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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:

You knew all along that love had nothing to do with it ... 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

The film takes place from May to August 1881. See more »

Goofs

"Poor little girl." When the German-speaking doctor sees the corpse of the young woman, he says "arme kleine Maedchen." It should be either "armes kleines Maedchen" or "das arme kleine Maedchen." He is either using feminine endings with a neuter noun, or weak neuter endings without a strong neuter article. No educated German would make this mistake. See more »

Quotes

1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge: Anyone come, you ain't gonna be in here with me.
Mary Beecher: What are you talking about?
1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge: I'm talking about you. A white woman. White women only spell trouble for any of us.
Mary Beecher: That's nonsense. We're just two people trying to stay alive.
1st Sgt. Braxton Rutledge: Lady, you don't know how hard I'm trying to stay alive.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Captain Buffalo
Words and Music by Mack David and Jerry Livingston
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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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