IMDb > Escape from Fort Bravo (1953)
Escape from Fort Bravo
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Escape from Fort Bravo (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Frank Fenton (screenplay)
Phillip Rock (story) ...
View company contact information for Escape from Fort Bravo on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 December 1953 (USA) See more »
M.G.M.s Great Romance Excitingly photographed in Ansco Color.
A ruthless Union captain is renowned throughout his prison fort as the toughest soldier in the business... See more » | Add synopsis »
(19 articles)
User Reviews:
"Just Space And Death" See more (32 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

William Holden ... Capt. Roper

Eleanor Parker ... Carla Forester

John Forsythe ... Capt. John Marsh

William Demarest ... Campbell

William Campbell ... Cabot Young

Polly Bergen ... Alice Owens

Richard Anderson ... Lt. Beecher
Carl Benton Reid ... Col. Owens
John Lupton ... Bailey
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard P. Beedle ... Confederate Lieutenant (uncredited)
Chet Brandenburg ... Confederate Prisoner (uncredited)
Roy Bucko ... Barfly (uncredited)
Harry Cheshire ... Chaplain (uncredited)
Michael Dugan ... Sims (uncredited)
Fred Graham ... Jones (uncredited)
Chick Hannan ... Mescalero Indian (uncredited)
Eloise Hardt ... Girl (uncredited)
Jack Kenny ... Barfly (uncredited)
Paul Kruger ... Confederate Prisoner (uncredited)
Forrest Lewis ... Dr. Miller (uncredited)
Frank Matts ... Kiowa Indian Scout (uncredited)

Howard McNear ... Watson (uncredited)
Jack Montgomery ... Confederate Prisoner (uncredited)
Alex Montoya ... Sgt. Chavez (uncredited)
William Newell ... Symore (uncredited)
Phil Rich ... Barman (uncredited)
Phil Schumacher ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
Milan Smith ... Mescalero Indian (uncredited)
Charles Stevens ... Eilota (uncredited)
Glenn Strange ... Sgt. Compton (uncredited)
Valerie Vernon ... Girl in Bar (uncredited)

Directed by
John Sturges 
Writing credits
Frank Fenton (screenplay)

Phillip Rock (story) and
Michael Pate (story)

Produced by
Nicholas Nayfack .... producer
Original Music by
Jeff Alexander 
Cinematography by
Robert Surtees (director of photography)
Film Editing by
George Boemler 
Art Direction by
Malcolm Brown 
Cedric Gibbons 
Set Decoration by
Ralph S. Hurst  (as Ralph Hurst)
Edwin B. Willis 
Costume Design by
Helen Rose (costumes: women)
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup designer
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arvid Griffen .... assistant director
Carl 'Major' Roup .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Frank Wesselhoff .... painter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording supervisor
Kendrick Kinney .... sound (uncredited)
Finn Ulback .... sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Warren Newcombe .... special effects
Michael Dugan .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Graham .... stunts (uncredited)
Frank Matts .... stunts (uncredited)
Carl Pitti .... stunts (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Alvord Eiseman .... color consultant
Music Department
Jeff Alexander .... conductor (uncredited)
Will Beitel .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Michael J. McDonald .... score remixer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Fort Bravo" - USA (closing credits title)
See more »
99 min
Color (Anscocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.75 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1954) | Spain:18 | Sweden:11 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (certificate #16569) | West Germany:12 (nf)

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 »
Anachronisms: The time of the movie was 1863 according to the introduction but the revolver and the carbine used ( Colt Peacemaker in .45 colt and Trapdoor Springfield in .45-70) were not invented until 1873.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Major Dundee (1965)See more »
Polly Wolly DoodleSee more »


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27 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
"Just Space And Death", 20 July 2000
Author: Michael Coy ( from London, England

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 shots.

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."

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Escape from Fort Bravo mack9201
Very good, up to a certain point grumbs64
IMDB Goofs wrong lee52
Realism and 'The Mountains of Mourne' 398
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