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 215% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Frank Fenton (screenplay)
Phillip Rock (story) ...
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Release Date:
4 December 1953 (USA) See more »
M.G.M.s Great Romance Excitingly photographed in Ansco Color.
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
(19 articles)
User Reviews:
A female's perspective See more (35 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:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:13 | 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 »
Factual errors: Director John Sturgess likes to dress his P.O.W officers in their dress uniforms. Common sense would dictate that a P.O.W. is usually not wearing his dress uniform when captured.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 »
Soothe My Lonely HeartSee more »


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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
A female's perspective, 21 April 2011
Author: abcj-2 from South Carolina, USA

I don't know if many females watch westerns, especially those that are not on the main radar of well-known westerns like those by John Ford. As a horse lover who grew up riding either western or bareback on my grandparents' farm, I've always had an affinity for western films. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a good western, so that is how I came to watch Escape from Fort Bravo (1953).

I chose this film in particular because I like to see William Holden when he was just hitting his stardom, and before his alcohol abuse had aged him prematurely and affected his magnetism. I also enjoy Eleanor Parker. Although her career never reached the peak of Holden's, she is a fine actress that always improves a film. It also has a strong supporting cast of familiar actors who had enduring careers on American television.

The story has been described in many of the reviews already. My only addition is that the romantic elements aid this film to that of "A" western status. The romance ensures that Holden's vulnerability is truly exposed. Who would have guessed that this type of man would not only have a green thumb but also fall so deeply in love? That he would have a yearning for something bigger, something more in his life than being a power hungry soldier. If he was just the cruel, by-the-book captain, there would be no reason to care whether he survives the onslaught of the Indians. It would just be another North against the South picture with an unfeeling Union captain who one might hope would get caught in the crossfire of the attack.

The costuming, location setting, and glorious color all support the romantic elements as well. The female costuming was beautiful and women of any status would have dressed well even if it was impractical for the desert. Women still dress impractically in most cultures today. Also, other than one breakdown as doom sets in, Parker was given few lines during the climactic gunfight and never begged to be taken away or distract Holden from his command. I think Sturges used Parker's character well, but he didn't let her get in the way of the main draw which was the action and adventure.

I probably would have given up on the film if Holden had stayed in a perpetual bad mood and continued to incite the prisoners and even his fellow soldiers with his barbaric methods for wrangling in escapees. The romantic elements made him a character to care about with the dilemma around Holden and Parker adding to the suspense. The romance gives the film a bit of an epic feel and not just that of a western. I get the feeling that this was intentional and not just a byproduct of a sidebar romantic plot device. All of these things, including the score and the melancholy song sung by the rebel soldier, take this film up a notch and ensure its "A" western status.

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Eleanor Parker's never ending wardrobe jawebster2000
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