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The Horse Soldiers (1959)

 -  Adventure | War | Western  -  12 June 1959 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,501 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 27 critic

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

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(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Horse Soldiers (1959)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Judson Pratt ...
...
...
...
...
Dunker - Yankee Scout Who Has Leg Amputated
O.Z. Whitehead ...
...
Chuck Hayward ...
...
Jackie Jo
...
Virgil
Basil Ruysdael ...
The Reverend - Jefferson Military Academy
Carleton Young ...
Col. Jonathan Miles - CSA
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Storyline

A Union Cavalry outfit is sent behind confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail/supply centre. 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:

John Ford's Thundering Spectacle See more »

Genres:

Adventure | War | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 June 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director John Ford's only feature film set during the Civil War, although he did direct a segment of How the West Was Won (1962) that was set during the Civil War. See more »

Goofs

Although the story is set in 1863, all the soldiers are wearing 1872 pattern cavalry uniforms. See more »

Quotes

Jackie Jo: Hey there - we're Confederates, but we ain't hostile - honest.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: John Wayne (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

I Left My Love
by Stan Jones
See more »

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User Reviews

...and I won't be put upon.
21 September 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The "...and I didn't kill either one of them..." speech is one of my favorite Wayne moments. Plainly past his conventionality, the Marlowe character gives breathtaking short shrift to the unending pettiness and fallibility he encounters; Kirby, Kendall, congressional wannabes, reb deserters et.al. It's an exemplar of the 'Duke' personna: dubious provenance, grand stature, indomitable purpose and a trace of sentiment. I'l put it with Searchers, Liberty', and Shootist (Wallace Beery impersonation in True Grit aside) as one of his best efforts.

Ford's battle scenes are as usual patriotically free of blood and require no reflection but the imagery is great (you want to join the cavalry) and the detail outstanding. We hear the clanking of canteens and cookpots, an argument over the placement of latrines and see the only filmic presentation of the making of Sherman Neckties (warped rails). The Ford family is well represented though we miss Harry Carey Jr (and Paul Fixx must have been tied up with the Rifleman).

If we had to have a love interest, Maureen Ohara could have at least tied this to "Rio Grande" and furthered the Ford library.

Normally wonderful Bill Holden has only brief bright moments and is mostly going through the motions and hung-over here. Neither Wayne nor Ford were slouches when it came to curling whiskey but by his own admission Holden aggravated all and threatened production with reckless, drunken extracurriculae, breaking an arm falling from a bridge.

This film was an inspiration in grade school and a guilty pleasure since.


14 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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