7.2/10
7,365
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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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

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

John Ford's Thundering Spectacle 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

Listen carefully during the first scene and you can hear Gen. Hurlburt say "Hello Cump" as he shakes hands with Gen. Sherman. Sherman was named Tecumseh after the Shawnee chief, but the minister who later baptized him refused to do so with a "heathen" name, so the minister arbitrarily added "William" to Sherman's name, as he was baptized in St. William's Church. Sherman was called Cump by his closest friends--including Gen. Ulysses S. Grant--his entire life, and was never referred to as William or Bill. See more »

Goofs

During the chase after leaving Newton Station, Marlow's column is being chased by Bedford Forrest's cavalry. However when the raid took place during April 1863, Forrest and his cavalry were in Alabama chasing another Union Army cavalry raid. Other Confederate units did chase the raiders, but Forrest had no part. See more »

Quotes

Col. John Marlowe: [after knocking out the deserters and giving Goodbody a pistol. Bows low] Compliments of Miss Hannah Hunter of Greenbriar.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Directed by John Ford (1971) 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]
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.


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