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Hondo (1953)

 -  Drama | Romance | War  -  5 April 1954 (UK)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,216 users  
Reviews: 61 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.

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Title: Hondo (1953)

Hondo (1953) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

First she was afraid he'd stay---then she was afraid he wouldn't. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

5 April 1954 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

They Called Him Hondo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Warnercolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After viewing the finished film at a private screening, John Wayne jokingly said, "I'll be damned if I'm not the stuff men are made of!" See more »

Goofs

When Hondo first encounters Ed Lowe, the shadow of a boom mic is visible in the tent. See more »

Quotes

Hondo Lane: Everybody gets dead. It was his turn.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Men in Black 3 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"No Wonder The Apaches Call Him Enverrado, It Means Bad Tempered"
29 January 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

It don't get much better for western fans than a Louis L'Amour story brought to the screen by John Wayne. I'm sure when this novel came out, the Duke saw it and said this one's for me as it was his Wayne-Fellows Production company that bought it and produced it.

John Wayne must have been some sight on the big screen when Hondo came out in 3-D as originally filmed. That entrance of him walking up to Geraldine Page's small ranch must have put his large frame practically in the laps of the theater audience.

Wayne plays Hondo Lane an army scout who is part Indian himself. His horse died and he's on foot when he arrives at Page's ranch where her husband is gone and she's left with young son Lee Aaker. There's an immediate attraction between the two of them, the sexual tension fairly crackles, Page hasn't had any male companionship for a while. A bond also forms between Lee Aaker and the Duke.

For one of John Wayne's major films, Hondo has a remarkably short running time as compared to some of the epic westerns he did for John Ford. In fact Ford was slated for this film, but dropped out and John Farrow took his place. In the less than 90 minute running time for Hondo, it deals with Page's no good husband Leo Gordon and the trouble the Apaches are giving the local settlers.

Playing the head of the Apaches, Chief Vittorio, is Australian actor Michael Pate. He plays the role with dignity and strength, much like Jeff Chandler as Cochise in Broken Arrow. Indians were now being seen as three dimensional human beings on the screen, Pate's characterization certainly helped that trend along. In contrast to Pate is Rudolfo Acosta as Silva whose hate for the white man crackles on the strength. His hand to hand duel with Wayne is one of the high points of all John Wayne westerns.

Michael Pate was the only one from the original cast who made it to the short lived Hondo television series. Hondo remains the only one of two John Wayne films that got made into a television series, the other being The Cowboys. Wayne's Batjac productions did the Hondo television series with Ralph Taeger as Hondo Lane. It lasted for two seasons but got canceled when TV went through one of its periodic anti-violence kicks.

The cast included a whole bunch of John Wayne regulars like Ward Bond, James Arness, Paul Fix in addition to others mentioned. No wonder Geraldine Page fresh from the Actor's Studio in New York felt an outsider in this bunch. Reportedly she didn't get along with Wayne on the set. But I'm sure her antagonism must have softened when in her motion picture debut she got an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Hondo is one of John Wayne's classic roles it should not be missed by any who call themselves fans of the Eternal Duke.


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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