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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 Ford's New and Finest Picture of the Fighting Cavalry! 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

John Wayne felt his Academy Award nomination for Best Actor of 1949 should have been for this film instead of Sands of Iwo Jima (1949). See more »

Goofs

The cork in the bottle hidden in Captain Brittles' quarters is missing when Top Sgt. Quincannon first takes a pull from it, but is in the bottle later when Captain Brittles 'finds' it. See more »

Quotes

Abby Allshard: How did "Marching Through Georgia" take the idea of "Old Iron Pants" riding with him?
Major Mac Allshard, Commanding Officer Fort Starke: Under protest, my dear.
Captain Nathan Brittles: Under WRITTEN protest, Abby, of course. It's always my pleasure to escort "Old Iron Pants." Well, as long as you're going along with us, I guess we'll have...
[notices how she's dressed]
Captain Nathan Brittles: Abby, that is the dad-blastedest outfit I ever did see. Quincannon's old britches.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Postman (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

O Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by unidentified singer at funeral
See more »

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User Reviews

 
John Wayne, Cinematography, Both Brilliant
14 November 2001 | by Ephraim GadsbySee all my reviews

Anyone who thinks John Wayne can't act should see this movie and eat crow. A young man then, he played a cavalry officer on the verge of retirement. Watch his eyes (the sign of a great actor). It's a wonder he wasn't even nominated for the Academy Award for this role, which few in Hollywood could pull off convincingly.

It's also a John Wayne western the woman in your life will probably like. Wayne talks tenderly at the grave of his wife, and even has a moment of sucking back weeping when his men show their fondness for him.

This bittersweet, elegaic film about a retiring officer on his last mission doesn't have lots of action in it (Ford seems to have thrown in a fistfight with McLaglin just because that actor had little to do, and though it's corny, it has a wonderful beginning).

Apart from Wayne, the reason to watch this is the cinematography. Monument valley, host to myriad westerns, never looked better. They even captured a marvelous thunderstorm in the background, in these days before special effects (the cinematographer, who did snatch an Oscar, originally protested the work, but Ford made him film the scene and they ended up with one of the most striking natural scenes ever).

For years people didn't think Wayne could act. Some, like me, grew up on his later, post-"True Grit" movies, when he did tend to walk through his parts, more icon than actor. He didn't have great finesse with his lines (neither does a fine actor of today, Harrison Ford), but his roles rarely called for the nicety of a Jeremy Irons. In his better movies, Wayne proves he's more than just a movie star. This is his finest hour, and may be John Ford's.


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