7.2/10
7,865
68 user 31 critic

The Horse Soldiers (1959)

Approved | | Adventure, Romance, War | July 1959 (USA)
In 1863, a Union outfit is sent behind Confederate lines in Mississippi to destroy enemy railroads but a captive southern belle and the unit's doctor cause frictions within ranks.

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(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Col. John Marlowe
... Maj. Henry Kendall
... Hannah Hunter
... Sgt. Maj. Kirby
... Sgt. Brown
... Cpl. Wilkie
... Col. Phil Secord
... Dunker
... Hoppy Hopkins
... Deacon Clump
... Union Captain
... Jackie Jo
... Virgil
... Commandant
... Col. Jonathan Miles
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...Rides Where Only The Great Ones Go! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der letzte Befehl  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Col. Grierson, like the screen's Col. Marlowe, used special scouts dressed as civilians, known as "Grierson's Guerillas." See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the engagement with the boys from the military academy, Colonel Marlow orders "Assembly" be sounded. It is clear from the immediately preceding shot, that many of the troops are not only not mounted, but the horses are not even saddled. Therefore, the correct bugle call would have been "Boots and Saddles". See more »

Quotes

Union Soldier: They're just kids from a military school.
Soldier: Yeah, but they keep comin'.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: John Wayne (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Lorena
(uncredited
Music by J.P. Webster
Lyrics by Henry D.L. Webster
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User Reviews

Where was Maureen O'Hara when casting this one???
2 November 2002 | by See all my reviews

I have high praise for THE HORSE SOLDIERS, an absorbing, excellent Civil War movie about the Union cavalry during combat and based on some actual battles according to historians. The only flaw seems to be the casting of Constance Towers as the flirtatious, spirited Southern lady who becomes the unwilling captive of Col. John Marlowe (John Wayne) when he discovers that she is a Confederate spy. She goes along for the ride and provides the film's love interest. While she's certainly a capable enough actress, it's the sort of role that cries for a hot-tempered Maureen O'Hara who must have been busy in another role to pass up this choice romantic lead.

It's the sort of Ford film that must have been hard on the actors, riding through swamps on horseback and engaging in fierce battles when pursued by Rebel forces. William Holden has some wonderful moments as a doctor who is constantly bickering with John Wayne. Their exchanges provide plenty of tension and humor--and both actors are at their best under Ford's direction.

A good Civil War western combining magnificent photography, good performances and some rousing battle scenes. The horrors of war are not ignored and there are some sentimental moments that never strike a false note.


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