Rio Grande (1950)

Approved  |   |  Romance, Western  |  15 November 1950 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »



(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 ...
Steve Pendleton ...
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 <>

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The Screen's Greatest Director-Actor Team! (1956 reissie title) See more »


Romance | Western


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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
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Did You Know?


First of five movies that paired John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. See more »


When Travis meets up with Sandy and Jeff as they escort the children, he jumps off his horse and sits on the ground just in front of it. After Sandy gives him a can of beans Travis is sitting to the side of the horse, then to the front of it, then to the side of it. It looks like half the scene was filmed in a studio with Travis beside the horse and half in the open with Travis in front of the horse. 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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Featured in The John Wayne Anthology (1991) See more »


My Gal Is Purple
Words and Music Stan Jones
Performed by the Sons of the Pioneers (uncredited)
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User Reviews

Most Realistic of Ford's Cavalry Trilogy; a True Western
9 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

As a writer, I find this to be the most honest and least pretentious of all John Ford's western films. His cavalry trilogy ended with "Rio Grande" (the others are "Fort Apache" and "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon: and it was also the first pairing of John Wayne with Maureen O'Hara, with whom he made five film appearances all told. The setting of the film is not glamorous by anyone's standards; it is dusty, hot, remote, a country for hard men and hard duty. The storyline has Wayne in command of a fort. When his son is assigned to him for training with other recruits, his wife, estranged for fifteen years, follows him--to try to meddle... The storyline makes clear that during the Civil War he refused to disobey orders to burn down her family's plantation; now she's come west, and he wants her back and want to instill his pride in and love for the cavalry in his son. There is rough humor in the film, changes to mind and body, learning to ride, standing up to the elements and to men, lessons the West can demand of anyone who comes there. nd after a plan of Wayne's to protect settlers against the Indians backfires, he has to risk everything to save his career and his command. The theme of the film is that any man has to dare and dream beyond old conventions and ideas in order to reach his best; and that goes for O'Hara as well. The film was directed by John Ford, with script by James Kevin MacGuinness..Bert Glennon's skilled B/W cinematography captures the bleak beauty of the spare semi-desert country, and admirably. Frank Hotaling did the production design and Victor Young contributed the score. In this feature's large cast were Wane, O'Hara. Claude Jarman Jr. of "The Yearling" as their son, Harry Carey Jr., Victor Maclaglen, J Carrol Naish, Chill Wills and many solid western performers. But the best thing to me about the production is the absence of any attempt to glamorize or apologize for the West. The men who rode for the cavalry lived with loneliness, the roughness of the country they patrolled and constant danger from those they opposed; this film makes it clear why men would do this for the meager pay they received; that it was the challenge they took up, as a way to use their abilities and emotional strength to the full. That is why I like this film the best of all of Ford's estimable works.

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