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Escape from Fort Bravo (1953)

Passed  -  Western  -  4 December 1953 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,479 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 18 critic

A ruthless Union captain is renowned throughout his prison fort as the toughest soldier in the business, capable of capturing every escaped convict under his supervision. However, when he ... See full summary »

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Title: Escape from Fort Bravo (1953)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Capt. Roper
...
Carla Forester
...
Capt. John Marsh
...
Campbell
...
Cabot Young
...
Alice Owens
...
Lt. Beecher
Carl Benton Reid ...
Col. Owens
John Lupton ...
Bailey
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Storyline

A ruthless Union captain is renowned throughout his prison fort as the toughest soldier in the business, capable of capturing every escaped convict under his supervision. However, when he falls in love with a visiting woman some of the prisoners seize the advantage and try to escape while he is in a more "mellow" mood. Written by Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

M.G.M.s Great Romance Excitingly photographed in Ansco Color.

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 December 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fort Bravo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Anscocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was planned to be filmed in 3D, but was eventually filmed in 2D, the first feature to employ spherical Panavision lenses. See more »

Goofs

When Capt. Roper is camping with his troop for the night and hears the noise of Mescaleros chasing a stagecoach the scene goes from night time to bright sunny day to night time again by the time the stagecoach comes to a complete stop (19:07 to 20:18). See more »

Quotes

Capt. Roper: When you're in the grave, Beecher, it doesn't matter too much how you got there.
Lt. Beecher: Well, I think it matters. I think it does.
Capt. Roper: Write the War Department.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Major Dundee (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

De Golden Wedding
(uncredited)
Written by James Allen Bland
See more »

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User Reviews

 
MGM Over-Produces a Western
6 August 2007 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

No need to repeat an oft-repeated story-line. The movie has two things going for it-- William Holden in an earnest performance, and some spectacular A-level scenery, some of which appears shot in the uncredited Sedona, Arizona area. Otherwise, the film is simply too flawed to rank among the better Westerns.

Apparently the studio had to really sweeten the pot to get the Oscar-nominated (twice) Eleanor Parker to lower herself into a macho Western. As a result, a number of crippling compromises occur. Her part is over-inflated for more screen time, even though these showcase scenes seriously sap the action. Altogether such concessions undercut the degree of tightness and pacing that would hold interest throughout. Instead, we get some badly constructed studio sets meant to accommodate her many outdoor love scenes. These do have a point in the plot, nonetheless they're seriously overdrawn. Then too-- as another reviewer perceptively notes-- her flashy costumes, spangled hair, and immaculate make-up resemble nothing so much as a countess entering the royal court, and this in the middle of deadly Apache territory to which she has traveled in a tiny stage compartment. This is what happens when a studio places star-power above believability.

I could go on about the damage done by hiring a diva to fatten up marquee appeal-- consider, for example, the casual shopping trip across Apache country that has all the care-freeness of a trip to an 1860's frontier mall-- but you get the idea. Had glamor-obsessed MGM wanted to make a real Western, Parker's part would have gone to the modest-looking and acting Polly Bergen, whose part, as it is, is about the size of a postage stamp.

There are other poorly thought-out flaws-- such as Confederate prisoners who one and all speak as if they were born in Chicago, or the ridiculous prisoners' pen that's supposed to discourage the massed Johnny-rebs from charging a single armed guard. My guess is that the studio didn't put up a more plausible barbed-wire fence because that would have reflected badly on the Union captors. Be that as it may, I'm ready to put up with some concessions to Hollywood commercialism in a good horse opera. But this one simply has too many compromises without enough compensation. (The well-staged arrow barrage is both novel and fascinating, but is about the only dramatic highlight.) Had the less image-conscious Columbia studio done the movie with, say, Budd Boetticher and the Ranown company, we could have gotten something special. However, the way this film stands, maybe a good story lurks inside all that glitz and fat , but it still awaits proper treatment.


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