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Fort Apache (1948)

Approved | | Western | 14 June 1948 (Brazil)
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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Writers:

(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)
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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:

 »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Ford fired actor/director Paul Fix while the crew was filming in Monument Valley. The writer hired a University of Arizona anthropology student as his guide. After he returned, Ford asked him if he thought he had gathered enough information. When Nugent answered yes, Ford told him, "Good. Now forget everything you've read and we'll start writing a movie." 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

Captain Yorke: [quoting regulations] "An officer, upon reporting to a new post, must wait upon his commanding officer at the first possible moment. He will leave his card."
2nd Lt. Michael O'Rourke: [continuing to quote the regulation] "He will leave an additional card for each lady in the commanding officer's family."
Captain Yorke: [continuing] "All other officers on the post will, in turn, leave their cards at the quarters of the incoming officer."
[to O'Rourke]
Captain Yorke: Right?
2nd Lt. Michael O'Rourke: Right!
[to Philadelphia]
2nd Lt. Michael O'Rourke: Now do you understand?
Philadelphia Thursday: It was just a duty call?
Captain Yorke: That's it ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in I'm King Kong!: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Genevieve
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Tucker
Lyrics by George Cooper
Performed by Dick Foran
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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.


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