IMDb > They Came to Cordura (1959)
They Came to Cordura
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They Came to Cordura (1959) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
6.5/10   1,193 votes »
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Down 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Ivan Moffat (screenplay) &
Robert Rossen (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for They Came to Cordura on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
June 1959 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Slashing Story of a Desert Warrior Who Fought His Way From HELL TO GLORY !
Plot:
An army major, himself guilty of cowardice, is asked to recommended soldiers for the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Mexican Border Incursion of 1916. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
User Reviews:
"Not Much Of A Story. Not Much Of A War." See more (31 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gary Cooper ... Major Thomas Thorn

Rita Hayworth ... Adelaide Geary

Van Heflin ... Sgt. John Chawk

Tab Hunter ... Lt. William Fowler

Richard Conte ... Cpl. Milo Trubee

Michael Callan ... Pvt. Andrew Hetherington

Dick York ... Pvt. Renziehausen
Robert Keith ... Colonel Rogers
Carlos Romero ... Arreaga
Jim Bannon ... Capt. Paltz (as James Bannon)

Edward Platt ... Colonel DeRose
Maurice Jara ... Mexican Federale
Sam Buffington ... 1st Correspondent
Arthur Hanson ... 2nd Correspondent
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Clem Fuller ... (uncredited)
Wendell Hoyt ... Cavalry Trooper (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Rossen 
 
Writing credits
Ivan Moffat (screenplay) &
Robert Rossen (screenplay)

Glendon Swarthout (novel)

Produced by
William Goetz .... producer
 
Original Music by
Elie Siegmeister 
 
Cinematography by
Burnett Guffey (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
William A. Lyon 
 
Production Design by
Cary Odell (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Cary Odell 
 
Set Decoration by
Frank Tuttle  (as Frank A. Tuttle)
 
Costume Design by
Jean Louis (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Clay Campbell .... makeup artist
Helen Hunt .... hair stylist
Armiene .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Benny Lane .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Carter De Haven Jr. .... assistant director: second unit (as Carter DeHaven Jr.)
Milton Feldman .... assistant director
James Curtis Havens .... second unit director (as James Havens)
R. Robert Rosenbaum .... assistant director (uncredited)
David Salven .... assistant director (uncredited)
Roger Slager .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Ray Bassell .... lead man (uncredited)
Irving Goldfarb .... props (uncredited)
Ed Goldstein .... props (uncredited)
Harry Hopkins .... props (uncredited)
David Horowitz .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
John P. Livadary .... recording supervisor (as John Livadary)
George Cooper .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Sol Jaffe .... mikeman (uncredited)
Harold Lee .... recordist (uncredited)
Ernest Reichert .... sound editor (uncredited)
George Ronconi .... cableman (uncredited)
 
Stunts
May Boss .... stunt double; Rita Hayworth (uncredited)
John L. Cason .... stunt double: Van Heflin (uncredited)
Jack Conner .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Tony Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Clem Fuller .... stunts (uncredited)
Doug Gunther .... stunts (uncredited)
Walt La Rue .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Lerner .... stunts (uncredited)
Dean Smith .... stunts (uncredited)
Slim Talbot .... stunt double: Gary Cooper (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Frank G. Carson .... photographer: second unit
Morris Bauchman .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Albert Bettcher .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Jack Botthof .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Robert Coburn .... still photographer (uncredited)
Willard Klug .... grip (uncredited)
Eugene Lenoir .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Andrew J. McIntyre .... camera operator (uncredited)
Walter Meins .... grip (uncredited)
Don Murphy .... grip (uncredited)
Val O'Malley .... camera operator (uncredited)
Emil Oster .... camera operator (uncredited)
Clyde Prior .... grip (uncredited)
James Saper .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Charles Stapleton .... best boy (uncredited)
Homer Van Pelt .... still photographer (uncredited)
Seldon White .... gaffer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Thomas S. Dawson .... costume supervisor: men (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Henri Jaffa .... color consultant
 
Music Department
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator
Morris Stoloff .... conductor
Morris Stoloff .... musical director (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Paul R. Davison .... technical consultant (as Col. Paul Davison U.S.A.{Rtd.})
Ivan Connors .... ramrod (uncredited)
Doris Grau .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Rolly Harper .... caterer (uncredited)
'Chema' Hernandez .... head wrangler (uncredited)
A.W. Kennard .... parrot trainer (uncredited)
Mary Lou Tobler .... stand-in: Rita Hayworth (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
123 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Finland:K-16 | Germany:16 (DVD rating) | Spain:13 | UK:PG | USA:Approved (PCA #19173) | West Germany:16 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Montgomery Clift turned down the role of Major Thorn.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Major Thorn improperly salutes Colonel DeRose in the opening scene when he dismissed. He should have saluted and held his salute until it was acknowledged. Instead, he lowers his arm even before Colonel Rose acknowledges it.See more »
Quotes:
Major Thomas Thorn:[to Adelaide] Lady, you're definitely too logical for a woman.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "NCIS: Hometown Hero (#2.21)" (2005)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
25 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
"Not Much Of A Story. Not Much Of A War.", 27 June 2000
Author: Michael Coy (michael.coy@virgin.net) from London, England

What exactly is courage? How can a man know if he will act bravely when the supreme test comes? These are the questions occupying the mind of Major Tom Thorn as he escorts a detail of medal-winning troopers out of Mexico and back to the USA. "What made you do it?" is Thorn's repeated question to the heroes. He once lost his nerve in combat, and his subsequent life has been one long meditation on the nature of bravery, and how a man comes by it. In the wilderness of Mexico, Thorn's moral fibre is put to the sternest of tests.

Set in 1916, the film centres on a US military expedition deep into Mexico, a punitive response to Pancho Villa's raid on American territory. Gary Cooper plays Thorn, and though he invests his character with a certain quiet dignity, he can hardly be accused of acting.

Thorn is despatched back to the USA with a small group of men, each of whom is to be decorated for valour. As the Cavalry's Awards Officer, Thorn will have to prepare citations, and he obsessively quizzes the men about why they did what they did, how they felt at the time, and so forth.

Typically for a film of its era, "Cordura" assembles a melange of ethnic tokens, throws them into a difficult situation, then concentrates on the tensions and confrontations which result. Richard Conte is Truby, the crafty latin type, and Van Heflin plays Chawk, the angosaxon brute. Dick York is Renziehausen, the German American from (where else?) Wisconsin. Thorn is hoping to learn the secret of courage from his motley crew, but discovers that the answer to his question can only be found within himself.

Nice angles are developed to open out the plot's basic premise. A cavalry charge against the Mexicans looks like dashing American heroism, but might be no more than cynical fakery on the part of medal-hunting Colonel Rogers. Chawk might be an unfeeling ruffian rather than a hero. The arrival in the group of Mrs. geary (Rita Hayworth) complicates the issues, because the presence of a beautiful woman causes the men's interests to diverge.

The Mexican terrain is spectacular, and the film's central proposition is an interesting one, but the end product is so-so. It is difficult to warm to Cooper as an actor, or indeed to his character. Tab Hunter (as Lieutenant Fowler) goes way over the top. Thorn's sudden perking-up beside the rail track is a ludicrous event.

Verdict - Would-be essay on the wellsprings of human courage peters out into humdrum adventure yarn.

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