Fort Apache (1948)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  14 June 1948 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 11,894 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 54 critic

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")
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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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


John Ford's Masterpiece of the Frontier!




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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?


During shooting of one scene, it began to rain, but John Ford kept right on filming. Henry Fonda later noted that although you didn't see the rain on screen, the light moisture on the leather of the saddle and harness added an unusual quality. "That was Pappy taking advantage of whatever presented itself," Fonda said. See more »


(at around 1h) The camera pans to the left and to the lower left hand corner coming out from behind the Apache, in the distance (about 1/4 mile), you can see a vehicle racing down the road. 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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Featured in I'm King Kong!: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper (2005) See more »


Sweet Genevieve
Music by Henry Tucker
Lyrics by George Cooper
Performed by Dick Foran
See more »

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User Reviews

A great American film
20 April 2003 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

Director John Ford's first entry in his cavalry trilogy is this excellent film about life on a military outpost far from the glamorous theaters of the Indian Wars on the northern plains. The film touches on character development of the officers and enlisted men on the post, family relationships and the class distinctions among the military social order. Henry Fonda is great as a bitter, unhappy colonel who feels unappreciated by the military hierarchy and is displeased by his assignment to the isolated desert areas. John Wayne gives the film just the right balance as a captain who looks out for his men and knows Indians. Ford has his regular cast on board for the film, and John Agar and Shirley Temple handle the romantic clinches. The pace is slowed somewhat by comedy bits that add nothing to the film's substance. The black and white camera work is stunning and the music is reflective and melancholy.

23 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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