After Custer and the 7th Cavalry are wiped out by Indians, everyone expects the worst. Capt. Nathan Brittles is ordered out on patrol but he's also required to take along Abby Allshard, ... See full summary »
The US Army is under pressure from the desperate relatives of white prisoners of the Comanches to secure their rescue. A cynical and corrupt marshal, Guthrie McCabe, is persuaded by an army... See full summary »
J.D. Cahill is the toughest U.S. Marshal they've got, just the sound of his name makes bad guys stop in their tracks, so when his two young boy's want to get his attention they decide to ... See full summary »
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>
Cinematographer Archie Stout and John Ford used infrared black-and-white film stock, developed originally for medical and scientific researches and which doesn't sense the blue and records that color as black, in many exterior scenes shot in the Monument Valley to enhance the clouds and the rock formations. Ford learned that technique from Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa that he worked with for The Fugitive (1947). See more »
After Capt. York rides out to rescue Thursday, Thursday asks for and is given York's saber. When we next see York on the ridge with the supplies watching the attack his saber is in his scabbard. See more »
First Sgt. Festus Mulcahy:
[after Co. Thursday has told the soldiers to destroy the contraband "whiskey"]
"Destroy it," he says. Well, boys, we've a man's work ahead of us this day.
See more »
This beautifully shot western--the first in John Ford's so-called Cavalry Trilogy--about a fatuous Lieutenant (Henry Fonda) whose hubris seriously endangers an isolated frontier outpost, grabbed me by the throat in its quietly scathing indictment of military leaders who needlessly risk the lives of their soldiers to win vague notions of heroism for posterity.
Fonda's Lieutenant Colonel Thursday seems an obvious stand-in for General Custer and the film, despite its reputation, seems less derogatory toward Native Americans than keen to extol the virtues of honorable combat agreed upon between two forthright leaders. Note the penultimate scene, occurring after the massacre, in which Wayne, Thursday's successor, wearily addresses reporters eager to talk about Thursday's `legacy': A glossy portrait of the Lieutenant lords over the room, as Wayne discusses Thursday's merits, while looking out fondly at his battalion, their reflection superimposed over Wayne's gaze. This film is not anti-war, rather pro-service and pro-battle. It is not, however, supportive of egregious fronts to the sanctity of human life; a rather interesting contra-distinction, to be sure.
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