In 1898 the US government decided to intervene on the side of the Cuban rebels in their struggle against Spanish rule. Assistant Navy Secretary Theodore Roosevelt decides to experience the war first hand by promoting and joining a volunteer cavalry regiment. The regiment, later known as the Rough Riders, brings together volunteers from all corners of the nation and all walks of life. When Roosevelt and his men finally land on Cuba, they face ambush, intense enemy fire, and a desperate, outnumbered charge up a defended hill. Written by
Besides being a feared and well-respected lawman, Bucky O'Neill had also been an Indian scout and the Mayor of Prescott, Arizona, as well as a self-educated, very well-read and multi-lingual man (speaking French, Spanish and several Indian languages). He and Roosevelt became fast friends and spent much of their time in the campaign discussing military history, Indian customs and classic European literature. See more »
At the press conference while the Rough Riders are training in San Antonio, Roosevelt lists a sampling of the civilian occupations of the troopers and mentions "one man, whom I'm sorry to say, used to work for the Internal Revenue Service." In 1898 the agency was known as either the Bureau of Internal Revenue or the Federal Revenue Service, and Roosevelt's actual quote referred to "the Federal Revenue Service". The name Internal Revenue Service did not come into use until around 1918, and the three names were used interchangeably from 1918 until the name Internal Revenue Service became the sole official name in 1953. See more »
I miss you, boys. Been more that twenty years. My God, we were young. Well, it was a young country then, full of promise and hope. Anything was possible then if you were an American.
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Damn fine film. Some historical points have been stretched a bit, here and there...Bucky O'Neil was a madman who refused to keep his head down and got shot right through his cigarette ... Fighting Joe Wheeler was a bantam rooster of a man (5'3") but with the heart of a lion who did indeed keep referring to the enemy as "the Yankees"...TR's Rough Rider's attack was up the nearby Kettle Hill (Cero de Olla) where they racked the Spanish position across the narrow gully with deadly fire; when the Spanish [and there were about 1,500 men-- not 500, as some reviewer suggested] broke to fall back to Santiago, TR boldly took off alone toward the San Juan Heights (Los Altos de San Juan)having forgotten to give the order to charge...
OK. Enough of History. Yes, Stephen Crane, author of The Red Badge of Courage, was a "looper," as one reviewer puts it, and yes, WR Hearst was a war-baiter-- anything to sell papers and fan the fires of xenophobia... But, hey! This is a damn fine film that captures much of the spirit of that "Bully little war," that launched TR's career into the White House. Tom Berenger is wonderful as the one and only TR who adored by his men (reportedly, on the march into the interior from the coast, TR walked with his men, refusing to ride, through the humid, hot forest and always saw to it that "his boys" were taken care of first. I too noted sadly, the weariness of Brian Keith prior to his suicide, as President McKinley. This film is definitely worth watching again ... and again.
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