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She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

Unrated | | Western | 22 October 1949 (USA)
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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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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
...
...
Sgt. Hench
George Sky Eagle ...
Chief Sky Eagle
...
Cpl. Mike Quayne
Noble Johnson ...
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 FORD'S EPIC OF THE FIGHTING CAVALRY! (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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Re-released in France in February 1964. See more »

Goofs

The calendar page that Capt. Brittles uses to mark off the days until his retirement is for the wrong month. The calendar most unusually shows the year but not the month, but it does show that the month has 31 days and begins on a Wednesday. Therefore, the only month in 1876 that this page would have fit was March. But it cannot be March, because it refers to the Battle of the Little Big Horn as having recently occurred and that Battle did not take place until June 1876. Arguably, the calendar should show the month of July, because John Wayne's character indicates that it is the 5th of the month, and news of Custer's death at Little Big Horn on Sunday June 25 would have taken about two weeks to arrive by (anachronistic) pony express. See more »

Quotes

Top Sergeant Quincannon: [speaking to Capt. Brittles about Lt. Cohill and Olivia Dandridge who have been bickering on the trail] They'll make a fine, boisterous couple when they're married, Captain!
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Connections

Referenced in Come Dine with Me: Episode #1.11 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

O Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by unidentified singer at funeral
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User Reviews

 
John Wayne, Cinematography, Both Brilliant
14 November 2001 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Anyone who thinks John Wayne can't act should see this movie and eat crow. A young man then, he played a cavalry officer on the verge of retirement. Watch his eyes (the sign of a great actor). It's a wonder he wasn't even nominated for the Academy Award for this role, which few in Hollywood could pull off convincingly.

It's also a John Wayne western the woman in your life will probably like. Wayne talks tenderly at the grave of his wife, and even has a moment of sucking back weeping when his men show their fondness for him.

This bittersweet, elegaic film about a retiring officer on his last mission doesn't have lots of action in it (Ford seems to have thrown in a fistfight with McLaglin just because that actor had little to do, and though it's corny, it has a wonderful beginning).

Apart from Wayne, the reason to watch this is the cinematography. Monument valley, host to myriad westerns, never looked better. They even captured a marvelous thunderstorm in the background, in these days before special effects (the cinematographer, who did snatch an Oscar, originally protested the work, but Ford made him film the scene and they ended up with one of the most striking natural scenes ever).

For years people didn't think Wayne could act. Some, like me, grew up on his later, post-"True Grit" movies, when he did tend to walk through his parts, more icon than actor. He didn't have great finesse with his lines (neither does a fine actor of today, Harrison Ford), but his roles rarely called for the nicety of a Jeremy Irons. In his better movies, Wayne proves he's more than just a movie star. This is his finest hour, and may be John Ford's.


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