Thursday, July 9, 2020
Home Videos DVD Review: William Shatner Cowboys Up in "White Comanche"

DVD Review: William Shatner Cowboys Up in “White Comanche”


The easy play would be to trivialize White Comanche, as the thought of William Shatner playing twin brothers in a Western (one’s a bloodthirsty Comanche, the other is a quickdraw drifter named Johnny Moon) should elicit some laughter (and depending where you stand on Mr. Shatner’s acting skills, either derision or unabashed affection). Since I’m a biased fan of the Star Trek icon, White Comanche was definitely a guilty pleasure.

Shatner shot the Spaghetti Western while on a break from TV’s Star Trek, and though his dual performance won’t exactly make John Wayne and Gary Cooper fans quake in their boots, watching him shed Captain James T. Kirk’s skin and strap on a six-shooter is definitely a hoot. Even with two roles in the offing, Shatner still carried a bit of Kirk’s verbal affectations into the White Comanche production.

Even with Shatner’s overcooked performance, White Comanche is an Italian/Spanish movie that, though definitely cheesy and ridiculous in moments, delivered a decent narrative.

Tired of being blamed for killings and rapes committed by his brother Notah, Johnny Moon demands his sibling meet him in four days for a big showdown. Only one man will remain standing from the duel, and Moon is determined to walk out of Rio Hondo alive.

Joseph Cotten (Citizen Kane, Shadow of a Doubt) fans should also check out White Comanche, as he has a meaty role as Sheriff Logan, a principled lawman who wants a little peace and quiet in Rio Hondo. Rossana Yani co-stars as a saloon girl who’s attacked by Notah but eventually falls in love with Johnny Moon.

William Shatner in "White Comanche" - Warner Archive
William Shatner in “White Comanche” – Warner Archive

Most of “White Comanche” centers on Johnny Moon’s journey, and Shatner tries his best to capture the loner spirit of Alan Ladd (“Shane”) and Gary Cooper (“High Noon”). Though, he falls short of that mark, Shatner acquits himself well in the action sequences and actually has a few nice moments with Cotten and Yani.

White Comanche - Warner Archive
White Comanche – Warner Archive

Director Gilbert Lee Kay also brings a few interesting creative touches into the mix, as he occasionally employs mirrors to give viewers a different perspective to Rio Hondo’s goings on (for example, when a group of cowboys ride into town, the camera shoots their arrival by focusing on the mirror that captures their movements instead of pointing the camera directly at the men).

Western fans who love loner type anti-heroes may actually warm up to Johnny Moon . On a mission to kill his brother, he also saves a man from a hanging, risking his own life in the process. Although he doesn’t care if Rio Hondo just rolls up and “blows away,” we know is cold heart will eventually warm up to the saloon girl. Throw in Shatner’s unique acting style into the gumbo, and you’ll get a pretty interesting meal.

Though not exactly The Searchers or The Man Who Shot Liberty ValanceWhite Comanche is a highly watchable Western that’s buoyed by the unlikely pairing of Shatner and Cotten.


White Comanche is a Manufactured on Demand (MOD) title. To order the DVD, please go to this link.

Greg Srisavasdi
I've been a movie reviewer/interview since 1991 (as a UCLA Daily Bruin scribe), worked at Westwood One, Deepest Dream owner, co-editor of Hollywood Outbreak, podcast co-host of "CinemAddicts" and "Matt and Greg Used To Interview Movie Stars." I can be reached at for inquiries or whatever the case may be!

Feel Free To Comment!!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Popular

Puzzle Platformer ‘REZ PLZ’ Weaves Brotherly Tale Of Sacrifice

If I had ample time on my art, pixel art adventure titles would be one of my go to adventures of...

#57 I’ve Got a Movie to Make: Groupers is in the Past Man (Week 57 of 116)

So Groupers is now on Amazon Prime Video which means anyone with a prime membership can watch it which also means it’s kind of...

Hilary Swank Astronaut Series ‘Away’ Hits Netflix In September

Two time Oscar winning actress Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry, Million Dollar Baby) is headed to space in the series...

Suzi Quatro Reflects On Bass Guitar Origins

Suzi Q, now available on DVD and VOD, is an incisive and inspiring look at Suzi Quatro, a Detroit raised rocker...

Recent Comments