7.5/10
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35 user 27 critic

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:

It's the rendezvous with DEATH for men to whom DEATH was no stranger! 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

Jeffrey Hunter's character refers early on in the film to the Jorgensen Ranch. Director John Ford's classic western The Searchers (1956), also starring Hunter, ended with Hunter's character arriving at the Jorgensen Ranch. See more »

Goofs

During defense counsel's testimony the lieutenant testifies that he and his men "arrived at Spindle Station shortly after dawn". Judging by the shadows being cast while at the gate it looks like the time would more likely be 10 or 11 a.m. The scene changes to the front of the station and the shadows of the posts are much longer suggesting earlier morning or late afternoon - neither of which are consistent with dawn. See more »

Quotes

[On horseback, Lieutenant Cantrell and some of his officers are escorting Mary Beecher to her home. Rutledge, handcuffed and still wounded from gunfire in his side, rides in the front alongside Cantrell]
Lt. Tom Cantrell: How's the side holding up, Sergeant?
1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge: [sardonically] You know what they say about us, sir. We heal fast.
Lt. Tom Cantrell: You give me your word you won't try to make an escape, I'll take those irons off you.
1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge: [Rutledge refuses to look at Cantrell] I can't do that, sir. 'Cause I ain't going back to stand trial.
Lt. Tom Cantrell: Well,...
[...]
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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
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User Reviews

A great underrated film
23 September 1999 | by FrankiePaddoSee all my reviews

John Ford, ever the director of the under dog creates another masterpiece of forgotten American history.

Ford, who called himself a social democrat creates another film of nobility and personal convictions, both his and his characters. It is Fords great humanity and sense of justice which makes this film so appealing.

Some of the narrative is forced and the resolution is pat. What we do have is Fords beautiful colour camera in Monument Valley, ala "The Searchers ( 1956 )", broad humour, defined characterizations and attention to detail both individual and historical.

Jeffrey Hunter, always an underrated actor, is fine as the lead, but it is Woody Strode as the title character that is a stand out. His courtroom scene defending his beliefs and humanity is truly moving as is his scene as he rides back to save his troop. A " man mountain" he is ! Through his physical presence Ford coaxes out subtle nuances of character which give the role a ring of truth. Supporting him we have Fords usual wonderful stock players. Although not as poetic or thought out as some of Fords other films this is still miles ahead of other peoples efforts.


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