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Fort Apache (1948)

 -  Western  -  14 June 1948 (Brazil)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 10,268 users  
Reviews: 72 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.

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(screenplay), (suggested by the story "Massacre")
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Cast

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

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The plot for this movie was loosely based on Custer's Last Stand with Thursday as Custer and substituting Apaches for the Sioux. The cover-up by the survivors and the military of Thursday's blunder is in line with the cover up of Custer's mistakes and deliberate disobedience of his orders at Little Big Horn. See more »

Goofs

During the battle, when York rides toward Thursday, his saber hangs from the saddle. But when he dismounts the saber is held in his waist. See more »

Quotes

[Yorke and Beaufort enter the dance after returning from their meeting with Cochise]
Captain Yorke: Cochise has crossed the river, sir. He's coming in with all his people; wants to talk peace.
Lt. Col. Thursday: He's returned to American soil?
Captain Yorke: Yes, sir. Now with the Colonel's permission, I'd like to shake some of this Mexican 'dobe dust and get back to the dance.
Lt. Col. Thursday: There'll be no time for that, Captain. The regiment moves out at dawn.
Captain Yorke: The regiment? Cochise says he'll meet with you and me and Meacham. We'll take a small detail and ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Fonda on Fonda (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
probably John Wayne's greatest cowboy flick
26 January 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I know that many consider Red River or The Searchers to be Wayne's greatest cowboy movies, but for me, you can't get better than Fort Apache. It is the first of John Ford and John Wayne's cavalry trilogy and is the best of the lot.

I think the most interesting thing about the film is its rather sympathetic view of the American Indians--they were shown as being decent and 3-dimensional and Wayne repeatedly stressed the importance of our country keeping its word of honor to them as well. In fact, it was very funny seeing Wayne portraying the voice of reason while Henry Fonda was more of a martinet and could have cared less about honor and truth.

Along the way, these two great actors are supported by old familiars like Victor McLaglen and Ward Bond, as well as Shirley Temple and her then husband, John Agar. Despite criticism leveled towards Agar by the media over the years (and to a lesser extent, to the adult Temple), I think they did just fine in their roles and made a positive contribution to the movie.

And finally, the action and cinematography is tops. It's hard to imagine a more beautiful black and white film or one where so much care and effort was given to make a great film.


32 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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