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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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Writers:

(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
...
...
...
Top Sgt. Quincannon
...
Abby Allshard
...
Maj. 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:

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 »

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

John Ford decided to cast John Wayne as Capt. Nathan Brittles after seeing his performance as Thomas Dunson in Red River (1948). See more »

Goofs

Captain Brittles marks off his final days of service on the calendar, crosses off the week, then tears the page off and throws it in the fire. When he does so, the next page is identical (31-day month, starting on Wednesday). See more »

Quotes

Chief Pony That Walks: Hey, Nathan! Nathan! I am a Christian! Hallelujah! Old friend, me. Long time. Long time.
Captain Nathan Brittles: I come in peace, Pony That Walks.
Chief Pony That Walks: Talk a salt, Nathan. Take salt. Smoke pipe. Good. Good.
Captain Nathan Brittles: Pony That Walks, my heart is sad at what I see. Your young men painted for war. Their scalp knives red. The medicine drums talking. It is a bad thing!
Chief Pony That Walks: A bad thing, Nathan. Many will die. My young men, your young men. No good. No good.
Captain Nathan Brittles: We must stop this war.
Chief Pony That Walks: Too late, Nathan. Young men do not listen to me. They listen ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

She Wore A Yellow Ribbon
(uncredited)
Heard over opening credits, in score and sung by troopers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wayne matures as the theme befits the role.
4 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The second instalment of the acclaimed John Ford cavalry trilogy had a lot to live up to after Fort Apache. So it may not be too controversial to state that "Yellow Ribbon" doesn't quite achieve the potential promise that Fort Apache's foundation building provided. However, here is still a mighty western of many joys.

The lead theme here is the passing of time, of time and love lost, lest we forget indeed. These themes give the film a strong emotional heartbeat to work from, even if there is not much in the way of adrenalin pumping. Accepting it as an affecting character piece is something of a requisite if you want to get the most out of it, and of course the gifted art of film making is very much on the film's side here as well.

John Wayne gives a top notch performance in what is obviously one of the first out and out serious roles that Ford gave him. His ageing Captain Nathan Brittles requires him to put in a very fallible human type performance, something that he achieves in spades. He's a believable leader who is ruing the calling of time on his career in the service. Yet even Wayne's affecting turn is trumped by some of the the most gorgeous cinematography you could wish to see from the 1940s.

Winton Hoch clashed with Ford on the shoot about various perfections (both parties equally to blame of course), but the final result is incredible. Witness a scene as Brittles visits his dead wife's grave, the backdrop is all purple and red, a storm is imminent, metaphorically and in reality. Has shooting in the desert ever been so colourfully lush?

The film leaves an indelible mark on the conscious for its art and performances (Joanne Dru, Ben Johnson, Victor McLaglen & Harry Carey Jr bring their "A" Game), but as a story it just about gets by because John Ford knows his onions and structures it with precision and a genuine love of the genre and material to hand. 8/10


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A trilogy that should be in BD format!!!! jdemech02
What happened to Caot. Brittles Family? reelsmalloy
Ben Johnson paulmoran99
Historical Screw Up lexnlido2
stupid indians? hepe-1
Is it me or is 'SWAYR' a western art-house film chubbs1469
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