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Sergeant Rutledge (1960)

Approved | | Crime , Western | 28 May 1960 (USA)
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2:27 | Trailer

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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:

Forget all the suspense you have ever seen! Forget all the excitement you have ever known! 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

Billie Burke, age 76, played Cordelia Fosgate, the wife of Col. Fosgate, played by Willis Bouchey, who was only 53. See more »

Goofs

Cantrell explains that the "Buffalo Soldiers" were so named because when first seen by the Native Americans, the Natives mistook their woolly coats for those of a buffalo. In truth, it was the "nappy" hair of the Black soldiers that lead the Natives to dub the unit as "Buffalo Soldiers," but Cantrell could have been misinformed. 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

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.21 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

A wonderful piece of social history
26 July 2004 | by Essex_RiderSee all my reviews

This movie was a wonderful piece of social history. It was filmed during a turbulent time in the United States when Civil Rights marches were really making headlines. It was a well crafted and movingly brave attempt to address in celluloid what the Civil Rights movement was addressing on placards.

Throughout the trial, colour isn't mentioned at all until near the end, but the underlying issue is one of race and how easy it would have been to jump to the wrong conclusion and ‘Hang ourselves a nigger'. It was also incredibly brave to show how the protagonist, Sergeant Rutledge, (beautifully played by Woody Strode) was helped by a white woman; again very rare at that time.

This is a hidden gem of a movie, and although the dialogue gets a little stilted at times, it doesn't detract from the central issue. Judging by his performance when under oath, Woody Strode is up there with the best of the marvellous Black actors that have changed the face of social America.

I rate this 10 out of ten.


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