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Two Rode Together (1961)

Approved | | 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:

TOGETHER...THEY RODE INTO A THOUSAND DANGERS! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | 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

John Ford closed down production on the movie for a week after Ward Bond died on 5 November 1960, so he could help organize Bond's funeral service. See more »

Goofs

While women did wear pants in this era out of necessity. But they did not wear pants anything like those worn by Shirley Jones. Her pants were clearly there to emphasize her ample attributes. Not be historically correct. Her pants would not have tailored to be form fitting and probably would have been denim blue or brown. 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 Ta paidia tou Kronou (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Buffalo Gals
(uncredited)
Written by William Cool White
Sung by the men trying to get Marty to go to the dance
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Leisurely John Ford Western doesn't have much action, but the pleasant story makes up for it.
5 December 1999 | by Slim-4See all my reviews

This is not your typical John Ford Western. The usual cast of Ford characters is on hand. Henry Brandon reprises his role as the Comanche chief Scar, which he played so well in the "Searchers". This time he plays a more sympathetic role as the real life Comanche chief Quanah Parker. The evil Clegg clan from "Wagonmaster" is also on hand. They are not quite as evil this time around. The Comanches are played by the usual Navajos recruited for countless Ford Westerns. The awesome arid scenery of Monument Valley has been appropriately replaced by rolling grass covered plains country.

The two protagonists in the film are played by James Stewart and Richard Widmark. Stewart plays a gunfighter serving as sheriff of the Texas town of Tascosa. Widmark is the cavalry officer who summons him to Fort Grant to rescue Comanche captives. They ride together on this mission, which is relegated to a small part in the plot. Although they are friends, their partnership is uneasy from the start. Stewart is going on the mission for money. Widmark is ordered by the colonel (played by John McIntyre) to go. The tension between the two leads at one point to Stewart drawing, but not firing, his gun.

This film contains elements of "The Searchers". Like the other film the theme is captivity by the Indians. Just as in "The Searchers" captivity is viewed as degrading. Linda Cristal plays the captive in this film. "I am not worth fighting for", she says. Ford goes one step further here. Captivity by the Indians is depicted as extremely arduous. The protagonists find few living captives to rescue. The captives they do find are shown as prematurely old and savage. Cristal is an exception. Although she has been a wife to the Comanche chief Stone Calf for five years, she retains something of her aristocratic Mexican upbringing. Perhaps her strong Catholic faith enabled her to avoid the complete degradation typical of captives. Like Debbie in "The Searchers", she has the prospect for redemption. In "The Searchers" it is the strength of the family which provides redemption. Here it is a stagecoach to a new life in California.

The pace in this film differs from many Ford films. There is only one action scene. Much of the film is spent in quiet moments. In the opening scene McCabe (Stewart) is relaxing on the porch of the saloon. It is obvious that he has his law enforcement duties well in hand. In another scene he and Lieutenant Gary (Widmark) are resting on the banks of a river. There is also a significant interlude as the wagon train camps at Oak Creek. There is also a dance at the fort. At the end of the film McCabe returns to Tascosa to find someone else relaxing in his place.

McCabe is an interesting character. His ethics are questionable. He owns 10% of everything in Tascosa, he says. He'll do almost anything for money. He makes it clear to the colonel that he figures that each captive he brings back is worth $500. He then makes a deal with Henry J. Wringle (played by Willis Bouchey) to bring back a boy, any boy, for $1000. Wringle wants to get on with his business and can't afford to waste more time looking for his wife's son. McCabe is more than happy to oblige him, bringing back a boy whose savagery is unquestioned.

In the end there is redemption for both Stewart and Cristal. Both of their characters are interesting and well acted. It is a pity that so many other characters in this movie are wasted. Woody Strode's part as Stone Calf is particularly disappointing. The script gives him very little to say and do. He is around only long enough to go against Stewart in the film's only action sequence. Andy Devine provides much of the film's humor, but is not really credible as what McCabe calls "that hippopotamus of a sergeant".

I wish the film had spent more time focusing on Stewart and Widmark's mission to the Comanche camp as the film's title suggests. Unfortunately, it's only a footnote. Despite the flaws, the leisurely pace and Stewart's portrayal of the amoral McCabe make this film a treat.


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