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Rio Grande (1950)

Passed | | Romance, Western | 15 November 1950 (USA)
A cavalry officer posted on the Rio Grande must deal with murderous raiding Apaches, his son who's a risk-taking recruit and his wife from whom he has been separated for many years.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

James Kevin McGuinness (screenplay), James Warner Bellah (Saturday Evening Post story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke
Maureen O'Hara ... Mrs. Kathleen Yorke
Ben Johnson ... Trooper Travis Tyree
Claude Jarman Jr. ... Trooper Jefferson 'Jeff' Yorke
Harry Carey Jr. ... Trooper Daniel 'Sandy' Boone
Chill Wills ... Dr. Wilkins (regimental surgeon)
J. Carrol Naish ... Lt. Gen. Philip Sheridan
Victor McLaglen ... Sgt. Maj. Timothy Quincannon
Grant Withers ... U.S. Deputy Marshal
Sons of the Pioneers ... Regimental Musicians (as Sons Of The Pioneers)
Peter Ortiz Peter Ortiz ... Capt. St. Jacques
Steve Pendleton ... Capt. Prescott
Karolyn Grimes ... Margaret Mary
Alberto Morin ... Lieutenant
Stan Jones Stan Jones ... Sergeant
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Storyline

Rio Grande takes place after the Civil War when the Union turned their attention towards the Apaches. Union officer Kirby Yorke is in charge of an outpost on the Rio Grande in which he is in charge of training of new recruits one of which is his son whom he hasn't seen in 15 years. He whips him into shape to take on the Apaches but not before his mother shows up to take him out of there.The decision to leave is left up to Trooper Yorke who decides to stay and fight. Through it all Kirby and Kathleen though separated for years fall back into love and decide that it's time to give it another try. But Yorke faces his toughest battle when his unorthodox plan to outwit the elusive Apaches leads to possible court- martial. Locked in a bloody Indian war, he must fight to redeem his honor and save the love and lives of his broken family Written by Christopher D. Ryan <cryan@direct.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Screen's Greatest Director-Actor Team! (1956 reissie title) See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Ford and Merian C. Cooper's Rio Grande See more »

Filming Locations:

Kayenta, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,214,899 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

John Ford was especially irritated when producer Herbert J. Yates showed up on location with fellow Republic executive Rudy Ralston. Pointing out the time (it was ten in the morning), Yates asked when Ford intended to start shooting; "Just as soon as you get the hell off my set", Ford supposedly replied. The director later played a practical joke on the two producers at dinnertime. He hired one of his actors, Alberto Morin, to masquerade as a French waiter with poor English skills. During their meal, Morin managed to spill soup on the men, break several plates, and create a general ruckus in the dining room but Yates and Ralston never seemed to catch on to the joke. See more »

Goofs

When Quincannon is addressing the recruits about horsemanship, Sandy takes his hand out of his pocket and removes the hay straw from his mouth. When the camera angle changes to behind Sandy, he has his thumb looped through his suspenders and the straw is back in his mouth. When it changes to the front view of Sandy, his hand is back in his pocket. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Maj. Timothy Quincannon: [breaking up soldier's fight] Break it up! Who started this?
Trooper Travis Tyree: [indicating Heinze] This fella talked derogatory about the boy's pappy.
Trooper Daniel 'Sandy' Boone: Yeah, he called him the teacher's pet of a chuckle-headed Mick sergeant. What's that mean, doc?
Sgt. Maj. Timothy Quincannon: [to Heinze] Oh, you said that, did ya?
Trooper Heinze: Yes, I did.
Sgt. Maj. Timothy Quincannon: And did ya mean it?
Trooper Heinze: Yes I did.
Sgt. Maj. Timothy Quincannon: [exasperated] A chuckle... what was that?
Trooper Daniel 'Sandy' Boone: Chuckle-headed Mick sergeant.
Sgt. Maj. Timothy Quincannon: And you meant it?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Follows She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen
(uncredited)
Written by Thomas Payne Westendorf
Performed by the Sons of the Pioneers
See more »

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User Reviews

Triumphant Conclusion to Cavalry Trilogy!

'Rio Grande', the last of director John Ford's 'unofficial' Cavalry Trilogy, has often been unfairly judged the 'weakest' of the three westerns. Certainly, it lacks the poetic quality of 'She Wore a Yellow Ribbon', or the revisionist view of a thinly-disguised reworking of the events surrounding the death of George Armstrong Custer ('Fort Apache'), but for richness of detail, a sense of the camaraderie of cavalrymen, an 'adult' (in the best sense of the word) love story, and a symbolic 'rejoining' of North and South conclusion that may have you tapping your toe, 'Rio Grande' is hard to beat!

It is remarkable that 'Rio Grande' ever got to the screen; Ford hadn't planned to make it, but in order to get Republic Pictures to agree to his demands for 'The Quiet Man' (he wanted the film to be shot on location in Ireland, and in color), he had to agree to do a 'quickie' western that would turn a quick profit for the usually cash-strapped studio. This is, perhaps, a reason why the film is held in less esteem than it deserves. 'Rio Grande' may have not been born with high expectations, but with John Ford in the director's chair, and John Wayne and the Ford 'family' in the cast and crew, the potential for something 'special' was ALWAYS present!

A few bits of trivia to enhance your viewing pleasure: Yes, that IS Ken Curtis, singing with The Sons of the Pioneers, in the film...while uncredited, he made a favorable impression with Ford, and soon became a part of his 'family'...Ben Johnson, Harry Carey, Jr, and Claude Jarman, Jr, actually did their own stunts while performing the 'Roman Style' riding sequence (Carey said in interviews that they were all young, and didn't think about the danger of it; a production would lose their insurance if they 'allowed' three major performers to do something as risky, today!)...Did you know that O'Hara, playing Jarman's 'mother', was barely 14 years older than her 'son', and was only 29 at the time of the filming?...Harry Carey barely had any lines in the script; most of what you see in the film was ad-libbed!...the popular ditty, 'San Antoine', sung by Jarman, Carey, Johnson, and Curtis, was, in fact, written by Mrs. Roy Rogers, herself, Dale Evans!

Whether you're viewing 'Rio Grande' for the first time, or have sat through many viewings, the film has a richness and sense of nostalgia for a West that 'may never have existed, but SHOULD have'. It would be a proud addition to any collector's library!


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