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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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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sgt. Beaufort (as Pedro Armendariz)
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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  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Ford seemed to enjoy creating difficulties among cast and crew, starting fights and behaving abusively, all of it designed to make everyone fearful of him and obedient. See more »

Goofs

When Philadelphia seeks aid with getting her quarters in order, the call went out for Mrs O'Rourke, when she arrives she runs through the door followed by another woman. When the camera angle changes from the exterior to the interior only Mrs. O'Rourke is inside. See more »

Quotes

[the regiment is getting ready to attack - Col. Thursday scans the horizon with his binoculars]
Lt. Col. Owen Thursday: I don't see them. Not a one.
Captain Yorke: Well, they're down there, sir... among the rocks.
Lt. Col. Owen Thursday: Have you seen 'em, Captain?
Captain Yorke: I don't have to - I know.
Lt. Col. Owen Thursday: How?
Captain Yorke: 'Cause if I were Cochise, that's where I'd take up position.
Lt. Col. Owen Thursday: And that dust cloud beyond?
Captain Yorke: It's an Apache trick. Probably squaws and children draggin' mesquite.
Lt. Col. Owen Thursday: [dubious, sarcastically] Very ingenious, Captain. You make me suspect your Cochise has studied under ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Thelma & Louise: The Last Journey (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodnight Ladies
(uncredited)
Words by E.P. Christy
Music author unknown
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User Reviews

A Classic
28 August 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film is the first and to my mind the best of John Ford's cavalry trilogy. It is the Custer story in all but name, with Henry Fonda as Colonel Owen Thursday in the Custer role, and John Wayne's Captain York presumably representing Captain Benteen, one of Custer's subordinates at the Little Big Horn, who despised Custer and openly clashed with him several times. This film is notable for its detailed portrayal of life on an army outpost, the like of which I cannot recall seeing to this extent in any other film. The Apaches are treated with sympathy in the film. Captain York respects them, and tries to get Colonel Thursday to, but Colonel Thursday is more interested in winning glory by defeating them. During the film, Colonel Thursday and Captain York clash several times, but at the end, with Thursday's attack on the Apaches a disaster, Captain York tries to rescue him and take him to safety. It is here that Colonel Thursday redeems himself to some extent by insisting on returning to the remains of his command to die with them. All in all, a great film.


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