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Hondo (1953)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  5 April 1954 (UK)
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Reviews: 72 user | 51 critic

Army despatch rider Hondo Lane discovers a woman and her son living in the midst of warring Apaches, and he becomes their protector.



(screenplay), (story)
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Title: Hondo (1953)

Hondo (1953) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Rodolfo Acosta ...
Leo Gordon ...
Tom Irish ...
Lt. McKay
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Pete - Card Player in Saloon


Hondo Lane, a despatch rider for the cavalry, encounters Angie Lowe, a woman living alone with her young son in the midst of hostile Apache territory. She presumes she is safe because the Apaches, under their chief Vittorio, have always left them alone. Later Lane has a run-in with Angie's reprobate husband and is forced to kill him, not knowing who he is. Vittorio captures Lane and to save his life, Angie tells the Apache chief that Lane is her husband, unaware that Lane has killed her real husband. In order to protect her from a forced marriage with one of the Apache, Lane reluctantly goes along with the lie, though he knows the truth must eventually come out, to Vittorio and to Angie, both. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Hot Blooded With The Heat Of The Plains That Bred Him, Silent As Gunsmoke, A Stranger To All But The Surly Dog At His Side... See more »


Drama | Romance | War | Western


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

5 April 1954 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

They Called Him Hondo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Vittorio was based loosely on the real-life Apache chief Victorio. See more »


Near beginning of film when Hondo is riding the bucking horse at the Lowe ranch the animal seems to change from Chestnut to Bay and then back again. See more »


Hondo Lane: A man oughta do what he thinks is best.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dan Rowan as one of the soldiers underneath a wagon shot during the final attack. See more »


Featured in 100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

This film is the most faithful to the book of any I have ever seen.
27 September 2003 | by (Lubbock, TX) – See all my reviews

This film was the most faithful, to the book, of any I have ever seen. It is based on one of Louis L'amour's early western novels, and the first to be made into a film. Aside from Vittorio wearing war paint all the time, the only part which was not really faithful to the book was the final battle where the stereotypical Hollywood Indian battle was substituted for the manner in which Apaches actually fought.

Louis L'amour was the most successful western novelist in history, having sold more than a quarter of a billion books before his death in 1988. Reading the book, Hondo, I often suspected it had been written with John Wayne in mind as Hondo Lane. I cannot picture Glenn Ford as Hondo, as was originally planed.

Much of the dialog was taken directly from the book although much was omitted, and every significant character made it from the book to the film. The only significant negatives were: 1) the fact that the story was condensed into 83 minutes instead of the 100 to 120 minutes, which would have permitted development of some of the minor characters; and 2) the apparent absence of a competent director. Think how much better it might have been if John Ford had directed it. Actually, both my complaints probably boil down to the same thing.

20 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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