Army scout Hondo Lane (played by John Wayne) stumbles across an isolated homestead in the middle of Apache territory. The inhabitants - a woman and her son - believe they are safe, as there is a treaty with the Apaches. Lane knows better though, as the Army has just broken the treaty, causing the Apache to seek revenge on settlers. Despite being a scout for the US Army, Lane has sympathies for the Apaches, having been married to a native American woman and living with her people for five years. With divided loyalties he now has to tread a fine line.Written by
Geraldine Page makes her screen debut in Hondo and she is marvelous.
Someone in an earlier comment said that John Wayne is, "always bad." I take great umbrage in that statement. He was always good and often marvelous and sometimes Magnificent.
His Hondo is a very different character from Ethan Edwards or Thomas Dunson. Here, he is a younger Wil Anderson or a more somber Quirt Evans.
I like Hondo. It's not a great film like Red River or The Searchers, but it does explore the lonely existence of a woman living in the back of beyond. It also explores the way in which a semi-tamed man becomes a father substitute and good husband, something Ethan Edwards would never become.
Geraldine Page shines like a new penny in this, her first film. She won an Academy Award nomination for her role in Hondo, and she deserved it.
Hondo is a man who is hardened by experience but still capable of understanding, compassion and love. He also works HARD. It's fun to see John Wayne with nails in his mouth, shoeing a horse!
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