessing his fast-draw, and I would say "eye-witnessing", but his draw is so fast, the gun is out before you even have a chance to blink! Taylor is tough as Chuka: his fight with the ape-like Ernest Borgnine literally rocks the timbers of the fort. I could easily imagine the film crew appauding after those scenes were done. Taylor is also incredibly tender in the long-awaited love scene with the Thunderball babe Lucianna Lallapollooza (sic).

This is a very good Western and a must-have for fans not only of Rod Taylor, but Ernest Borgnine and James Whitmore. Their characters are flawed and three-dimensional, but not given to the irritating idiosyncricies that passed for "character development" in later films and television. As the situation becomes more desperate, the interaction between the characters is so good that I felt not only absorbed, but involved in the plot. You might want to have a stash of Sauza Conmemorativo (the Duke's favorite) handy to join the fellas as they try to take a break from contemplating their doomed scenario.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Seen Them All on March 24, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Rod Taylor plays a gunslinger named CHUKA (he was raised by a Chuck Wagon cook...and nicknamed chuka boy by the cowboys). He is on the trail during a winter storm and comes across a group of starving Indians. He shares their fire and gives them what little food he has. He leaves and finds refuge at a Cavalry Fort run by John Mills (an ex-British Officer and his SGT....Ernest Borgnine). Also at the fort is his long lost love and her niece. Chuka tells Mills that the Indians are starving and will attack the fort to get food. The plot thickens with other characters in the fort. Not a great movie but very entertaining and a pretty good "shoot-em-up". Worth buying for it's differences from other westerns.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John D. Page on April 17, 2006
Format: DVD
rod taylor co-produced this tough little gem of a western and plays the title hero also.

the movie starts like beau geaste in that the army arives at the fort and finds that all are dead and then we flash back to what happened. the cast is first rate and the story is one of the better latter 60's western scripts. above it all is mr. taylor's job as chuka. he fills the screen with his spirit even when not on camara. mr. taylor was one of the most underrated actors of his time and as he would prove later with john wayne in the train robbers he was well suited for western movies . this is one you don't want to miss if you love westerns like i do so give it a try.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kay's Husband on January 23, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In 1961 a western novel from the pen of Richard Jessup entitled "CHUKA" was published, in 1967 Richard Jessup wrote the screen play for the Paramount Picture also entitled CHUKA.

In an age when the western movie was slowly receding from Hollywood's attention, comes a very well directed and written western story. In the land of the Arapahoe sits a fort in the midst of winter, the Arapahoe are starving, having neither food nor guns and ammunition to hunt or forage for food. Over the adjacent ridge, inside the fort, are food, guns, and ammunition. The Arapahoe have been ignored by the army and are dying of starvation, having no one to turn to, attacking the fort seems to their chief, Hanoo, the only alternative left.

The fort is entirely wiped out, and burnt pretty much beyond use. The soldiers and other inhabitants? Well, all but a couple are killed. To understand this one must watch the film, I do not rattle off plots as others, wanting to leave to each viewer's discretion just what opinion they form of the film just watched.

I sometimes feel, however, as I write these reviews that the film I have seen is somehow not the film other reviewers, based upon their reviews, have seen. In this present case, if you enjoy westerns, it is beyond me how this movie would not impress. For it is far from the norm where 'oat burners' or 'shoot em ups' are concerned. This is a story with depth of both humans and human nature. It is a varied story, but at its vortex very much a love story, not only between a man and woman but also of love of courage, fidelity, and most of all, duty.

Watch this film from 1967 and see what you think. Should it not be one of your favorites, it may at least give not only entertainment but also a cause for some thought. Exactly how does it end or what is the meaning of the ending we are given. Fill in the blank, there seems to be no wrong answer.

Semper Fi.
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