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 »
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
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 12, 1951 with John Wayne reprising his film role. See more »
Captain Brittles is retiring after 40 years in the army. It is 1876, which means he entered the army around 1836. He says he was "just a boy in blue jeans" when he entered the army. Blue jeans or denim trousers didn't come into the U.S. until Levi Strauss brought the material from DeNimes France to California during the 1850 gold rush. There were no "blue jeans" in the 1830s. See more »
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
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