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Sergeant Rutledge (1960)

 -  Western | Crime  -  18 May 1960 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,285 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 14 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 - counsel for the defense
...
Mary Beecher
...
Mrs. Cordelia Fosgate
...
1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge
Juano Hernandez ...
Sgt. Matthew Luke Skidmore
...
Col. Otis Fosgate - president of the court-martial
Carleton Young ...
Capt. Shattuck - prosecutor
Judson Pratt ...
Lt. Mulqueen - court-martial board member
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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:

It's the rendezvous with DEATH for men to whom DEATH was no stranger! 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

Jeffrey Hunter's character refers early on in the film to the Jorgensen Ranch. Director John Ford's classic western The Searchers (1956), also starring Hunter, ended with Hunter's character arriving at the Jorgensen Ranch. See more »

Goofs

The US Cavalry officer saber shown throughout the movie appear to be the straight blade, double edge M1913 Patton style saber which weren't adapted by the military until 1913. Since the movie appears to be set before 1900 the cavalry would still be using the swept back single edge Model 1860 Light Cavalry saber. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Tom Cantrell: Mary, when I got word at Fort Linton that the Apaches were in this district and that I'd left you alone, I was really...
Mary Beecher: [severely] Not alone. Sergeant Rutledge was here. And no officer could have protected a woman more gallantly!
See more »

Connections

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