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She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Romance, Western  |  22 October 1949 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 11,183 users  
Reviews: 89 user | 47 critic

Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.



(story), (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent) , 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Lt. Flint Cohill
Second Lt. Ross Pennell
Top Sgt. Quincannon
Abby Allshard
Major Mac Allshard
Arthur Shields ...
Dr. O'Laughlin
Michael Dugan ...
Sgt. Hochbauer
Fred Graham ...
Sgt. Hench
Chief Sky Eagle ...
Chief Sky Eagle
Cpl. Mike Quayne
Noble Johnson ...
Chief Red Shirt


After Custer and the 7th Cavalry are wiped out by Indians, everyone expects the worst. Capt. Nathan Brittles is ordered out on patrol but he's also required to take along Abby Allshard, wife of the Fort's commanding officer, and her niece, the pretty Olivia Dandridge, who are being evacuated for their own safety. Brittles is only a few days away from retirement and Olivia has caught the eye of two of the young officers in the Company, Lt. Flint Cohill and 2nd Lt. Ross Pennell. She's taken to wearing a yellow ribbon in her hair, a sign that she has a beau in the Cavalry, but refuses to say for whom she is wearing it. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The same star...the same director who gave you "Stage Coach" and "Fort Apache" now give you another roaring story of the fighting cavalry! (Ad cuts). See more »


Drama | Romance | Western


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 October 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Teufelshauptmann  »

Box Office


$1,600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sgt. Tyree's horse is named "Laddie". See more »


The cavalrymen in 1876 wear greatcoats with a yellow lining, a pattern that was not introduced until 1883. See more »


Captain Nathan Brittles: [Cohill and Pennell are about to fight over Olivia] Button your shirt, Mister Pennell! Thought better of you. Four years out here and still actin' like a wet-eared "kaydet" on the Hudson. What is this all about, Mr. Cohill?
Lt. Flint Cohill: Sir, I... I decline to answer... respectfully.
Captain Nathan Brittles: Mr. Cohill, it is a bitter thing, indeed, to learn that an officer who has had nine years experience in the cavalry - the officer to whom I am surrendering command of this troop in two more days - should have so little grasp of ...
See more »


Referenced in The Making of 'The Quiet Man' (1992) See more »


St. Patrick's Day
Traditional Irish tune
In score
See more »

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User Reviews

the best of the cavalry trilogy
24 January 2007 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

The fact that the names of Captain Nathan Brittles and Sgts Tyree and Quincannon have passed, not just into the mythology of the American western, but of movies themselves is testament to the iconic status of Ford's 1949 masterpiece, the second and best of what became known as his cavalry trilogy. That their names are also burned into our collective cinematic consciousness is also testament to the performances of John Wayne, Ben Johnson and Victor McLaglen who are all at their best here and yet are only part of a great ensemble that also includes that very fine and undervalued actress Joanne Dru as well as Mildred Natwick, John Agar, Harry Carey Jr and Arthur Shields.

The period is the Indian Wars that followed from the massacre of General Custer and Ford filmed it mostly in his beloved Monument Valley. It is largely devoid of the sentimentality of "Rio Grande" though it is never as dark nor as serious as "Fort Apache", (it straddles the middle-ground magnificently; even the comic fight scene doesn't sit uncomfortably), and while Ford may make the Indians the villains of the piece he nevertheless bestows on them a kind of dignity and some degree of respect. Ford's sentimentality isn't necessarily for the cavalry but for the passing of the 'old' West and the loss of Native American culture

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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