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 the Civil War, ex-Confederate soldiers heading for a new life in Mexico run into ex-Union cavalrymen selling horses to the Mexican government but they must join forces to fight off Mexican bandits and revolutionaries.
During the Alaska gold rush, prospector George sends partner Sam to Seattle to bring his fiancée but when it turns out that she married another man, Sam returns with a pretty substitute, the hostess of the Henhouse dance hall.
A Union Cavalry outfit is sent behind Confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail/supply center. Along with them is sent a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the commander. The secret plan for the mission is overheard by a southern belle who must be taken along to assure her silence. The Union officers each have different reasons for wanting to be on the mission.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although there are several battle scenes, John Wayne's character does not fire a single shot on screen in the entire film. See more »
After the battle at Newton Station, MAJ Kendall is talking to COL Miles after recovering from his surgery. Behind them is a map of the southern US. However, this is not a map of the Confederacy. It still shows Florida split into West Florida and East Florida and Mississippi (where the battle is set), Alabama, Indiana and Illinois (among other states) are shown as territories and not states. This map must pre-date 1800, which is out of place for a movie set 60+ years later. See more »
The fields, woodlands and rivers of Tennassee drenched in summer sunlight are in stark contrast to the horrors of civil war as depicted in John Ford's "The Horse Soldiers". John Wayne's mission to lead a troop of Yankee soldiers behind Confederate lines to destroy a railway base vital to the South's supply lines is fraught with danger. Skirmishes inevitably result in injuries and death, the former often giving rise to amputations. Although made well before the time that the full appalingness of warfare come to be depicted in films such as "Saving Captain Ryan", from "Drums Along the Mohawk" onwards Ford never shirked the unpleasant. Incurable romantic that he was, he gave his work a hard edge whenever it was needed. Although the term "road movie" to categorise films based on journeys was not then in general usage, this fascinating work, with horses replacing cars, stands as one of the genres finest examples. And yet, judging from many of this site's user comments, it remains one of Ford's most under appreciated films. I find this rather strange as it contains most of the ingredients that are the hallmarks of those generally regarded as masterworks, westerns such as "The Searchers", "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and "My Darling Clementine", not forgetting his glorious Irish romp, "The Quiet Man". A shrew is tamed, there is a measure of drunken knockabout and the soundtrack pulsates with rousing cavalry tunes and bugle calls. I have no quarrel with the fact that it is episodic rather than tightly knit. This somehow makes it all the more compatible with its journeying structure. Each episode on the way is brought out in sharp relief, be it the Southern belle's false hospitality and attempted betrayal, the central climax at the railroad station or the delightful interlude of the attack by the boy soldiers from the Confederate military academy (one of my favourite sequences from any Ford film). John Wayne plays what is almost a variation on his Ethan role in "The Searchers", his anger here not vent on Indians but on the medical profession which he holds responsible for his wife's death. His embittered relationship with his company's medical officer played by William Holden gives this otherwise picaresque film a strong dramatic unity. I can only advise those who consider this one of Ford's minor works to see it several times. From my own experience I find it emerges stronger on each viewing.
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