Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.
Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros.
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
John Ford cast John Wayne as a mature father figure in this film after seeing him play an older character for the first time the previous year in Howard Hawks' Red River (1948) and exclaiming, "I didn't know the big SOB could act." See more »
After Capt Brittles says goodbye to the troops and rides back to his quarters, he makes a very showy gesture of tying up his horse's reigns to the hitching post which the horse undoes a moment later with a shake of his head. And, though seeing it, Capt Brittles makes no attempt to re-tie up the reigns. 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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