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Sergeant Rutledge (1960)

Approved  |   |  Western, Crime  |  18 May 1960 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,384 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 24 critic

Respected black cavalry Sergeant Brax Rutledge stands court-martial for raping and killing a white woman and murdering her father, his superior officer.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lt. Tom Cantrell
...
Mary Beecher
...
Mrs. Cordelia Fosgate
...
1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge
Juano Hernandez ...
Sgt. Matthew Luke Skidmore
...
Col. Otis Fosgate
Carleton Young ...
Capt. Shattuck
Judson Pratt ...
Lt. Mulqueen
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Storyline

Lieutenant Tom Cantrell is sent to defend Sergeant Braxton Rutledge, a black cavalry soldier, on a charge of rape and murder. The story begins in a courtroom and it is told through flashbacks. This is a story of how a black soldier in the face of danger from the Indians can be so easily mistaken as a criminal. Written by Christopher D. Ryan <cryan@direct.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THERE'S NO TURNING BACK! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Western | Crime

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 May 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Captain Buffalo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originated in 1957 as a project for director André De Toth, about a black soldier accused of raping and murdering a German girl and the lieutenant who defends him and proves his innocence. De Toth wanted Jeffrey Hunter as the defense attorney. Based on the 1955 story "Shadow of the Noose" by John Hawkins and Ward Hawkins in The Saturday Evening Post. See more »

Goofs

When Lt. Cantrell is holding a picture of the young Miss Lucy Dabney over her dead body, he moves the picture out of camera frame, and you can see her moving her right eyelid. See more »

Quotes

[Rutledge enters the court room under guard and presents himself to the President of the Court-Martial]
1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge: First Sergeant Braxton Rutledge, C Troop, Ninth United States Cavalry.
[the spectators erupt into bedlam. Sitting in the front seats, the officers' wives, especially Mrs. Fosgate, have been chattering constantly, and a crowd of men at the back begin shouting that Rutledge should be hanged, and so forth. Fosgate bangs his gavel repeatedly]
Lt. Tom Cantrell: Mr. President!
Col. Otis Fosgate - president of the court-martial: Order!
Lt. Tom Cantrell: Mr. President! I request this ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in John Ford et Monument Valley (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Captain Buffalo
Words and Music by Mack David and Jerry Livingston
See more »

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User Reviews

A wonderful piece of social history
26 July 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This movie was a wonderful piece of social history. It was filmed during a turbulent time in the United States when Civil Rights marches were really making headlines. It was a well crafted and movingly brave attempt to address in celluloid what the Civil Rights movement was addressing on placards.

Throughout the trial, colour isn't mentioned at all until near the end, but the underlying issue is one of race and how easy it would have been to jump to the wrong conclusion and ‘Hang ourselves a nigger'. It was also incredibly brave to show how the protagonist, Sergeant Rutledge, (beautifully played by Woody Strode) was helped by a white woman; again very rare at that time.

This is a hidden gem of a movie, and although the dialogue gets a little stilted at times, it doesn't detract from the central issue. Judging by his performance when under oath, Woody Strode is up there with the best of the marvellous Black actors that have changed the face of social America.

I rate this 10 out of ten.


30 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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