Flap


1h 46m 1970
Flap

Brief Synopsis

An aging Native American mounts a one-man rebellion against the U.S. government.

Film Details

Also Known As
Nobody Loves Flapping Eagle, Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Comedy
Adventure
Release Date
Jan 1970
Premiere Information
Albuquerque, New Mexico, opening: 19 Nov 1970
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures
Country
United States
Location
New Mexico, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian by Clair Huffaker (New York, 1967).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 46m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Flap, a hard-drinking Indian who lives on an impoverished reservation in the Southwest, is in a constant state of anger over the mistreatment of his tribe. Moreover, he argues incessantly with his mistress Dorothy Bluebell, the madam of the local brothel who resents his unfaithfulness to her. Flap gets drunk one night and commandeers and destroys a bulldozer belonging to a road construction company which is encroaching on the reservation. Flap's act, intended to attract attention to the Indians' cause, results in a heated dispute between Flap and his longtime enemy, Rafferty, a halfbreed and the town's brutal police sergeant. Wounded Bear Mr. Smith, a crony of Flap's and a self-made lawyer who is an expert on Indian treaties, advises Flap that anything abandoned on an Indian reservation becomes Indian property, whereupon Flap and his friends steal a train and roll it onto the reservation, intending to claim it as Indian property. This daring act is noticed by the news services, whose representatives soon arrive at the reservation looking for Flap; but he is hiding out in the mountains, regrouping his forces for a protest march on the town. They parade down Main Street in an attempt to make people see the Indians' plight. Rafferty, in the hospital recovering from a beating he received from Flap because he maliciously caused a comrade of Flap's to suffer a fatal heart attack by cold-bloodedly shooting the man's dog, sees the protest march and from his hospital window assassinates the Indian leader as he speaks in the town square.

Film Details

Also Known As
Nobody Loves Flapping Eagle, Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Comedy
Adventure
Release Date
Jan 1970
Premiere Information
Albuquerque, New Mexico, opening: 19 Nov 1970
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures
Country
United States
Location
New Mexico, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian by Clair Huffaker (New York, 1967).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 46m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

Flap


Perhaps more so than any other actor employed during Hollywood's Golden Age, Anthony Quinn was called upon to personify nearly every ethnicity in the diversity index; a veritable one man United Nations, Quinn portrayed Greeks, Frenchmen, Italians, Hawaiians, Spaniards, Cubans, Filipinos, Inuits, and Arabs. Mexican-Irish by birth, the actor also played his fair share of Native Americans, beginning with a bit as a Cheyenne brave in The Plainsman (1936) - directed by future father-in-law Cecil B. DeMille) - and sixth-billed as Lakota legend Crazy Horse in Raoul Walsh's They Died with Their Boots On. Elevated to the A-list by Academy Awards for supporting roles in Viva Zapata! (1952) and Lust for Life (1956) and Best Actor nominations for Wild is the Wind (1957) and Zorba the Greek (1964), Quinn matured into elder statesman roles by the mid-60s, becoming the face of The Establishment in such films as Elliot Silverstein's The Happening (1967) and Stanley Kramer's R.P.M. (1970). Carol Reed's Flap (1970) represented a change of pace for the 55 year-old Quinn, while simultaneously returning him to the Native American milieu for the first time since Budd Boetticher's Seminole (1953).

While R.P.M. had cast Quinn as a middle-aged college professor who becomes a reluctant arbiter between campus revolutionaries and university dons, Flap called upon the actor to play the revolutionary, albeit an atypical one. Based on the 1967 novel Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian, by western writer Clair Huffaker, Flap is the story of Flapping Eagle, a reservation lout whose drunken escapades are construed by others as activism and who ultimately becomes a martyr to the cause of Native American rights. The film was British producer-director Carol Reed's penultimate production and his follow-up to Oliver! (1968), his Academy Award-winning big screen adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical. As had Oliver!, Flap attends the plight of the disadvantaged - namely, the residents of a downtrodden New Mexico reservation - with a focus that is both comical and tragic but ultimately. The film had gone into production under a handful of alternate titles, among them Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian and Nobody Loves Flapping Eagle, with principal photography commencing in and around New Mexico's Santa Clara Pueblo and the ancient Puye Cliffs. Flap's supporting cast included two-time Oscar winner Shelley Winters and Tony Bill, who would soon trade acting for producer credits on such films as The Sting (1973), Hearts of the West (1975), and Going in Style (1979).

Warner Bros.' ad campaign for Flap contained the tagline "The Indians have already claimed Alcatraz... City Hall may be next!" However nonsensical the reference may be to contemporary eyes, the Warners publicity mill was referring to an event that had gained national attention. As production commenced in late 1969, members of the Native American activist group Red Power had begun what would be an almost two-year occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. The siege of the declassified penitentiary was an attempt to reclaim the land for indigenous peoples, based on a stipulation in the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie that relinquished retired government land to the Sioux nation. Though the occupation ended ignominiously with the activists forcibly removed, the protest played a decisive role in legitimizing Native American self-determination. Flap was a box office failure for Warner Bros. but the studio fared better when it acquired Tom Laughlin's Billy Jack (1971), another chronicle of the struggle for Native American rights that went on to become one of the most successful independent films of all time.

By Richard Harland Smith

Sources:

The Films of Carol Reed by Robert F. Moss (Columbia University Press, 1987)
British Film Makers: Carol Reed by Peter William Evans (Manchester University Press, 2005)
Flap

Flap

Perhaps more so than any other actor employed during Hollywood's Golden Age, Anthony Quinn was called upon to personify nearly every ethnicity in the diversity index; a veritable one man United Nations, Quinn portrayed Greeks, Frenchmen, Italians, Hawaiians, Spaniards, Cubans, Filipinos, Inuits, and Arabs. Mexican-Irish by birth, the actor also played his fair share of Native Americans, beginning with a bit as a Cheyenne brave in The Plainsman (1936) - directed by future father-in-law Cecil B. DeMille) - and sixth-billed as Lakota legend Crazy Horse in Raoul Walsh's They Died with Their Boots On. Elevated to the A-list by Academy Awards for supporting roles in Viva Zapata! (1952) and Lust for Life (1956) and Best Actor nominations for Wild is the Wind (1957) and Zorba the Greek (1964), Quinn matured into elder statesman roles by the mid-60s, becoming the face of The Establishment in such films as Elliot Silverstein's The Happening (1967) and Stanley Kramer's R.P.M. (1970). Carol Reed's Flap (1970) represented a change of pace for the 55 year-old Quinn, while simultaneously returning him to the Native American milieu for the first time since Budd Boetticher's Seminole (1953). While R.P.M. had cast Quinn as a middle-aged college professor who becomes a reluctant arbiter between campus revolutionaries and university dons, Flap called upon the actor to play the revolutionary, albeit an atypical one. Based on the 1967 novel Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian, by western writer Clair Huffaker, Flap is the story of Flapping Eagle, a reservation lout whose drunken escapades are construed by others as activism and who ultimately becomes a martyr to the cause of Native American rights. The film was British producer-director Carol Reed's penultimate production and his follow-up to Oliver! (1968), his Academy Award-winning big screen adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical. As had Oliver!, Flap attends the plight of the disadvantaged - namely, the residents of a downtrodden New Mexico reservation - with a focus that is both comical and tragic but ultimately. The film had gone into production under a handful of alternate titles, among them Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian and Nobody Loves Flapping Eagle, with principal photography commencing in and around New Mexico's Santa Clara Pueblo and the ancient Puye Cliffs. Flap's supporting cast included two-time Oscar winner Shelley Winters and Tony Bill, who would soon trade acting for producer credits on such films as The Sting (1973), Hearts of the West (1975), and Going in Style (1979). Warner Bros.' ad campaign for Flap contained the tagline "The Indians have already claimed Alcatraz... City Hall may be next!" However nonsensical the reference may be to contemporary eyes, the Warners publicity mill was referring to an event that had gained national attention. As production commenced in late 1969, members of the Native American activist group Red Power had begun what would be an almost two-year occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. The siege of the declassified penitentiary was an attempt to reclaim the land for indigenous peoples, based on a stipulation in the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie that relinquished retired government land to the Sioux nation. Though the occupation ended ignominiously with the activists forcibly removed, the protest played a decisive role in legitimizing Native American self-determination. Flap was a box office failure for Warner Bros. but the studio fared better when it acquired Tom Laughlin's Billy Jack (1971), another chronicle of the struggle for Native American rights that went on to become one of the most successful independent films of all time. By Richard Harland Smith Sources: The Films of Carol Reed by Robert F. Moss (Columbia University Press, 1987) British Film Makers: Carol Reed by Peter William Evans (Manchester University Press, 2005)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in New Mexico. Prerelease titles: Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian and Nobody Loves Flapping Eagle.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States November 1970

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1970

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1970

Released in United States November 1970