MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 441 this week

Fort Apache (1948)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  14 June 1948 (Brazil)
7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 11,309 users  
Reviews: 74 user | 53 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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (suggested by the story "Massacre")
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 24 Oct 2010
 
a list of 38 titles
created 27 Aug 2011
 
a list of 35 titles
created 17 Sep 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 12 Apr 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 25 Apr 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "Fort Apache" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Fort Apache (1948)

Fort Apache (1948) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Fort Apache.

User Polls

2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Union Cavalry outfit is sent behind confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail/supply center. Along with them is sent a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers
3 Godfathers (1948)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When 3 outlaws on the run find a dying woman and her newborn baby in the desert they vow to save the child.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz, Harry Carey Jr.
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A Western retelling the tale of the Shoot-out at the OK Corral.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature
Stagecoach (1939)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine
Red River (1948)
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Dunson is driving his cattle to Red River when his adopted son, Matthew, turns against him.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson
Stars: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles
Action | Western | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin
The Searchers (1956)
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Dan Dailey
Rio Lobo (1970)
Adventure | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After the Civil War, Cord McNally searches for the traitor whose perfidy caused the defeat of McNally's unit and the loss of a close friend.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Jorge Rivero, Jennifer O'Neill
The Fugitive (1947)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Anti--Catholic and anti-cleric policies in the Mexican state of Tabasco lead the revolutionary government to persecute the state's last remaining priest.

Directors: John Ford, Emilio Fernández
Stars: Henry Fonda, Dolores del Rio, Pedro Armendáriz
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Sgt. Beaufort (as Pedro Armendariz)
...
...
...
...
...
Dick Foran ...
Guy Kibbee ...
Grant Withers ...
Jack Pennick ...
Ray Hyke ...
...
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

John Ford's Masterpiece of the Frontier!

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 June 1948 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

War Party  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Cinematographer Archie Stout quarrelled with John Ford frequently and even refused to shoot certain scenes the way Ford wanted them. See more »

Goofs

When Capt Yorke reports to Col Thursday at the NCO's dance, he says that Cochise and his people have crossed the Rio Bravo back to American soil. This movie takes place in Arizona, there is no river separating Arizona from Mexico. The Rio Bravo (Rio Grande in US) separates only Texas and no other states from Mexico. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Col. Owen Thursday: We here have little chance for glory or advancement. While some of our brother officers are leading their well-publicized campaigns against the great Indian nations - the Sioux and the Cheyenne - we are asked to ward off the gnat stings and flea bites of a few cowardly 'digger Indians'.
Captain Yorke: Your pardon, Colonel. You'd hardly call Apaches 'digger Indians', sir.
Lt. Col. Owen Thursday: You'd scarcely compare them with the Sioux, Captain.
Captain Yorke: No, I don't. The Sioux once raided into Apache territory. Old-timers told me you could ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Projectionist (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

The Regular Army O
(uncredited)
Music by David Braham
Lyrics by Edward Hart
[Sung by soldiers after Sweet Genevieve.]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Most Powerful of Ford's 'Cavalry' Trilogy...
24 September 2003 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

John Ford's FORT APACHE is the first of a three-film cycle chronicling the exploits of the U.S. Cavalry in the settling of the West, but it is far more than that; as a thinly-disguised reworking of the George Armstrong Custer story, it provides insight about a leader so blinded by his own ambition and ego that his actions nearly wipes out his command, and would have to be 'covered-up' by an Army that always protects its 'own'. Ironically, in whitewashing his actions, he becomes a national hero, giving him, posthumously, the attention he'd craved. The story is a powerful one, and in the hands of a top-notch cast, FORT APACHE is as timely today as when it was first released.

Henry Fonda's Lt.Col. Owen Thursday is a complex, driven man, a martinet who considers his transfer to the western outpost as a slap in the face by the War Department. Accompanied by his daughter, Philadelphia (a grown-up and vivacious Shirley Temple), he arrives at Fort Apache early, and discovers the welcoming festivities are not for him, but for the return of the son of Sgt.Major O'Rourke (Ward Bond), a new second lieutenant, fresh from West Point. The younger O'Rourke, portrayed by John Agar, and Philadelphia are immediately attracted to one another (they were married, off screen), but, displaying a 'class' snobbery, Col. Thursday nixes any chance of an officer's daughter and an enlisted man's son (even if he is an officer) having a romance.

As the new commander, Thursday shows an insensitivity to both his own men (he rebukes former commander Capt. Collingwood, played by George O'Brien, in front of the other officers), and the intellectual and tactical skills of the Indians (drawing the ire of John Wayne, as Capt. Kirby York). He does convince York that he is interested in parlaying with Cochise, however, and soon York, whom the chief respects, is on his way to Mexico, to get him to cross the border for a meeting between the two leaders and the corrupt Indian agent (Grant Withers) whose actions had led to the current insurrection.

Ultimately, Cochise does cross the Rio Grande, and Thursday reveals his true plan; to demand a return to the reservation, or face annihilation. York feels betrayed, and warns Thursday that he's setting himself up for a massacre, especially as the commander intends to bring his entire command to the meeting. Thursday simply sneers at his warning, sarcastically suggesting that York is crediting Cochise as being as brilliant as Napoleon.

The meeting is brief, with Thursday showing no respect, and, sure enough, ends disastrously. Cochise, prepared for a potential betrayal, has lined the canyon walls beyond the meeting place with hundreds of sharpshooters, and, despite York's warnings (leading to his being branded by Thursday a 'coward', and ordered to remain with a rear guard), the Colonel leads his command in a charge, into the canyon...

In an unsympathetic role, Henry Fonda is marvelous, actually making Col. Thursday believable, if not likable. John Wayne, despite star billing, is actually secondary, plot-wise, but is excellent as the officer who learns, finally, what it means to command, by watching the wounded Thursday return to his command, and face certain death.

Major subplots of all three 'Cavalry' films would be devoted to Sergeants, and FORT APACHE offers four truly memorable ones, in Bond, Pedro Armendariz, Victor McLaglen, and Dick Foran.

FORT APACHE is a film that could easily stand alone as a superb drama; as the first of the trilogy, it set a high standard, and is considered by most critics as the finest of the three films.

It is unforgettable!




48 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
O'Rourke Snr. Adams5905
Colonel/General Thursday curlew-2
Fonda as Villain ben-1047
Drink of scripture broadwayjoe9394
marching song slamfist
John Ford cavalry trilogy mike-foxton4
Discuss Fort Apache (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page