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Rio Grande (1950)

Approved | | Romance, Western | 15 November 1950 (USA)
A cavalry officer posted on the Rio Grande must deal with murderous raiding Apaches, his son who's a risk-taking recruit and his wife from whom he has been separated for many years.



(screenplay) (as James Kevin Mc Guinness), (Saturday Evening Post story)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sons of the Pioneers ...
Regimental Musicians (as Sons Of The Pioneers)
Peter Ortiz ...
Capt. Prescott
Karolyn Grimes ...
Margaret Mary
Alberto Morin ...
Stan Jones ...


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 <cryan@direct.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE BREATHTAKING SAGA OF THE UNITED STATES CAVALRY! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 November 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Ford and Merian C. Cooper's Rio Grande  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,214,899 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


As Col. Kirby and his troop approach the Rio Grande, we are shown a wide shot of the river in the distance with no sign of an engagement between the Apache and the Mexican soldiers. As the troop gets closer, we see smoke rising and the Mexican soldiers start to approach the river bank. See more »


Trooper Travis Tyree: Get 'er done, Reb.
See more »


Follows She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) See more »


Down By the Glenside
Written by Peadar Kearney
Performed by the Sons of the Pioneers
See more »

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User Reviews

Grande indeed
25 October 2002 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

This is an excellent film. Not usually a western fan, I am now a true-believer -- fan of the genre, of Wayne and O'Hara, and even, reluctantly, John Ford. Rio Grande captures the spirit of heroism that colors most of John Ford's best work. Strong personalities pursuing their values with a philosophical issue dividing them: it has an excellent, concise plot, well-developed characters, and boasts fantastic acting. Ford even shies away from allowing the scenery to star in the picture, which is a welcomed departure. With monuments like Wayne and O'Hara one does not need Monument Valley (this writer humbly submits.)

There is a profoundly moving scene in which Kirby and Kathleen York's entire relationship is summed up in the mere singing of a song (by the unforgettable voice of Ken Curtis) and O'Hara and Wayne's excellent acting -- hardly any dialogue, no flashbacks. It has to be cinematic moment for the history books... it is at least in mine.

By the way, avoid the colorized version if possible. Among other distractions, it makes John Wayne's hair look like instant brownie mix.

23 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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