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Fort Apache (1948)

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1:44 | Trailer
At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (screenplay), James Warner Bellah (suggested by the story "Massacre")
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Capt. Kirby York
Henry Fonda ... Lt. Col. Owen Thursday
Shirley Temple ... Philadelphia Thursday
Pedro Armendáriz ... Sgt. Beaufort (as Pedro Armendariz)
Ward Bond ... Sgt. Maj. Michael O'Rourke
George O'Brien ... Capt. Sam Collingwood
Victor McLaglen ... Sgt. Festus Mulcahy
Anna Lee ... Mrs. Emily Collingwood
Irene Rich ... Mrs. Mary O'Rourke
Dick Foran ... Sgt. Quincannon
Guy Kibbee ... Capt. Dr. Wilkens
Grant Withers ... Silas Meacham
Jack Pennick Jack Pennick ... Sgt. Daniel Schattuck
Ray Hyke Ray Hyke ... Recruit
Movita ... Guadalupe
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Storyline

Deep into the territory of the great Apache chief, Cochise, the demoted Civil War general, Lieutenant Colonel Owen Thursday, reports for duty as a commanding officer at the remote U.S. cavalry outpost known as Fort Apache, along with his daughter, Philadelphia. There, the arrogant commander will soon lock horns with the realistic and sensible second-in-command, Captain Kirby York, who, as an expert in the local Apaches, disagrees with Thursday who wants to make a name for himself in the Arizona frontier. In the end, is it wise to engage in battle when personal glory is all you seek? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Adventure Thunders Across the Screen! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 June 1948 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

War Party See more »

Filming Locations:

Monument Valley, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Argosy Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30-minute radio adaptation of the movie on August 5, 1949 with John Wayne and Ward Bond reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

As York and Thursday are about to leave to trail Lt O'Rourke and the repair wagon, Thursday tells York that neither he nor his men have their hats worn correctly. They should be worn creased fore and aft like a fedora. After that, in every scene almost nobody has their hats creased like a fedora. See more »

Quotes

[watching the regiment under attack by the Apaches - calls for Lt. O'Rourke]
Captain Yorke: Mickey!
[Lt. O'Rourke rides up]
Captain Yorke: Get to Fort Grant. Tell 'em where we are. Tell 'em we may still be alive if they hurry. Move!
[Lt. O'Rourke rides off]
Captain Yorke: And marry that girl!
See more »

Alternate Versions

French version is cut to 108 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fonda on Fonda (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
(uncredited)
Music & Lyrics by George A. Norton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Very thoughtful, penetrating
11 August 2004 | by ALauffSee all my reviews

This beautifully shot western—the first in John Ford's so-called Cavalry Trilogy—about a fatuous lieutenant (Henry Fonda) whose hubris seriously endangers an isolated frontier outpost, grabbed me by the throat in its quietly scathing indictment of military leaders who needlessly risk the lives of their soldiers to win vague notions of heroism for posterity.

Fonda's Lieutenant Colonel Thursday seems an obvious stand-in for General Custer and the film, despite its reputation, seems less derogatory toward Native Americans than keen to extol the virtues of honorable combat agreed upon between two forthright leaders. Note the penultimate scene, occurring after the massacre, in which Wayne, Thursday's successor, wearily addresses reporters eager to talk about Thursday's "legacy." A glossy portrait of the lieutenant lords over the room. As Wayne discusses Thursday's merits, he looks out fondly at his battalion, their reflections superimposed over Wayne's gaze. This film is not anti-war, rather pro-service and pro-battle. It is not, however, supportive of egregious affronts to the sanctity of human life; a rather interesting contra-distinction, to be sure.


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