Hondo (1953)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  5 April 1954 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 6,395 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 52 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)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Western | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ranch owner Katie Elder's four sons determine to avenge the murder of their father and the swindling of their mother.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Martha Hyer
Adventure | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Union Cavalry outfit is sent behind confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail/supply center. Along with them is sent a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers
McLintock! (1963)
Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

George Washington McLintock, "GW" to friends and foes alike, is a cattle baron and the richest man in the territory. He anxiously awaits the return of his daughter Becky who has been away ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne
Big Jake (1971)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1909, when John Fain's gang kidnaps Big Jake McCandles' grandson and hold him for ransom, Big Jake sets out to rescue the boy.

Directors: George Sherman, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Richard Boone, Maureen O'Hara
Rio Grande (1950)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rio Grande takes place after the Civil War when the Union turned their attention towards the Apaches. Union officer Kirby Yorke is in charge of an outpost on the Rio Grande in which he is ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sam and George strike gold in Alaska. George sends Sam to Seattle to bring George's fiancée back to Alaska. Sam finds she is already married, and returns instead with Angel. Sam, after ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

J.D. Cahill is the toughest U.S. Marshal they've got, just the sound of his name makes bad guys stop in their tracks, so when his two young boys want to get his attention they decide to rob... See full summary »

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, George Kennedy, Gary Grimes
The Cowboys (1972)
Certificate: GP Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen is forced to take on a collection of young boys as his drivers in order to get his herd to market in time to ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern
El Dorado (1966)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar
Fort Apache (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple


Complete credited cast:
Rodolfo Acosta ...
Leo Gordon ...
Tom Irish ...
Lt. McKay
Rayford Barnes ...
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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for western violence | 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?


In the Married with Children (1987) episode "Assault and Batteries," Al Bundy says that Hondo is his favorite movie of all time, and he spends the entire episode trying to watch it in peace. See more »


(at around 1 min) When the Apache first appear (when Mrs. Lowe meets Vittorio for the first time), Johnny comes out to defend his mother. Silva goes to confront the boy and Johnny first tries to shoot Silva and then throws the pistol at him. The pistol lands to the right on the ground by the pole (porch post), but then after a short scuffle, when Vittorio tells Silva to bring the boy, the pistol is laying on the porch next to where Johnny was. See more »


Hondo Lane: Mrs. Lowe, you're a liar. And an almighty poor liar.
Angie Lowe: I don't understand.
Hondo Lane: These horses haven't been shod in a couple of months. It's a cinch that ax hasn't had an edge on it in two months. And your tea can - a five-pound tea can in your house - is empty. Your husband's been gone a long time.
Angie Lowe: Now look here, Mr. Lane, I don't think you have any right to talk...
Hondo Lane: I'm not talkin' about rights, I'm talkin' about lies. Why'd you lie to me, Mrs Lowe? Were you afraid that maybe you wouldn't be safe here ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Married with Children: Assault and Batteries (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

33 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Does the dog die? tylernicholson08
DVD narrow screen leoskidog
This film's Portrayal of American Indians wirenwit
Hondo in 3-D jbusse
What is the meaning of Hondo? GoDale13
What does Johnny keep calling Hondo, Amerado? bbbuck
Discuss Hondo (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: