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Escape from Fort Bravo (1953)

Passed | | Western | 4 December 1953 (USA)
During the Civil War, a group of Confederates escapes from the Union POW camp at Fort Bravo but has to contend with the desert, the Mescalero Indians and the pursuing Union troops.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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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
...
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 | Plot 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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,520,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Anscocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 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

The music at the wedding reception is "My Darling Clementine," which wasn't written until 1884. 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

Edited into How the West Was Won (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

When Johnny Comes Marching Home
(uncredited)
Written by Louis Lambert
See more »

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User Reviews

Worthy 1953 Western with William Holden & Eleanor Parker
29 April 2012 | by (Ohio/PA border) – See all my reviews

Released in 1953, "Escape from Fort Bravo" was always one of my favorite 50's Westerns. It stars William Holden as Capt. Roper, who ruthlessly oversees a group of Confederate prisoners at a fort in the SW wilderness. John Forsythe plays Confederate prisoner Capt. Marsh and Eleanor Parker stars as Carla, a woman who visits the fort under the pretense of attending a wedding. As Roper falls for Carla, the Confederates take advantage of his love blinded-ness. When Roper goes after a group of escapees the soldiers have no recourse but to team up against a band of marauding Mescalero Indians.

William Holden was in his prime here, as was the breathtaking Eleanor Parker, both stunning examples of masculine strength and feminine charm respectively.

Although the soldiers rarely miss and the Natives rarely hit, the Indians are depicted in a realistic, respectable manner, showing ingenuity in their resolve to wipe out the pinned-down group of whites.

William Campbell, well-known for the lead Klingon in the original Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" and less-so as the alien Trelane in "The Squire of Gothos," has a formidable supporting role as one of the escaping Confederates. He was almost fifteen years younger and barely recognizable.

The film was shot in desolate regions of California and New Mexico, including Death Valley, and runs 99 minutes.

FINAL WORD: I realize a lot of pre-60s Westerns come off roll-your-eyes lame or artificial, but "Escape from Fort Bravo," aside from the dated opening tune, doesn't fall into that category.

GRADE: B+ or A-


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