IMDb > Sergeant Rutledge (1960)
Sergeant Rutledge
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Sergeant Rutledge (1960) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 22)
Sergeant Rutledge -- Trailer this classic western suspense film
Sergeant Rutledge -- On the menu: Anytime Chicken Soup, "Cool as a" Cucumber Soup, and Tomato Soup "Surprise!"
Sergeant Rutledge -- On the menu: Shrimp Scampi, Bananas Foster Cheesecake and spring greens with a strawberry vinaigrette dressing
Sergeant Rutledge -- On the menu: Turkey Chili, Chicken and Eggplant Stir-fry and Fettuccine with Clams and Basil.
Sergeant Rutledge -- On the menu: Las Pastas de Diablo, Summer Bleu Salad and Swiss Chicken Cutlet.

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   2,240 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
James Warner Bellah (written by) and
Willis Goldbeck (written by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Sergeant Rutledge on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 May 1960 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
THERE'S NO TURNING BACK! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »
Plot:
Respected black cavalry Sergeant Brax Rutledge stands court-martial for raping and killing a white woman and murdering her father, his superior officer. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Ford openly displays his art and poetry See more (32 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jeffrey Hunter ... Lt. Tom Cantrell - counsel for the defense

Constance Towers ... Mary Beecher

Billie Burke ... Mrs. Cordelia Fosgate

Woody Strode ... 1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge
Juano Hernandez ... Sgt. Matthew Luke Skidmore

Willis Bouchey ... Col. Otis Fosgate - president of the court-martial
Carleton Young ... Capt. Shattuck - prosecutor
Judson Pratt ... Lt. Mulqueen - court-martial board member
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shug Fisher ... Mr. Owens (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward ... Capt. Dickinson (uncredited)
William Henry ... Capt. Dwyer (uncredited)

Rafer Johnson ... Cpl. Krump (uncredited)
Jack Kenny ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Jack Lewis ... Indian (uncredited)
Fred Libby ... Chandler Hubble (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons ... Sam Beecher (uncredited)

Mae Marsh ... Mrs. Nellie Hackett (uncredited)
Toby Michaels ... Lucy Dabney (uncredited)
Jack Mower ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Eva Novak ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Jack Pennick ... Courtroom Sergeant (uncredited)
Jack Perrin ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Walter Reed ... Capt. McAfee (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson ... Court-Martial Board Member (uncredited)
Charles Seel ... Dr. Walter Eckner (uncredited)
Ed Shaw ... Chris Hubble (uncredited)

Hank Worden ... Laredo (uncredited)

Directed by
John Ford 
 
Writing credits
James Warner Bellah (written by) and
Willis Goldbeck (written by)

James Warner Bellah  novel (uncredited)

Produced by
Patrick Ford .... producer
Willis Goldbeck .... producer
 
Original Music by
Howard Jackson 
 
Cinematography by
Bert Glennon (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Jack Murray 
 
Art Direction by
Eddie Imazu 
 
Set Decoration by
Frank M. Miller 
 
Costume Design by
Marjorie Best 
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Russell Saunders .... assistant director (as Russ Saunders)
Wingate Smith .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
M.A. Merrick .... sound
 
Stunts
Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Lewis .... stunts (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Michael A. Hoey .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Dolores Rubin .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
111 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Spain:13 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1998) | USA:Approved (certificate #19413) | West Germany:12 (nf)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Final film of Billie Burke.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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:
[On horseback, Lieutenant Cantrell and some of his officers are escorting Mary Beecher to her home. Rutledge, handcuffed and still wounded from gunfire in his side, rides in the front alongside Cantrell]
Lt. Tom Cantrell:How's the side holding up, Sergeant?
1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge:[sardonically] You know what they say about us, sir. We heal fast.
Lt. Tom Cantrell:You give me your word you won't try to make an escape, I'll take those irons off you.
1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge:[Rutledge refuses to look at Cantrell] I can't do that, sir. 'Cause I ain't going back to stand trial.
Lt. Tom Cantrell:Well, don't you be a fool, Brax. What if you did get away? Why, this thing would haunt you until you couldn't stand it.
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Captain BuffaloSee more »

FAQ

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22 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
Ford openly displays his art and poetry, 26 November 2004
Author: pzanardo (pzanardo@math.unipd.it) from Padova, Italy

John Ford openly displays his poetry in this magnificent film "Sergeant Rutledge". Maybe the great director and artist was annoyed that many did not get the anti-racist messages that permeate all his works (starting with "The Searchers": ever noted it?) and decided to make a definite, open statement.

To be as clear as possible, Ford willingly shows his art, poetry and trade-mark techniques in the most evident way. He masterly uses images and camera-work to convey emotion. We see Woody Strode (Sergeant Rutledge) constrained in a small chair, his never-ending shoulders covering half of the screen. And we feel uneasy. We feel that something evil is going on, that it's deeply wrong to keep such a man in chains, let alone to hang him. And then we see Woody Strode standing out, the Monument Valley on the background, like John Wayne in many other Ford's movies. I'm sure that such parallel Wayne-Strode was Ford's deliberate choice.

Ford uses his skills of epic poet to describe characters. Rutledge is arrested and searched. They find no money or other goods, just his emancipation papers. So, here we have a Man with all his richness: his honor, his courage, his strength and an emancipation paper. Great stuff! And then Rutledge says to a wounded mate "We don't fight the whites' war. We fight for our honor". Only Ford always manages to turn military rhetoric into poetry, mainly thanks to the visual beauty of the scene.

Woody Strode makes an outstanding, deeply touching job as the black cavalry sergeant. His acting is sober, poised but intense, with no melodramatic sides, and he physically dominates the screen (by the way: what an amazing athlete Strode was, at age forty-six!).

Rutledge is the Hero, the Legend of the movie. Yet Lt. Cantrell (Jeffrey Hunter) is as interesting a character as Rutledge is. Cantrell is a man of the 19th century. Unavoidably, he does have racial prejudices, but he nobly endeavors to overcome them, and certainly at the end of the story is a better person than at the beginning.

I guess that the two female characters represent Ford's dream. Indeed, they both do not even understand racism. The poor murdered girl loved his friend "uncle" Rutledge, and that's all. She doesn't even get the hints of the old ladies, who disapprove this friendship. And the same can be said of Cantrell's fiancée Mary Beecher, very well played by Constance Towers. She nurses the wounded black horse-soldiers with no attitude of doing something special. And some lines of Mary's show Ford's wonderful subtlety. She has been over-night with Rutledge in a deserted hut. Mary says to a concerned Cantrell "I wasn't alone. Sergeant Rutledge was with me and he protected me as well as any officer could do". That's a lesson for Cantrell: the fact that Mary pretends to think her boy-friend just concerned about military ranks, implies that she does not even notice the color of the skin and requires Cantrell to be the same way. Well, probably the two women are not fully realistic characters, especially for the 19th century. They are idealized by Ford, as a poet has the right to dream.

A small remark. Most Ford's films (not this one, actually) raise some controversy. Many heartily love them and many strongly dislike them. I think it rather expectable. Ford is a poet, and a poet cannot please everyone. Personally, I was indifferent if not displeased by the works of some much celebrated poets. Thanks God, poets follow their own way, not caring people's taste.

"Sergeant Rutledge" is not perfectly constructed and chiseled like other Ford's masterpieces. Small defects may be found in some court-room scenes and flash-backs. However, this splendid movie deserves top grades, due to the importance of its message and Ford's sincerity in displaying his art. "Sergeant Rutledge" is another top work by the Master.

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A crime drama in a western mrelford
How was a movie such as this received in the South in 1960? acordovax
A stupid question inf0man
How many fans think this Western is an example of Film Noir? ossurworld
Jeffrey Hunter's bandana bobo-29
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