Fort Apache (1948)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  14 June 1948 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 11,906 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!




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
See  »

Did You Know?


Henry Fonda's last film before he was graylisted for his left-wing political activism. See more »


As the regiment is heading out, we see Philadelphia standing to the far left of Mrs. Collingwood and Mrs. O'Rourke. Soon after, she is on the far right, which indicates she moved. However, right after the close-up of her standing on the far right, the next immediate long-shot has her standing on the far left again. See more »


[Co. Thursday has rejoined his men who are pinned down by the Apaches. RSM O'Rourke hands him a pistol]
Lt. Col. Thursday: Sergeant-Major O'Rourke... my apologies, sir.
RSM Michael O'Rourke: You can save them, sir, for our grandchildren.
See more »


Referenced in Mighty Manhattan, New York's Wonder City (1949) See more »


The Girl I Left Behind Me
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User Reviews

One of the Best
26 July 2004 | by (Kansas City) – See all my reviews

This is one of my top 3-4 movies made by the Duke. It gets better each time I watch it, and I watch it nearly every time it's on. If you haven't seen a restored version, you'll be amazed at the cinematography. Absolutely gorgeous. I don't think it would have been improved in color, as one of the earlier comments said.

The final scene reminds me of "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" as well. In "Valance", at the end of the movie, the newspaperman says upon learning who DID shoot Liberty Valance, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." The same thing happens in Fort Apache, when the newspaper reporters talk about a famous painting of Col. Thursday's bold charge into the face of the enemy, when it was anything but the truth.

One hell of a movie that should be viewed by anyone who likes great entertainment.

19 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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