This is an OK Western with an excellent supporting performance by Raymond Massey.
The main setting for the story is in “Bloody” Kansas just prior to the Civil War when settlers were fighting about whether the territory would enter the Union as a Slave or Free State. We begin at West Point where J.E.B. Stuart (Errol Flynn), George Armstrong Custer (Ronald Reagan), James Longstreet and other officers that would be prominent on both sides of the Civil War are cadets under Superintendent Robert E. Lee. Stuart and a cadet named Rader (Van Heflin) get into a violent argument over abolition. Politics have no place in the Army and Lee punishes Stuart and Custer by sending them to the 2nd Cavalry, the “Suicide Regiment” trying to keep order in Kansas. Rader, on the other hand, is booted out of the service.
When our heroes arrive in Kansas they soon meet pretty Kit Carson Holliday (Olivia de Havilland), daughter of a local freight handler and prospective railroad mogul.. Both fall for her but her heart soon belongs to Stuart. There is little peace before the regiment is called on to combat abolitionist fanatic John Brown (Raymond Massey) and his followers, which now include Rader, who are rampaging through the countryside. With Alan Hale and Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams as comic relief.
This is a perfectly satisfactory action-filled Western/Civil War drama. I thought Raymond Massey was wonderful as the fiery, half-mad John Brown.