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
The true story of Lt. Pershing was that he was in charge of the Buffalo Solidiers with TR, he would later become General of the Army in World War I. See more »
Captain Bucky O'Neil is buried in Arlington National Cemetary, not in the Arizona Wilderness. 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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