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She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

Not Rated | | Western | 22 October 1949 (USA)
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Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

James Warner Bellah (story), Frank S. Nugent (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Capt. Nathan Cutting Brittles
Joanne Dru ... Olivia Dandridge
John Agar ... Lt. Flint Cohill
Ben Johnson ... Sgt. Tyree
Harry Carey Jr. ... Second Lt. Ross Pennell
Victor McLaglen ... Top Sgt. Quincannon
Mildred Natwick ... Abby Allshard
George O'Brien ... Maj. Mac Allshard
Arthur Shields ... Dr. O'Laughlin
Michael Dugan Michael Dugan ... Sgt. Hochbauer
Chief John Big Tree ... Chief Pony That Walks
Fred Graham ... Sgt. Hench
George Sky Eagle George Sky Eagle ... Chief Sky Eagle
Tom Tyler ... Cpl. Mike Quayne
Noble Johnson ... Chief Red Shirt
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

JOHN WAYNE'S GREATEST ROLE (1954 & 1957 reissue posters) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 October 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Teufelshauptmann See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Argosy Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In the graveyard, one of the crosses carries the name "DeVoto", this is likely an homage to Bernard DeVoto, a prominent historian of the American West. See more »

Goofs

When Sgt Tyree brings in the paymasters stage and the doctor is examining the Paymasters body, we see the doctors hat and bag on the ground next to the doctor. In the next shot, the doctor's hat is leaning against the doctors bag. See more »

Quotes

Chief Pony That Walks: Hey, Nathan! Nathan! I am a Christian! Hallelujah! Old friend, me. Long time. Long time.
Captain Nathan Brittles: I come in peace, Pony That Walks.
Chief Pony That Walks: Talk a salt, Nathan. Take salt. Smoke pipe. Good. Good.
Captain Nathan Brittles: Pony That Walks, my heart is sad at what I see. Your young men painted for war. Their scalp knives red. The medicine drums talking. It is a bad thing!
Chief Pony That Walks: A bad thing, Nathan. Many will die. My young men, your young men. No good. No good.
Captain Nathan Brittles: We must stop this war.
Chief Pony That Walks: Too late, Nathan. Young men do not listen to me. They listen ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 5th World (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Dixie
(uncredited)
Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
In score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
the best of the cavalry trilogy
24 January 2007 | by Martin BradleySee all my reviews

The fact that the names of Captain Nathan Brittles and Sgts Tyree and Quincannon have passed, not just into the mythology of the American western, but of movies themselves is testament to the iconic status of Ford's 1949 masterpiece, the second and best of what became known as his cavalry trilogy. That their names are also burned into our collective cinematic consciousness is also testament to the performances of John Wayne, Ben Johnson and Victor McLaglen who are all at their best here and yet are only part of a great ensemble that also includes that very fine and undervalued actress Joanne Dru as well as Mildred Natwick, John Agar, Harry Carey Jr and Arthur Shields.

The period is the Indian Wars that followed from the massacre of General Custer and Ford filmed it mostly in his beloved Monument Valley. It is largely devoid of the sentimentality of "Rio Grande" though it is never as dark nor as serious as "Fort Apache", (it straddles the middle-ground magnificently; even the comic fight scene doesn't sit uncomfortably), and while Ford may make the Indians the villains of the piece he nevertheless bestows on them a kind of dignity and some degree of respect. Ford's sentimentality isn't necessarily for the cavalry but for the passing of the 'old' West and the loss of Native American culture


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