35 user 19 critic

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.



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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Outlaw Clint Hollister escapes from jail with the help of Marshal Jake Wade, because once Clint did the same for him. Jake left Clint just after, but Clint finds him back and forces Jake to... See full summary »

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark, Patricia Owens
History | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Crude and uncivilized backwoods trapper Jed Cooper and his two partners sign up as scouts in a remote Oregon army fort, manned chiefly by untrained rookie soldiers. Jed, flirting with the ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Victor Mature, Guy Madison, Robert Preston
Backlash (1956)
Mystery | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Jim Slater seeks a survivor of the Apache ambush his father died in.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Richard Widmark, Donna Reed, William Campbell
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Steve Sinclair is a world a world-weary former gunslinger, now living as a peaceful farmer. Things go wrong when his wild younger brother Tony arrives on the scene with his new bride Joan Blake.

Directors: Robert Parrish, John Sturges
Stars: Robert Taylor, Julie London, John Cassavetes
The Lusty Men (1952)
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Retired rodeo champion Jeff McCloud agrees to mentor novice rodeo contestant Wes Merritt against the wishes of Merritt's wife who fears the dangers of this rough sport.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Robert Parrish
Stars: Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two friends return home after their discharge from the army after the Civil War. However, one of them has had deep-rooted psychological damage due to his experiences during the war, and as ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Glenn Ford, William Holden, Ellen Drew
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Marshal Wyatt Earp kills a couple of men of the Clanton-gang in a fight. In revenge Clanton's thugs kill the marshal's brother. Thus, Wyatt Earp starts to chase the killers together with his friend Doc Holliday.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: James Garner, Jason Robards, Robert Ryan
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A marshal tries to bring the son of an old friend, an autocratic cattle baron, to justice for the rape and murder of his wife.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Carolyn Jones
Cimarron (1960)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The Oklahoma Land Run of April 1889 sets the stage for an epic saga of a frontier family and its friends.

Directors: Anthony Mann, Charles Walters
Stars: Glenn Ford, Maria Schell, Anne Baxter
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Confederate Major and his troops are falsely led to believe the Civil War is not over, and become wanted men after they attack a Union Army wagon train in Nevada.

Director: Roy Huggins
Stars: Randolph Scott, Donna Reed, Claude Jarman Jr.
Distant Drums (1951)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After destroying a Seminole fort, American soldiers and their rescued companions must face the dangerous Everglades and hostile Indians in order to reach safety.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Gary Cooper, Mari Aldon, Richard Webb
Night Passage (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A fired railroad man is rehired and trusted to carry a 10,000 dollar payroll in secret, even though he is suspected of being connected to outlaws.

Director: James Neilson
Stars: James Stewart, Audie Murphy, Dan Duryea


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


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


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




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 December 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fort Bravo  »

Box Office


$1,520,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


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


Cabot Young: You must have missed!
Campbell: Naw, we just killed the same one twice!
[takes aim and shoots Indian off his pony with one shot]
Campbell: See what I mean?
See more »


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


Music by Daniel Decatur Emmett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"Just Space And Death"
20 July 2000 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

In 1863, with the American Civil War raging, a prison camp has been set up to house Confederate prisoners deep in the Arizona Territory. This is the eponymous Fort Bravo.

Resentful of captivity, the Southern prisoners remain in a constant state of unrest, and escape bids are common. However, the hostile remoteness of the terrain and the vigilance of the Union's Captain Roper make a successful breakout virtually impossible. Beyond the sheer physical obstacles barring the path to freedom lie the ferocious Mescalero indians.

Roper is "the man that's always after people". A stern martinet, he holds it to be a matter of honour that every escapee shall be found and dragged back. He is hated by the prisoners, and though some of his own side dislike his methods, he is respected as an efficient and reliable officer.

There is a void in Roper's life. He needs love. "You've a big fist inside you that's always doubled up," he is told. For all his attention to duty, Roper is deeply unhappy. Then the beautiful Carla Forrester arrives at Fort Bravo ...

The film has a marvellous look. Shot by director of photography Robert Surtees on bright, sundrenched locations and developed in a process called Ansco Color (a new one on me - though that's not saying much), the movie is a feast for the eye. Creamy yellow sand and tawny hills form beautiful backgrounds against which the blue cavalry uniforms stand out magnificently. When Roper and Carla go for their romantic horseride, there is a vast sky above their heads. The shots of the indian riders circling the beleaguered cavalry troopers are gorgeous. At the climax of the film a small group Fort Bravo people is pinned down by the indians in a shallow depression in the sand, and yet again the look of the images is quite simply stunning. Warren Newcombe's special effects include volleys of indian arrows cascading down on the Fort Bravo party in arcs of hissing death.

There are one or two quibbles. Is a troop of cavalrymen the proper unit to garrison a prisoner of war camp? Would a mobile detail which was expecting to be ambushed really ride through a steep canyon? Surely the waltz playing at the fort social event - "The Mountains of Mourne" - is an anachronism? My guess is, the tune wasn't composed until fifty years after this. The 'night in the desert' passages are patently filmed in the studio

  • a great shame, considering the beauty of the location


William Holden is at his tight-lipped, angry best as Captain Roper. Eleanor Parker looks divine as the improbable Carla. The trio of likeable Confederates, Marsh, Young and Campbell (played by John Forsythe, William Campbell and William Demarest resectively) doesn't quite come off as a comedy sub-plot.

The film is a good cavalry-and-indians caper, with Holden carrying most of it on his capable shoulders. There is even a hint of character development, as Roper learns eventually that "there's something better than being tough."

26 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Escape from Fort Bravo mack9201
Very good, up to a certain point grumbs64
Eleanor Parker's never ending wardrobe jawebster2000
IMDB Goofs wrong lee52
Discuss Escape from Fort Bravo (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: