Often movies that are classified as westerns are based on some sort of myth or event of the past. In this case, the movie Geronimo: an American Legend, directed by Walter Hill, is based on the life of the famous Apache Indian. Geronimo was a leader in a tribe called Chiricahua which tormented the United States Army as it tried to track this band of rebels that were simply fighting to preserve their culture and be able to live their normal way of life. When looking at a movie like Geronimo, one must consider the historical accuracy. In this case the movie depicts Geronimo very well but there are glitches in the movie of which its accuracy is off. .
In the beginning of the movie Geronimo has just made peace with the U.S. Government and is going to attempt to live on a reservation in Arizona. This, however, does not last as broken promises force Geronimo to leave the reservation and take up a war against the United States. Geronimo is followed by thirty men who would help him in guerilla warfare against the U.S. Even though there are only thirty men they were still able to out maneuver the force of 5,000 men led by General Crook. Crook held a high respect for Geronimo and new he would not be able to catch him with out the help of Apache scouts and others more experienced with their ways. General Crook placed a man by the name of Lt. Charles Gatewood in charge of Geronimo's surrender, and later the tracking of Geronimo.
The movie portrays Geronimo as an older well built man. He is not a very loud man until he has to be and speaks passionately with the stern eyes that could strike fear into his enemies. According to history at this time Geronimo was in his fifties and Apaches are generally well large in size. Geronimo is played by Wes Studi who is a perfect choice for the role not only because he resembles Geronimo but brings a passion to the part. Geronimo is played as a chief of his tribe in this movie, but in real life he was merely a medicine man.