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.
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>
Conditions were difficult, with temperatures sometimes rising to 115 in the day and cooling only to 90 degrees at night. Shooting was delayed several times by high winds and desert storms. See more »
When Collingwood is replaced by Lt Gates as adjutant, Gates begins to take off his saber. Film cuts to Henry Fonda and back to Gates already seated at the desk. See more »
Of course, you're familiar with the famous painting of 'Thursday's Charge', sir?
Yes, I saw it when last I in Washington.
That was a magnificent work.
[to other reporters]
There were these massed columns of Apaches in their warpaint and feather bonnets... and here was Thursday leading his men in that heroic charge!
[knowing what really happened]
Correct in every detail.
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This is one of my top 3-4 movies made by the Duke. It gets better each time I watch it, and I watch it nearly every time it's on. If you haven't seen a restored version, you'll be amazed at the cinematography. Absolutely gorgeous. I don't think it would have been improved in color, as one of the earlier comments said.
The final scene reminds me of "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" as well. In "Valance", at the end of the movie, the newspaperman says upon learning who DID shoot Liberty Valance, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." The same thing happens in Fort Apache, when the newspaper reporters talk about a famous painting of Col. Thursday's bold charge into the face of the enemy, when it was anything but the truth.
One hell of a movie that should be viewed by anyone who likes great entertainment.
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