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Hondo (1953)

 -  Drama | Romance | War  -  5 April 1954 (UK)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,223 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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...
...
...
...
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:

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 »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leonard Nimoy:  As an Indian on the left side (3 Indians in the frame) of the screen just prior to Wayne killing the latest chief. See more »

Goofs

In the final battle scene at the end of the movie, the wagon being driven by Buffalo Baker has one of its lead horses go down. John Wayne cuts the animal loose and the wagon takes off with three horses pulling it. In the final scene of the movie, after the battle has concluded, the wagon rides off with a full compliment of four horses. See more »

Quotes

Hondo Lane: Before I go, I wanna explain somethin'.
Angie Lowe: Yes?
Hondo Lane: It didn't happen in the low way you heard it. I didn't bushwack him
Angie Lowe: I never for a moment thought you did, but you've killed him.
Hondo Lane: I didn't have any choice. He cut loose at me.
Angie Lowe: I should have known that. I should have known you were lying to make me think well of you. Poor Ed. I guess he wasn't the sort of man to die well. Sorry now I hated him so much. I guess he couldn't help being weak and selfish.
Hondo Lane: I just didn't have any choice.
Angie Lowe: I know that.
Hondo Lane: Are you ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Under the Blue Mexican Skies!
15 October 2005 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Hondo" was originally filmed in the then popular 3-D process which explains the emphasis on foreground shots and a few "comin' at ya" 3-D process shots. By the time the film was released at the end of 1953, the 3-D craze was over and it was on to CinemaScope.

The film has been unavailable for viewing for about 15 years. For its DVD release it has been beautifully restored to its original brilliance. The colors are rich and vibrant including the many Mexican blue sky shots.

The story has a tired and horseless army scout Hondo Lane (John Wayne) coming upon an isolated ranch where he meets Mrs. Lowe (Geraldine Fitzgerald) and her young son Johnny (Lee Aaker). They have apparently been deserted by the husband and father, the brutish Ed Lowe (Leo Gordon).

Hondo befriends the pair and stays around helping with the long neglected chores. Naturally an attraction develops between him and Mrs. Lowe. Finally Hondo leaves for the army post. Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Lowe and Johnny are visited by a warring Apache chief, Vittorio (Michael Pate) and his warriors. Vittorio is impressed with the bravery of young Johnny and makes him a blood brother.

Meanwhile back at the post, Hondo meets up with his old pal Buffalo Baker (Ward Bond). In the saloon they are confronted by Lowe and a brawl ensues. When Hondo leaves to return the horse he borrowed from Mrs. Lowe, he is followed by Lowe and his partner (Frank McGrath). Hondo and the two are ambushed by the Apaches. Following the confrontation, Hondo is forced to kill Lowe in self-defence.

As Hondo rides toward the Lowe ranch, he is captured by Vittorio and his warriors. When Vittorio discovers Lowe's picture of young Johnny on Hondo he spares his life. Vittorio's sadistic chief Silva (Rodolfo Acosta) objects and Hondo is forced into a knife fight with the Indian.

Hondo eventually arrives at the ranch where he continues to romance Mrs. Lowe. Vittorio believing that Hondo is Mrs. Lowe's husband, respects his bravery.

Later Buffalo and another scout Lennie (James Arness) arrive with a cavalry troop sent out to bring any settlers into the army post for their safety. We learn that Vittorio has been killed and that the Apaches are now being led by Silva. Without Vittorio's protection, Hondo and the Lowes are forced to leave with the troops. Along the way they are attacked by the Apache and..................

This was one of John Wayne's better westerns however one can't help but compare certain aspects of the story with that of "Shane" released the same year. Geraldine Page received an academy award nomination as best supporting actress for this her first starring role. Long time Wayne crony Bond delivers a colorful performance as the grizzled scout Buffalo. Lee Aaker is probably best remembered for his role as "Rusty" in the TV show "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin".

James Arness who was under contract to Wayne at the time would achieve lasting fame as Marshal Matt Dillon in TV's long running "Gunsmoke". Leo Gordon who was typecast as a villain went on to write several screenplays for Roger Corman in the 60s. Wayne's pal Paul Fix appears briefly as Major Sherry.

John Ford directed the final battle sequence when Director John Farrow had to leave to fulfill other contractual obligations.

The DVD release has an excellent commentary by Leonard Maltin (who also serves as host for the variopus segments), film historian Frank Thompson and Lee Aaker. There is a behind the scenes featurette and tributes to Ward Bond and Wayne screenwriter James Edward Grant are also included.

Great action.


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