7.2/10
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67 user 29 critic

The Horse Soldiers (1959)

Approved | | Adventure, Romance, War | July 1959 (USA)
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 »

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Writers:

(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dunker
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Deacon Clump
Chuck Hayward ...
Union Captain
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Jackie Jo
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Virgil
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Commandant
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Col. Jonathan Miles
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Storyline

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 commander. The secret plan for the mission is overheard by a southern belle who must be taken along to assure her silence. The Union officers each have different reasons for wanting to be on the mission. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...Rides Where Only The Great Ones Go! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der letzte Befehl  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne was having personal problems at home. His wife, Pilar Wayne, had become addicted to barbiturates but Wayne refused to admit her to a private sanitarium. He felt they could conquer her addiction together and brought her along on location in Louisiana. During the filming, however, she began hallucinating and slashed her wrists with a razor, at which point Wayne realized the seriousness of the situation and had her admitted to a hospital back in Encino, CA. The incident was kept out of the newspapers and the public never suspected that the most popular box-office star in America, which Wayne was at the time, was experiencing a personal crisis at home. See more »

Goofs

The movie exteriors appear to have been shot in the fall, but the raid takes place in April 1863. See more »

Quotes

Major Kendall: I don't understand a man like Miles giving up that easily.
Col. John Marlowe: Maybe losing that arm took some of the fight out of him.
Major Kendall: No... the man I knew could lose both arms and still try to kick you to death.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sesión continua (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bonnie Blue Flag
(uncredited)
Traditional Irish tune
Lyrics by Harry McCarthy
[Sung by the Confederate column marching on the opposite side of the river]
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User Reviews

Where was Maureen O'Hara when casting this one???
2 November 2002 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

I have high praise for THE HORSE SOLDIERS, an absorbing, excellent Civil War movie about the Union cavalry during combat and based on some actual battles according to historians. The only flaw seems to be the casting of Constance Towers as the flirtatious, spirited Southern lady who becomes the unwilling captive of Col. John Marlowe (John Wayne) when he discovers that she is a Confederate spy. She goes along for the ride and provides the film's love interest. While she's certainly a capable enough actress, it's the sort of role that cries for a hot-tempered Maureen O'Hara who must have been busy in another role to pass up this choice romantic lead.

It's the sort of Ford film that must have been hard on the actors, riding through swamps on horseback and engaging in fierce battles when pursued by Rebel forces. William Holden has some wonderful moments as a doctor who is constantly bickering with John Wayne. Their exchanges provide plenty of tension and humor--and both actors are at their best under Ford's direction.

A good Civil War western combining magnificent photography, good performances and some rousing battle scenes. The horrors of war are not ignored and there are some sentimental moments that never strike a false note.


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