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Rio Grande takes place after the Civil War when the Union turned their attention towards the Apaches. Union officer Kirby Yorke is in charge of an outpost on the Rio Grande in which he is in charge of training of new recruits one of which is his son whom he hasn't seen in 15 years. He whips him into shape to take on the Apaches but not before his mother shows up to take him out of there.The decision to leave is left up to Trooper Yorke who decides to stay and fight. Through it all Kirby and Kathleen though separated for years fall back into love and decide that it's time to give it another try. But Yorke faces his toughest battle when his unorthodox plan to outwit the elusive Apaches leads to possible court- martial. Locked in a bloody Indian war, he must fight to redeem his honor and save the love and lives of his broken family Written by
Christopher D. Ryan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Trooper Yorke brought the word, we came as soon as we could."
According to a trailer on my Quiet Man VHS and Maureen O'Hara's memoirs Rio Grande was a negotiating chip that Republic Pictures studio president Herbert J. Yates used in order to get John Ford to work for his studio. John Ford had wanted to make The Quiet Man for years and the major studios turned him down. Republic was the last stop he made. Yates agreed to let him shoot The Quiet Man at Republic, but first he wanted a guaranteed moneymaker.
Fort Apache and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon were both done at RKO and made money. So Yates said give me another cavalry picture with John Wayne and you can shoot The Quiet Man afterwards.
James Warner Bellah who had written the short stories that the other two were based on fortunately had a third one published. And that boys and girls is how Rio Grande came into being.
Good thing too because of studio politics we got ourselves a western classic. And a family classic as well. John Wayne who is once again playing a character named Kirby Yorke has two families, the United States Cavalry to which he's devoted and a wife and son from whom he's been estranged. How he repairs the relationships between wife Maureen O'Hara and son Claude Jarman, Jr. is the key to the whole story.
As Maureen toasts at a dinner scene with J. Carrol Naish as General Philip H. Sheridan, "to my one rival, the United States Cavalry."
Young Jefferson Yorke has flunked out of West Point and has joined the army as an enlisted man. Through none of his own doing he's assigned to the frontier post commanded by his father. Mom then comes west to try and spring him from the army, but young Jeff doesn't want to be sprung.
In fact to his father's surprise the young man proves himself to be an able cavalryman without any assistance from Dad. And when Maureen comes west, old love rekindles between Wayne and O'Hara.
All this is against the background of some Apache hit and run raids across the Rio Grande. Topped off by them attacking a party escorting dependent women and children away from the post. Young Trooper Yorke rides for help there, hence the title quote.
A lot of John Ford's stock company fills out the cast to give it that familiar look of Ford films. Some bits from previous films were used like the training Roman style of the new recruits. They prove a more able bunch than the ones from Fort Apache.
Some traditional melodies were used as they are in John Ford period pieces, but unusual for a Ford film, several new songs were written for the film, done by the Sons of the Pioneers. One of them written by Dale Evans entitled Aha San Antone. She was employed at Republic studios also.
A fine classic western with a nice story about family relationships and responsibilities one incurs in life.
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