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She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

Unrated | | Western | 22 October 1949 (USA)
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.

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(story), (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
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Lt. Flint Cohill
...
...
...
Top Sgt. Quincannon
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Abby Allshard
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Maj. Mac Allshard
...
Dr. O'Laughlin
Michael Dugan ...
Sgt. Hochbauer
...
...
Sgt. Hench
George Sky Eagle ...
Chief Sky Eagle
...
Cpl. Mike Quayne
...
Chief Red Shirt
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

JOHN WAYNE'S GREATEST ROLE (1954 & 1957 reissue posters) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Teufelshauptmann  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Sgt. Quincannon (Victor McLaglen) is addressing the troops and warning them to "watch them words," he asks who owns a dog that had wandered over and was watching the assembled soldiers. Not receiving an answer, he concludes, "Nice dog! Irish setter!" The scene was improvised on the spot by director John Ford. The dog was an unnamed Navajo pet that had fallen asleep during the setup. Multiple takes were required because McLaglen kept blowing the line, calling the dog a "cocker spaniel." See more »

Goofs

The film says that news of the Battle of Little Big Horn (1876) was spread by the Pony Express - which went out of business in 1861. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Tyree: [after the fight at Sudrow's Well] Sir, would you take a look at Trooper Smith?
Pvt. John Smith aka Rome Clay: [mortally wounded] Don't bother about me, Captain. Trust you'll forgive my presumption... I'd like to commend the boy here... for the way he handled this action. In the best tradition of the cavalry, sir.
Sgt. Tyree: [to Pvt. Smith] I take that very kindly, sir.
Pvt. John Smith aka Rome Clay: Captain Tyree! Captain Tyree!
Captain Nathan Brittles: Speak to him.
Sgt. Tyree: Thank you.
[comes to attention]
Sgt. Tyree: Yes, Sir. Sir! Sir!
Captain Nathan Brittles: [realizes that Smith has died] I'm afraid he can't hear you, Captain.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hikô shôjo (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Tie a yellow ribbon
4 July 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

John Ford, perhaps the greatest film director of the last century, was in love with the pioneering men and women that settled the west. Mr. Ford had an amazing eye for the beauty of the land. This is a film where he pays tribute and his undying admiration to the spirit of adventure of those who dared and had a vision of the majesty of what awaited them as the traveled west.

"She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", is a beautiful film to look at. The glorious Technicolor utilized for the movie stands on its own as the legacy of the director and his cinematographer Winton Hoch whose photography of Monument Valley will remain the yard stick for which other films will be judged. The atmospheric music of Richard Hagerman adds another layer to the texture of this film.

John Wayne, an actor bigger than life, is at the center of the story. He embodies all that meant justice and fairness when things weren't so orderly in the country. Victor McLaglen makes an excellent appearance as Sgt. Quincannon. John Agar and Ben Johnson did good work as the two cavalry officers in love with the same woman. Mildred Natwick was good as Abby Alshard, a no nonsense woman who has seen a lot. Ultimately, Joanne Dru projects such a beautiful image as the young Olivia Dandridge, the woman who wore the yellow ribbon in her hair and conquered the hearts of the men around her.

This is a classic film that serves to remind us about those people that came before us, and, in the case of Nathan Brittles, Mr. Ford gives us a decent man who wanted peace above all with the Indians that the white man was displacing from their natural habitat.


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