|1956 - 1960
Set in the Tucson, Arizona territory of the late 19th
century, Michael Ansara
starred as Cochise, the Chief of the Chiracahuas and John Lupton as Tom
Jeffords, an ex-military scout and Cochise's blood
brother. Jeffords was married to an Apache
maiden named Sonseeahray (Rita Moreno/Sue
England) who died at the hands of a white man.
The friendship between Jeffords, and Cochise
began when Tom entered the Apache village alone
and unarmed to negotiate the peaceful right away
of Pony Express Riders and stagecoaches carrying
mail through Apache territory. Up to this
point, many people had been killed attempting
Tom Jeffords and
Cochise rewarded Tom's bravery with his
promise to allow passage through his lands
if Tom agreed to be the Indian Agent for the
tribe's reservation. To
symbolize his commitment, Cochise picked up an
arrow and broke it as a sign of peace.
Although Jeffords and Cochise held a strong
respect for one another, there were many who did
not respect the truce that Jeffords had
brokered. Such offenders (renegade Indians,
prejudiced homesteaders, land grab schemers or corrupt politicians)
were responsible for the many incidents that
threatened the tenuous peace between the Apaches
and the "White Eyes."
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Other incidents that caused tensions on the
- Warpath is imminent when two white men
kidnap a white boy raised on the Apache
- During a small pox epidemic, the Apaches
distrust for the White Man's doctor threaten
the lives of their people.
- An Apache Indian working as a scout for
the US Army is torn between loyalties when his
brother who fights with the renegade Indians
led by Geronimo.
- Cochise faces the Army officer responsible
for a massacre of his people that left Cochise
the sole survivor.
- To increase trade and influx of customers,
a general store owner conspires to create
conflict with the Indians to lure more
soldiers into his business.
- During a bleak winter, Cochise requests
more supplies for his starving tribe, but the
regional general refuses his plea.
- Cochise protects the life of a wanted man
after the man saves his life from a mountain
- A plan by an ex-general to move the
Apaches from their reservation to make room
for white settlers motivates Cochise's son,
Nachise to kidnap Tom Jeffords and the general
in hope of ending such an endeavor.
- Cochise's life is threatened when Jeffords
hears of a plot to assassinate the Apache
- Cochise informs Jeffords of Geronimo's
plan to attack the military installation.
- Cochise and Jeffords track down white men
in Mexico who are killing Apaches for their
- Cochise rallies his tribe to save Jeffords
- A battle to the death ensues when a white
settler challenges an Apache suitor for the
affection of a Indian maiden.
- Recovering from a wound received in
battle, Cochise selects a temporary leader for
his tribe, but Cochise soon learns his chosen
man is hungry for war.
- Jeffords intervenes when a general plans
to occupy the Chiracahua reservation in
violation of their treaty.
- Cochise and Jeffords track down an outlaw
whose illegal sale of whiskey to the Indians
caused the death of several.
- A brutal Indian Agent who temporarily
replaced Tom Jeffords while he was out of the
territory provokes rebellion among the Apache
The series (narrated by John Lupton) was based on the novel
by Elliot Arnold and the 1950 movie of the same
name starring James Stewart as Tom Jeffords and
Jeff Chandler as Cochise. Jeff Chandler later
portrayed Cochise in the films Taza, Son of
Cochise and The Battle at Apache Pass.
Michael Ansara who played Cochise is actually of
Obituaries: John Lupton: 11/03/1993; Tom Fadden:
04/04/1980; Ricardo Montalban: 01/14/2009 (played Cochise in
original TV pilot)
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