After Custer and the 7th Cavalry are wiped out by Indians, everyone expects the worst. Capt. Nathan Brittles is ordered out on patrol but he's also required to take along Abby Allshard, wife of the Fort's commanding officer, and her niece, the pretty Olivia Dandridge, who are being evacuated for their own safety. Brittles is only a few days away from retirement and Olivia has caught the eye of two of the young officers in the Company, Lt. Flint Cohill and 2nd Lt. Ross Pennell. She's taken to wearing a yellow ribbon in her hair, a sign that she has a beau in the Cavalry, but refuses to say for whom she is wearing it.Written by
Although several reviewers praised John Wayne's portrayal, the general critical consensus was not in favor of his trying something new and expanding his range. Wayne recalled rather bitterly that he never got the credit he deserved for the picture, so he just went back to "re-acting" for the rest of his career. See more »
In a scene where Capt. Brittles takes flowers to his wife's grave, he speaks and "tells her" that Custer has been killed, and he speaks in a manner as if they had been old friends and recalls her dancing with one of Custer's dead comrades. Custer was born in 1839 and was only 36 at the time of his Death (1876), and hardly likely to have known Brittles who was in an older generation and at least 25 years older. See more »
[Quincannon is celebrating his upcoming retirement]
You're out of uniform, Quincannon.
Top Sergeant Quincannon:
Oh, I am, am I? Well, I'm in the proper uniform... the uniform of a retired gentleman.
[enters the bar]
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Like "My Darling Clementine", Ford used the name of a song and even more than in Clementine, he deviated from the pattern of a standard western. Although the basic structure is a story of war with Indians, there is more focus on the people, which are the essence of this great film. Joanne Dru is the beautiful niece of the commanding officer and she thrives on her power of seduction. When she wears the yellow ribbon, both John Agar and Harry Carey Jr hope it is for them. John Wayne is a captain who is going to retire, he is the one who knows it all, and his relationship with Ben Johnson, an ex confederate, is a model of human respect. Victor McLaglen is the strong,loyal Irishman who loves to fight and drink. There are some incredibly beautiful shots of Monument Valley in great color.When Joanne Dru at a certain moment feels guilty about all the trouble she caused and says to Wayne she is sorry, he tells her not to apologize for it is a sign of weakness, and considering all the excitement and joy she brought to the cavalry, he is certainly right.
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