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Sergeant Rutledge (1960)

Approved | | Western, Crime | 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:

Forget all the suspense you have ever seen! Forget all the excitement you have ever known! See more »

Genres:

Western | Crime

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

Lt. Cantrell supplies Mary Beecher with a somewhat sanitized albeit understandable explanation of the term "buffalo soldier," stating that plains Indians applied the term to African-American soldiers upon seeing them in buffalo-hide coats and hats. In reality the relationship between black troopers and the American bison was owing to the nature of the troopers' hair, whose appearance and consistency reminded them of the shaggy capes of the plains animals. No racism was conveyed in the term, as the Indians held the bison as sacred and the perceived kinship between black troopers and the bison caused the Indians to both respect and fear the troopers. 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

Lt. Tom Cantrell: [Complaining about the prosecutor's tactics] A soldier's life is at stake and this man is playing cheap legal tricks!
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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

 
"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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