MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,171 this week

Fort Apache (1948)

 -  Western  -  14 June 1948 (Brazil)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 9,938 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 52 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...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 29 Dec 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 01 Feb 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 09 Jun 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Fort Apache (1948)

Fort Apache (1948) on IMDb 7.7/10

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... 

Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Stewart, Richard Widmark, Shirley Jones
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The journey of a prized rifle from one ill-fated owner to another parallels a cowboy's search for a murderous fugitive.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea
Certificate: Passed Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan
Chisum (1970)
Biography | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Cattle baron John Chisum joins forces with Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett to fight the Lincoln County land war.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Christopher George
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Lawman Wyatt Earp and outlaw Doc Holliday form an unlikely alliance which culminates in their participation in the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Two bounty hunters with the same intentions, team up to track down a Western outlaw.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A former sheriff blames himself for his wife's death during a Wells Fargo robbery and vows to track down and kill the seven men responsible.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Randolph Scott, Gail Russell, Lee Marvin
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Epic story of a mysterious stranger with a harmonica who joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, George Kennedy, Gary Grimes
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A gunhand named Lane is hired by a widow, Mrs. Lowe, to find gold stolen by her husband so that she may return it and start fresh.

Director: Burt Kennedy
Stars: John Wayne, Ann-Margret, Rod Taylor
The Tin Star (1957)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A cynical former sheriff turned bounty hunter helps a young, recently appointed acting sheriff with his advice, his experience and his gun.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Henry Fonda, Anthony Perkins, Betsy Palmer
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Sgt. Beaufort (as Pedro Armendariz)
...
...
...
...
Irene Rich ...
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 | Add 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:

Fort Apache  »

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 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 »

Goofs

During the dance in the Sergeants Mess, when the dancers are coming round in front of the camera in fours, one of the dancers curtsies, but none of the other women do this. They had already done so in a previous shot and obviously the woman must have been confused. See more »

Quotes

[Col. Thursday is meeting with Cochise - Beaufort translates from Cochise's spanish into english]
Sgt. Johnny Beaufort: He says, "The Apaches are a great race," sir. "They've never been conquered. But it is not well for a nation to be always at war. The young men die... the women sing sad songs... and the old ones are hungry in the winter. And so I led my people from the hills. And then came this man.
[indicating Meacham]
Lt. Col. Thursday: [Cochise speaks more - Beaufort pauses] What did he say?
Sgt. Johnny Beaufort: Well, sir, a free translation would be ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cheers: Let Me Count the Ways (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

The Girl I Left Behind Me
(uncredited)
Traditional
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!




45 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Colonel/General Thursday curlew-2
O'Rourke Snr. Adams5905
Fonda as Villain ben-1047
Was there a real Ft Apache? laxlon
Drink of scripture broadwayjoe9394
marching song slamfist
Discuss Fort Apache (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page