63 user 21 critic

Cheyenne Autumn (1964)

4:34 | Trailer
The Cheyenne, tired of broken U.S. government promises, head for their ancestral lands but a sympathetic cavalry officer is tasked to bring them back to their reservation.


John Ford


Mari Sandoz (suggested by "Cheyenne Autumn"), James R. Webb (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Widmark ... Capt. Thomas Archer
Carroll Baker ... Deborah Wright
Karl Malden ... Capt. Wessels
Sal Mineo ... Red Shirt
Dolores del Rio ... Spanish Woman (as Dolores Del Rio)
Ricardo Montalban ... Little Wolf
Gilbert Roland ... Dull Knife
Arthur Kennedy ... Doc Holliday
James Stewart ... Wyatt Earp
Edward G. Robinson ... Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz
Patrick Wayne ... 2nd Lt. Scott
Elizabeth Allen ... Guinevere Plantagenet
John Carradine ... Maj. Jeff Blair
Victor Jory ... Tall Tree
Mike Mazurki ... Senior First Sergeant


When the government agency fails to deliver even the meager supplies due by treaty to the proud Cheyenne tribe in their barren desert reserve, the starving Indians have taken more abuse than it's worth and break it too by embarking on a 1,500 miles journey back to their ancestral hunting grounds. US Cavalry Capt. Thomas Archer is charged with their retrieval, but during the hunt grows to respect their noble courage, and decides to help them. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


1,500 miles of heroism and incredible adventure! See more »


Drama | History | Western


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


According to both John Ford and James Stewart, Ford added the segment with Stewart in place of an intermission. He didn't want people leaving the auditorium to go the bathroom or concessions counter, even though the film was long, and so he came up with the Wyatt Earp segment. He later quipped to Stewart that the actor was the "best intermission" in the movies. See more »


There are no mountains in Nebraska. During the Fort Robinson sequence, mountains are visible, whereas Nebraska has no mountains. See more »


Capt. Thomas Archer: Dull Knife! Little Wolf! What happened today changes nothing. The Indian Bureau is still pledged to provide you with adequate clothing and rations. And you're still pledged to abide by the law. Remember that!
Little Wolf: We are asked to remember much. The white man remembers nothing.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Many television prints run 145 minutes, and omit the scene with James Stewart as Wyatt Earp. The video release is the full 154-minute version. See more »


Referenced in Bed & Board (1970) See more »


The Yellow Rose of Texas
Played on the banjo during the saloon
See more »

User Reviews

Starts as compelling drama but turns into bad farce and never recovers
24 September 2014 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

The Cheyenne nation has been gathered on their desert reservation waiting for supplies. The people are starving. Captain Thomas Archer (Richard Widmark) is sympathetic but powerless in the face of government indifference. Deborah Wright (Carroll Baker) is a Quaker trying to help the Cheyenne. Chiefs Little Wolf (Ricardo Montalban) and Dull Knife (Gilbert Roland) lead over 300 Cheyenne from their reservation in the Oklahoma territory to their traditional home in Wyoming. Archer is forced to stop them. The media exaggerate army casualties. Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz (Edward G. Robinson) resists political pressure to increase the conflict.

This starts off well with the vast landscape and compelling story of the Cheyenne mistreatment. Director John Ford is able to give dignity to the movie. Even with the mostly Latinos portraying Cheyennes, it isn't that badly done. There is some good action. It's set up for a serious compelling western. It is a somewhat long march. It's meandering and struggles to keep up the pace. Then it takes a bad comedy detour in Dodge City. Other than having James Stewart play Wyatt Earp, there is nothing worthwhile in that section. The tone is all wrong and breaks down the realism of the movie once and for all.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 63 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

22 December 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Long Flight See more »


Box Office


$4,200,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ford-Smith Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed