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Sergeant Rutledge (1960)

Approved | | Crime, Western | 28 May 1960 (USA)
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Respected black cavalry Sergeant Brax Rutledge stands court-martial for raping and killing a white woman and murdering her father, his superior officer.

Director:

John Ford
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jeffrey Hunter ... Lt. Tom Cantrell
Constance Towers ... Mary Beecher
Billie Burke ... Mrs. Cordelia Fosgate
Woody Strode ... 1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge
Juano Hernandez ... Sgt. Matthew Luke Skidmore
Willis Bouchey ... Col. Otis Fosgate
Carleton Young ... Capt. Shattuck
Judson Pratt ... Lt. Mulqueen
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Storyline

Lieutenant Tom Cantrell is sent to defend Sergeant Braxton Rutledge, a black cavalry soldier, on a charge of rape and murder. The story begins in a courtroom and it is told through flashbacks. This is a story of how a black soldier in the face of danger from the Indians can be so easily mistaken as a criminal. Written by Christopher D. Ryan <cryan@direct.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gun Thrills Galore! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 May 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Captain Buffalo See more »

Filming Locations:

Monument Valley, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lt. Cantrell supplies Mary Beecher with a somewhat sanitized albeit understandable explanation of the term "buffalo soldier," stating that plains Indians applied the term to African-American soldiers upon seeing them in buffalo-hide coats and hats. In reality, the Indians referred to black troops as "buffalo soldiers" because the soldiers' woolly hair reminded them of the look and consistency of the animals' shaggy coats. No racism was implied in the term, as the Indians held the bison as sacred and the perceived kinship between black soldiers and the bison caused the Indians to both respect and fear the troopers. See more »

Goofs

During the skirmish between the cavalry and the Indians in the desert, the sky alternates between clear blue sky to overcast cloudy sky. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Tom Cantrell: [Pleading to Mary] Rutledge needs all the help he can get.
Mary Beecher: Whose fault is that? And you of all people defending him.
Lt. Tom Cantrell: If only you knew the facts.
See more »

Connections

Edited into John Ford, l'homme qui inventa l'Amérique (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Captain Buffalo
Words and Music by Mack David and Jerry Livingston
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perhaps the Best John Ford Western
24 February 2008 | by SixtusXLIVSee all my reviews

Up to now I have considered "The Searchers" the Best of Ford Westerns. It has better picture (VistaVision), and the legend of John Wayne to back it. Some of the secondary roles are better portrayed by more expert actors such as Ward Bond, just to mention one. Production is more lavish..

But the plot in "The Searchers" is unidirectional. It's just a story of white settlers against Indians.

Sergeant Rutledge goes much deeper, into the social "fabric" of America,

To avoid fastidious repetition, let me just point that the story goes into "American Problems" that endure 100 years after. Racism, young female behavior, that affects men of power, and old rich females who own perhaps more than 50% of the total assets (the wealth of the Nation) of the USA, and last but not least, the excessive power and "tricks" of legal professionals that always leads to corruption.

It is all there. If the actors were a bit upper-crust it would be the best, but Jack Warner did no provide the cash.

A must see...


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