A town Marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.
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.
Ethan Edwards, returned from the Civil War to the Texas ranch of his brother, hopes to find a home with his family and to be near the woman he obviously but secretly loves. But a Comanche raid destroys these plans, and Ethan sets out, along with his 1/8 Indian nephew Martin, on a years-long journey to find the niece kidnapped by the Indians under Chief Scar. But as the quest goes on, Martin begins to realize that his uncle's hatred for the Indians is beginning to spill over onto his now-assimilated niece. Martin becomes uncertain whether Ethan plans to rescue Debbie...or kill her.Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Ethan Edwards was ranked #23 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters. See more »
When the Indians charge across the river toward the reverend's posse, the river changes both direction and color throughout the scene. In some shots, the river is a muddy red, while in others it is clearer and blue. In the shots of Ethan firing his rifle, the river moves from his left to his right. But in the shots of the Indians getting shot and falling from their horses, the river moves from Ethan's (and the viewer's) right to his left. Then, as the Indians retreat, the river switches back to moving left to right. See more »
Remarkable considering it still stands as one of the true classic films ever made.
For me the most disturbing scene is at the 1:13 marker - you see the 7th cavalry entering a snow bound fort on horseback and as 'Glengarry' plays there is a group of Indian women and small children in front of a group of horses with mounted cavalry bellowing at them to "Move along!" Any competent historian is struck with a 19th Century version of a Sonderkommando death squad in Podolia herding captured Jews.
This film is briefly noted in the classic history "Empire Of The Summer Moon" by S.C. Gwynne - if you have never read the book you truly should to just get a true understanding of what makes Texas what it is.
John Wayne-Ethan Edwards notes how he is different than the Indians by stating "....never met someone who wouldn't quit" This was true - until the Texicans, Rangers arrived the Comanche had successfully and completely defeated all the native-American tribes, Spaniards and Mexicans they'd encountered.
I cannot recommend this film enough - it is the best performance in Wayne's career - he should have been nominated for the AA and given it hands down - his contempt for decorum, for niceties, for manners for respect and courtesy is throughout the film and his self-exclusion at the end of the movie is truly a self-assessment of where he belongs - anywhere but where reason and planning for the future is the expected norm.
There is not one bad cast in the entire film -
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