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 »
Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros.
Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.
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 <email@example.com>
The film was criticized for being too studio-bound and for having too many songs. However, Harry Carey Jr. defended the inclusion of songs as authentic, since cavalrymen did sing on a regular basis. See more »
When crossing the Rio Grande from the United States, the water flows right to left. In this movie, the water is flowing left to right. See more »
[York plans the rescue of children held prisoner by Apaches]
Lt. Col. Kirby York:
Is it dark enough for you to get in there?
Trooper Travis Tyree:
With two men I pick, sir.
Lt. Col. Kirby York:
Two men you pick? I know you're a excellent judge of horse flesh, Trooper Tyree. You proved that when you stole my horse. But how are you as a judge of men for a dangerous mission?
Trooper Travis Tyree:
I consider myself a good judge of men I trust, sir.
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As many people know, Rio Grande is the third installation of John Ford's sweeping "Cavalry trilogy*," his paean and dirge for the forging of the West after the Cival War. In each, there is Indian fighting, romance and Monument Valley. Younger officers look forward to winning glory in the Indian Wars while the older, veteran officers who served in the Civil War are tired of fighting and would rather keep the peace instead. And the enlisted men coming from all walks of life, some running from something, others trying to find something, but all taking war and peace as they come. They want to stay alive, but aren't too worried about dying.
Unlike the first two cavalry films, Rio Grande focuses more on the love between an Army officer and his wife, and the pain his life causes her. This pain is made even worse by the fact that their ònly son has chosen to follow his father's way of life, and winds up serving in his father's command. When, as is inevitable, Indians flee their reservation, the family becomes embroiled in war against the Apaches (whom, everyone knows, were the toughest, most ruthless and evil Indian fighters of them all). :))
This is where Ford moves away from typical westerns. While his Indians are fierce and tough, Ford tries to show in all the Cavalry films that they are also honorable and fighting for home and family, not because they are evil. And while Wayne's character must pursue his Indians until they're either captured or dead, he is not without both sympathy and respect, and knows for certain that it is the white man's treatment of them that is at the heart of all the Indian wars.
Over the years, as I've seen more and more of his movies, John Ford has become my favorite director. He had the ability to make stories with depth, compassion and remarkable truth; and these qualities have caused his films to last. I hope that you will see all of the Cavalry Trilogy, and then seek out all of the rest his movies.
*The other films in the trilogy are Fort Apache (1948) and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949).
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