7.5/10
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35 user 24 critic

Sergeant Rutledge (1960)

Approved | | Crime, Western | 28 May 1960 (USA)
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
...
Juano Hernandez ...
Sgt. Matthew Luke Skidmore
...
Col. Otis Fosgate
...
Capt. Shattuck
...
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:

Gun Thrills Galore! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 May 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Captain Buffalo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place from May to August 1881. See more »

Goofs

During the skirmish between the cavalry and the Indians in the desert, the sky alternates between clear blue sky to overcast cloudy sky. See more »

Quotes

1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge: Soldier can never think by his heart, ma'am. He got to think by the book.
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Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.21 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Captain Buffalo
Words and Music by Mack David and Jerry Livingston
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User Reviews

 
This film deserves to be more well-known and watched
22 October 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is a marvelous Western starring Jeffery Hunter and Woodie Strode--thanks in large part to the always wonderful direction of John Ford and the fact that this film dared to take a big risk. In the 1950s and 60s, American was still struggling desperately with racism and it was still widely acceptable to demean or mistreat Black people. However, this film deliberately tries to debunk this myth that Black people are in some way inferior. The film attacks racism without being preachy or ridiculous (something that makes me hate GENTLEMEN'S AGREEMENT due to its very heavy-handed way of dealing with antisemitism).

Woody Strode, as usual, plays a very dignified and wonderful role as a soldier on trial for rape and murder. He was a very fine actor and you wonder how much further he could have gone in life had he been White. Hunter plays the man defending him and shows more than he could in most of his other pretty forgettable films. The actual story of what occurred unfolds in flashbacks told during the course of the trial and the style is very reminiscent of Akira Kurosawa's film Rashômon. This is VERY ironic, as for years, Kurosawa had been a huge fan of Ford and tried to emulate the master director! In this case, it is the other way around! The film is near-perfect in the acting, story and execution. Watch this film and see that Westerns CAN be more than just the typical horse and Indian flick.


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