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Sergeant Rutledge (1960)

Approved | | Western, Crime | 18 May 1960 (USA)
2:27 | Trailer

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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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Complete credited cast:
Lt. Tom Cantrell
Mary Beecher
Mrs. Cordelia Fosgate
Juano Hernandez ...
Sgt. Matthew Luke Skidmore
Col. Otis Fosgate
Capt. Shattuck
Lt. Mulqueen


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


Gun Thrills Galore! See more »


Western | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 May 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Captain Buffalo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final film of Billie Burke. See more »


"Poor little girl." When the German-speaking doctor sees the corpse of the young woman, he says "arme kleine Maedchen." It should be either "armes kleines Maedchen" or "das arme kleine Maedchen." He is either using feminine endings with a neuter noun, or weak neuter endings without a strong neuter article. No educated German would make this mistake. See more »


1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge: You can't make self-defense out of it. There's still that dead white girl. Nobody'd believe I didn't touch her.
See more »


Featured in Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (1997) See more »


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

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User Reviews

"I'm a man."
6 October 1999 | by (Tucson, Arizona) – See all my reviews

I first caught the tail end of this John Ford masterpiece on AMC during Black History month, and couldn't wait for it to pop up on the schedule again so I could see the whole thing. I couldn't believe I had never heard of this film before, and after I did some research and discovered how reviewers in 1960 had dismissed it, I understood why. They went expecting To Kill A Mockingbird and got Breaker Morant instead. Ford was WAY ahead of his time with this one. Woody Strode, who plays the title character, helped break the color barrier in professional football years before Jackie Robinson did so in baseball. And he broke some huge barriers in this film, too. Every young black man -- heck, every young American male today -- should be required to watch this film. As Strode later said, Ford and script writers "put classic words in my mouth." Words that would be echoed three years later by Dr. Martin Luther King in his immortal "I Have A Dream" speech at the Lincoln memorial.

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