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Fort Apache (1948)

Approved | | Western | 14 June 1948 (Brazil)
1:50 | Trailer

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At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.



(screenplay), (suggested by the story "Massacre")
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sgt. Beaufort (as Pedro Armendariz)
Jack Pennick ...
Ray Hyke ...


In John Ford's sombre exploration mythologising of American heroes, he slowly reveals the character of Owen Thursday, who sees his new posting to the desolate Fort Apache as a chance to claim the military honour which he believes is rightfully his. Arrogant, obsessed with military form and ultimately self-destructive, Thursday attempts to destroy the Apache chief Cochise after luring him across the border from Mexico, against the advice of his subordinates. Written by Bernard Keane <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


John Ford's Masterpiece of the Frontier!




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 June 1948 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

War Party  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Fort Apache fort, built for this production, stood for years. It was reused in dozens of productions, most notably the TV series The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin (1954). It was located at the Corriganville Movie Ranch in Simi Valley, California. Today it is possible to visit this location, as it is now administered as a City Park in Simi Valley. See more »


The canyon that Captain York and Sergeant Beaufort ride into to meet with Cochise is supposed to be in Mexico. It is the same canyon that Col. Thursday and his command ride to defeat in the United States. See more »


[Philadelphia is visiting in the home of the O'Rourke's - Col. Thursday comes in, displeased]
Lt. Col. Thursday: Come, Phil.
2nd Lt. Michael O'Rourke: Col. Thursday, sir, I would like...
Lt. Col. Thursday: Mr. O'Rourke, I want no words with you at this time.
2nd Lt. Michael O'Rourke: But, Colonel, sir...
Lt. Col. Thursday: You heard me, sir. Now get out of here before I say something I may regret.
RSM Mchael O'Rourke: This is my home, Colonel Owen Thursday. And in my home I will say who is to get out and who is to stay. And I will remind the Colonel that his presence here - uninvited - is contrary to Army regulations... ...
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Referenced in Major Dundee (1965) See more »


The Girl I Left Behind Me
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Classic
28 August 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film is the first and to my mind the best of John Ford's cavalry trilogy. It is the Custer story in all but name, with Henry Fonda as Colonel Owen Thursday in the Custer role, and John Wayne's Captain York presumably representing Captain Benteen, one of Custer's subordinates at the Little Big Horn, who despised Custer and openly clashed with him several times. This film is notable for its detailed portrayal of life on an army outpost, the like of which I cannot recall seeing to this extent in any other film. The Apaches are treated with sympathy in the film. Captain York respects them, and tries to get Colonel Thursday to, but Colonel Thursday is more interested in winning glory by defeating them. During the film, Colonel Thursday and Captain York clash several times, but at the end, with Thursday's attack on the Apaches a disaster, Captain York tries to rescue him and take him to safety. It is here that Colonel Thursday redeems himself to some extent by insisting on returning to the remains of his command to die with them. All in all, a great film.

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