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
Despite the demise of the 'Pony Express' in 1861 and the completion of the telegraph in 1862, notification in many areas, even in 1876, still traveled by horse. The Custer column from Fort Lincoln did not string telegraph lines as it moved west to engage the 'hostile Indians'. After the 'massacre', the word was sent East, at least to Fort Lincoln, by courier on horseback. It took nearly two weeks for the word to reach the East Coast (General Sherman on July 4th). See more »
While the film is set in 1876, the cavalrymen wear greatcoats with a yellow lining; a pattern that was not introduced until 1883. See more »
and he has easily seen it over 200 times. He got me hooked on it when I was a young girl by pointing out all the gentle humor and the repeated comedic bits that separate it from many other westerns. I still love it for those reasons and more.
"Yellow Ribbon" is not John Ford's best movie, but it may be John Wayne's. Capt. Brittles is -- needless to say -- the antithesis of Henry Fonda's Col. Thursday in "Fort Apache." When the film opens, it is obvious Capt. Brittles has earned the respect of his troops and won their loyalty, and by the fade-out they have come to love him like devoted sons.
For someone who was allegedly so difficult to work with, John Ford put together a truly remarkable stock company of actors and technical personnel. They appeared in his films time and again, and there was more or less a core group of professionals on screen and off that gave all of Ford's westerns color, excitement and realism. But "Yellow Ribbon" has something less expected: warmth. And there's not a thing wrong with that.
"She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" is also arguably the most sentimental movie John Ford ever made, and there's nothing wrong with that, either.
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