6.8/10
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Two Rode Together (1961)

Not Rated | | Western | 26 July 1961 (USA)
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A corrupt marshal is pressured by his army friend into negotiating the release of white captives of the Comanches, but finds that their reintegration into society has its consequences.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent), Will Cook (novel)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Stewart ... Marshal Guthrie McCabe
Richard Widmark ... First Lt. Jim Gary
Shirley Jones ... Marty Purcell
Linda Cristal ... Elena de la Madriaga
Andy Devine ... Sgt. Darius P. Posey
John McIntire ... Maj. Frazer
Paul Birch ... Judge Edward Purcell
Willis Bouchey ... Mr. Harry J. Wringle
Henry Brandon ... Chief Quanah Parker
Harry Carey Jr. ... Ortho Clegg
Olive Carey ... Mrs. Abby Frazer
Ken Curtis ... Greeley Clegg
Chet Douglas Chet Douglas ... Deputy Ward Corby
Annelle Hayes ... Belle Aragon
David Kent ... Running Wolf
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Storyline

The US Army is under pressure from the desperate relatives of white prisoners of the Comanches to secure their rescue. A cynical and corrupt marshal, Guthrie McCabe, is persuaded by an army lieutenant to assist in the negotiations with the Comanches; however, just two captives are released, and their reintegration into white society proves highly problematic. Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The West's most violent story... The West's most valiant hour! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 July 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Misión de dos valientes See more »

Filming Locations:

Rio Bavispe, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

James Stewart had been warned about John Ford's behaviour by such longtime stalwarts as John Wayne and Henry Fonda. Stewart came to learn Ford liked to keep his actors in the dark about the direction of the picture and suspicious of each other. In Andrew Sinclair's biography, John Ford, Stewart revealed that Ford's "direction took the form of asides. Sometimes he'd put his hand across his mouth so that others couldn't hear what he was saying to you. On Two Rode Together he told me to watch out for Dick Widmark because he was a good actor and that he would start stealing if I didn't watch him. Later, I learned he'd told Dick the same thing about me. He liked things to be tense." See more »

Goofs

About 1:16 into the film, when the townspeople are discussing the fate of the boy (rescued from the Comanches), Willis Bouchey, John Qualen and Paul Birch turn and walk out, passing Shirley Jones and those remaining in the room. Qualen and Richard Widmark then have a brief shot at the doorway and Qualen exits. The next shot shows the group, including Qualen, again walking past Jones and the others on their way to the door. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Jesus gives Marshal Guthrie a beer]
Marshal Guthrie McCabe: Thank you, Jesus.
Jesus: Senor, the widow Gomez has delivered a son this morning - a boy.
Marshal Guthrie McCabe: Bully for the widow Gomez!
Jesus: But senor, it has been more than a year ago since Senor Antonio Gomez has been buried in the church house.
Marshal Guthrie McCabe: Well, there are some men you just can't trust to stay where you put 'em.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Education (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Quintet in E
(uncredited)
Written by Luigi Boccherini
Played on the music box
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just how much do you think human lives are worth, McCabe?
15 April 2012 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Two Rode Together is directed by John Ford and adapted to screenplay by Frank Nugent from the novel Comanche Captives written by Will Cook. It stars James Stewart, Richard Widmark, Shirley Jones, Linda Cristal and Andy Devine. Music is scored by George Duning and Eastman Color cinematography is by Charles Lawton Junior.

The US Army is under pressure to negotiate the release of Comanche captives and send in a party to ransom for their release. Heading the party are cynical hard drinking Marshal Guthrie McCabe (Stewart) and his pal First Lt. Jim Gary (Widmark). The two men are at odds in how to go about dealing with the problem to hand, but bigger issues are just around the corner.....

The Searchers lite it is for sure, Two Rode Together is a mixed bag that hasn't been helped by the quotes attributed by its director. It's well documented that John Ford only did the film out of kindness and a love of money, the great man going on record to say he hated the film, the source and etc. The shoot was far from being a happy one, with the director pitching his two stars against each other whilst grumpily putting his film crew through the mangler. The end result shows the film to be psychitzophrenic in tone and structure, where airy comedy tries to sit alongside some serious themes and fails miserably. When the moral implications of the picture are to be born out, Ford, in his half-hearted approach to the production, comes off as being either clueless, sarcastically mean or going through the motions since he had already made this film as The Searchers. Well clueless is not something you can comfortably say in relation to this particular director....

However, film has strengths, not least with Stewart's over the top portrayal of McCabe. The actor is really giving it the full treatment, no doubt prompted by his director, this is a shallow man, motivated by ale and cash. This is non heroic stuff, he calls it as he sees it, he thinks nothing off telling the longing relatives of the missing that their loved ones are now alien to them. It's a clinical thread in the piece, deftly setting the film up for its telling last quarter as the moral questions are raised and the bitter irony leaves its sour taste. It's a mixed bag indeed, but hardly a disaster, though, and in spite of Ford's irreverence towards it, there's a worthy viewpoint in amongst all the causticism. It's just a shame that all the great individual aspects don't make a complete and rewarding whole, the blend of comedy and drama, this time, not making for a great John Ford picture. 6.5/10


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