7.1/10
7,530
82 user 52 critic

Hondo (1953)

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Chisum (1970)
Biography | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Cattle baron John Chisum joins forces with Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett to fight the Lincoln County land war.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Christopher George
Action | Adventure | Romance
    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
The War Wagon (1967)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of a man who was shot, robbed and imprisoned who returns to steal a large gold shipment from the man who wronged him. The gold is transported in an armored stage coach, the War Wagon.

Director: Burt Kennedy
Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Howard Keel
Rio Grande (1950)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A cavalry officer posted on the Rio Grande must deal with murderous raiding Apaches, his son who's a risk-taking recruit and his wife from whom he has been separated for many years.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson
Big Jake (1971)
Certificate: GP Western
    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
McLintock! (1963)
Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Wealthy rancher G.W. McLintock uses his power and influence in the territory to keep the peace between farmers, ranchers, land-grabbers, Indians and corrupt government officials.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne
Rio Lobo (1970)
Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After the Civil War, Cord McNally searches for the traitor whose perfidy caused the defeat of McNally's unit and the loss of a close friend.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Jorge Rivero, Jennifer O'Neill
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After the Civil War, ex-Union Colonel John Henry Thomas and ex-Confederate Colonel James Langdon are leading two disparate groups of people through strife-torn Mexico. John Henry and ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Antonio Aguilar
Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1863, a Union outfit is sent behind Confederate lines in Mississippi to destroy enemy railroads but a captive southern belle and the unit's doctor cause frictions within ranks.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers
Western
    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 | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Marshal Rooster Cogburn unwillingly teams up with Eula Goodnight to track down the killers of her father.

Director: Stuart Millar
Stars: John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Zerbe
Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A gunhand named Lane is hired by a widow, Mrs. Lowe, to find gold stolen by her husband so that she may return it and start fresh.

Director: Burt Kennedy
Stars: John Wayne, Ann-Margret, Rod Taylor
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Lennie
...
...
Ed Lowe
Tom Irish ...
Lt. McKay
...
Johnny Lowe
...
Maj. Sherry
Rayford Barnes ...
Pete - Card Player in Saloon
Edit

Storyline

Army scout Hondo Lane (played by John Wayne) stumbles across an isolated homestead in the middle of Apache territory. The inhabitants - a woman and her son - believe they are safe, as there is a treaty with the Apaches. Lane knows better though, as the Army has just broken the treaty, causing the Apache to seek revenge on settlers. Despite being a scout for the US Army, Lane has sympathies for the Apaches, having been married to a native American woman and living with her people for five years. With divided loyalties he now has to tread a fine line. Written by grantss

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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for western violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

27 November 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

They Called Him Hondo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,100,000, 31 December 1953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

The Apaches throw Hondo down in the mud when they return him to Mrs. Lowe's ranch. Mrs. Lowe takes Hondo inside and seats him in a chair. The back of the chair is already wet and mud-stained before Hondo sits down in it. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Under the Blue Mexican Skies!
15 October 2005 | by 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.


39 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 82 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page