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 »
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>
The "Apache" Indians were really members of the Navajo tribe. 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 »
[watching the regiment under attack by the Apaches - calls for Lt. O'Rourke]
[Lt. O'Rourke rides up]
Get to Fort Grant. Tell 'em where we are. Tell 'em we may still be alive if they hurry. Move!
[Lt. O'Rourke rides off]
And marry that girl!
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Director John Ford's first entry in his cavalry trilogy is this excellent film about life on a military outpost far from the glamorous theaters of the Indian Wars on the northern plains. The film touches on character development of the officers and enlisted men on the post, family relationships and the class distinctions among the military social order. Henry Fonda is great as a bitter, unhappy colonel who feels unappreciated by the military hierarchy and is displeased by his assignment to the isolated desert areas. John Wayne gives the film just the right balance as a captain who looks out for his men and knows Indians. Ford has his regular cast on board for the film, and John Agar and Shirley Temple handle the romantic clinches. The pace is slowed somewhat by comedy bits that add nothing to the film's substance. The black and white camera work is stunning and the music is reflective and melancholy.
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