Undersecretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt resigns to form a volunteer militia unit called "The Rough Riders" to fight in the Spanish-American War.




Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Tom Berenger ...  Theodore Roosevelt 2 episodes, 1997
Sam Elliott ...  Capt. Bucky O'Neil 2 episodes, 1997
Gary Busey ...  Gen. Joseph Wheeler 2 episodes, 1997
Brad Johnson ...  Henry Nash 2 episodes, 1997
Illeana Douglas ...  Edith Roosevelt 2 episodes, 1997
Dale Dye ...  Col. Leonard Wood 2 episodes, 1997
Brian Keith ...  President William McKinley 2 episodes, 1997
George Hamilton ...  William Randolph Hearst 2 episodes, 1997
R. Lee Ermey ...  Secretary of State John Hay 2 episodes, 1997
Nick Chinlund ...  Frederick Remington 2 episodes, 1997
Chris Noth ...  Craig Wadsworth 2 episodes, 1997
Holt McCallany ...  Sgt. Hamilton Fish 2 episodes, 1997
James Parks ...  William Tiffany 2 episodes, 1997
Dakin Matthews ...  Wadsworth, Sr. 2 episodes, 1997
Mark Moses ...  Lt. Woodbury Kane 2 episodes, 1997
William Katt ...  Edward Marshall 2 episodes, 1997
Francesco Quinn ...  Sgt. Rafael Castillo 2 episodes, 1997
Adam Storke ...  Stephen Crane, writer 2 episodes, 1997
Geoffrey Lewis ...  Eli 2 episodes, 1997
Titus Welliver ...  B.F. Goodrich 2 episodes, 1997
Diana Jorge Diana Jorge ...  Mademoiselle Adler 2 episodes, 1997
Eric Allan Kramer ...  Sgt. Henry Bardshar 2 episodes, 1997
Angee Hughes Angee Hughes ...  Sara Bardshar 2 episodes, 1997
Hunter Bentley Hunter Bentley ...  Boyo (GT station) 2 episodes, 1997
Peter Sherayko ...  Brodie 2 episodes, 1997
Troy Curvey Jr. Troy Curvey Jr. ...  Sgt. Buck 2 episodes, 1997
Randy Stripling Randy Stripling ...  Buffalo Soldier 2 episodes, 1997
Willie Dirden Willie Dirden ...  Butler 2 episodes, 1997
Jared Chandler Jared Chandler ...  Capt. Allyn Capron 2 episodes, 1997
Rusty Cox Rusty Cox ...  Captain (Shafter's staff) 2 episodes, 1997
Gary Ragland ...  Captain (trench) 2 episodes, 1997
Art Tamez Art Tamez ...  Castillo Sr. 2 episodes, 1997
Patrick Gorman ...  Colonel, 71st NY 2 episodes, 1997
Rick Dano ...  Colonel (Shafter's staff) 2 episodes, 1997
Carlos Compean ...  Cuban rebel 2 episodes, 1997
Michael Greyeyes ...  Delchaney (Apache) 2 episodes, 1997
Julie Wilson ...  Mrs. Fish 2 episodes, 1997
Pablo Espinosa ...  Frederick Funston 2 episodes, 1997
Greg Krutilek Greg Krutilek ...  Admiral (at the White House) 2 episodes, 1997
Brady Coleman ...  General (Shafter's staff) 2 episodes, 1997
Brian Schmeck Brian Schmeck ...  Capt. Grimes 2 episodes, 1997
Robert Strane Robert Strane ...  Sen. Hanna 2 episodes, 1997
Jack Watkins ...  Harry Hefues 2 episodes, 1997
Robert 'Bob' Primeaux ...  Indian Bob 2 episodes, 1997
David Midthunder ...  Indian Tom Isbell 2 episodes, 1997
Mark Dalton ...  Kid at rail siding 2 episodes, 1997
Lonnie Rodriguez Lonnie Rodriguez ...  Capt. Max Luna 2 episodes, 1997
Paul Menzel Paul Menzel ...  Major 2 episodes, 1997
Will Wallace ...  Man #1 (delivers news to Hearst) 2 episodes, 1997
Rutherford Cravens ...  Man #2 2 episodes, 1997
Ted J. Crum Ted J. Crum ...  Old codger 2 episodes, 1997
Brian Brown ...  Man at San Antonio station 2 episodes, 1997
Todd Royal Todd Royal ...  Man 2 episodes, 1997
Buck Taylor ...  George Neville 2 episodes, 1997
Billy Driver Billy Driver ...  New Mexico man 2 episodes, 1997
Charles Sanders Charles Sanders ...  Newsman 2 episodes, 1997
Michael A. Stephens Michael A. Stephens ...  Opposing man 2 episodes, 1997
Adam Reid ...  Orderly 2 episodes, 1997
Wally Welch ...  Other New Mexico man 2 episodes, 1997
Jim Morse Jim Morse ...  Lt. James Parker 2 episodes, 1997
Marshall R. Teague ...  Black Jack Pershing 2 episodes, 1997
Stephen Bridgewater ...  Sgt. Polk 2 episodes, 1997
Curtis Akin ...  Quartermaster 2 episodes, 1997
John Barnett John Barnett ...  Rough Rider (in jungle) 2 episodes, 1997
Tom Williams Tom Williams ...  Sergeant (Exhibition Hall) 2 episodes, 1997
Patrick Falci Patrick Falci ...  Rough Rider (at campfire) 2 episodes, 1997
Rodger Boyce ...  Gen. Shafter 2 episodes, 1997
Louis Gusemano Louis Gusemano ...  Spaniard 2 episodes, 1997
Damon Collazo Damon Collazo ...  Steward 2 episodes, 1997
Larry Randolph Larry Randolph ...  Col. Swayles 2 episodes, 1997
Darin Heames ...  Lt. William Wheeler 2 episodes, 1997
Tiani Warden Tiani Warden ...  Woman in stagecoach 2 episodes, 1997
Danny Kamin ...  Gen. Young 2 episodes, 1997
Timberlake Lewis Timberlake Lewis ...  British observer 2 episodes, 1997
Bob Hess ...  French observer 2 episodes, 1997
Julio Cesar Cedillo ...  Gen. Toral 2 episodes, 1997
Rupert Reyes ...  Gen. Toral's interpreter 2 episodes, 1997
Richard Reyes Richard Reyes ...  Insurrectionist officer 2 episodes, 1997
Jake Cavelle Jake Cavelle ...  Other insurgent 2 episodes, 1997
Whit Edwards Whit Edwards ...  Sergeant, 71st NY 2 episodes, 1997
Jamy Myatt Jamy Myatt ...  Fish's girl 2 episodes, 1997
Kristi Fleming Kristi Fleming ...  Wadsworth's girl 2 episodes, 1997
Ellen Locy ...  Kane's girl 2 episodes, 1997
Richard Nance Richard Nance ...  Cowhand 2 episodes, 1997
Peter Harrell Jr. Peter Harrell Jr. ...  Buffalo sergeant 2 episodes, 1997
Raliegh Wilson ...  Saddlery sergeant 2 episodes, 1997
Oriana Huron Oriana Huron ...  Castillo's girl 2 episodes, 1997
Deborah Nunez Deborah Nunez ...  Bordello lady 2 episodes, 1997
Lincoln Lageson Lincoln Lageson ...  Hearst lackey 2 episodes, 1997
Chase Casson Chase Casson ...  Stagecoach passenger 2 episodes, 1997
Brian Brooks Brian Brooks ...  Military Band Member, Civil Band Member 2 episodes, 1997
Javier Medellin ...  Rough Rider 2 episodes, 1997
Christopher Watson Christopher Watson ...  Flag Carrier / ... 2 episodes, 1997


In 1898, the U.S. Government decided to intervene on the side of the Cuban rebels in their struggle against Spanish rule. Assistant Navy Secretary Theodore Roosevelt decides to experience the war first hand by promoting and joining a volunteer cavalry regiment. The regiment, later known as the Rough Riders, brings together volunteers from all corners of the nation and all walks of life. When Roosevelt and his men finally land on Cuba, they face ambush, intense enemy fire, and a desperate, outnumbered charge up a defended hill.

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Did You Know?


Edward Marshall (William Katt) was partially based on real-life journalist Richard Harding Davis. See more »


At several points in the film, General Wheeler refers to Nathan Bedford Forrest, another Confederate cavalry general, as his "old friend" and quotes him approvingly. However, Wheeler and Forrest had a notoriously rocky relationship, stemming from the Kentucky Campaign when General Braxton Bragg transfered most of Forrest's troops to Wheeler's command. After a failed attack on Dover, Tennessee in February 1863, an enraged Forrest told Wheeler that "I will be in my coffin before I fight again under your command," leading ultimately to Forrest's transfer elsewhere. Wheeler may have grudgingly respected Forrest, but it's unlikely that he would have upheld him as the ideal cavalry officer given their antagonistic wartime relationship. See more »


Woodbury Kane: [after shooting a Spaniard who tried to surrender] He who has no stomach for this fight, let him depart.
See more »


A Hot Time in the Old Town
Music by Theodore A. Metz (as Theodore August Metz)
Lyrics by Joseph Haydn (as Joe Hayden)
Parody "A Hot Time in Old Santiago Tonight" sung by Rough Riders in Cuba.
See more »

User Reviews

Dang!I didn't expect it to be so good!
16 May 2000 | by poetamelieSee all my reviews

I didn't realize John Milius had this fine film in him (after all, he gave us RED DAWN). I stand corrected. I liked the film so much, I had other members of my family watch it, and they loved it, too. How pleasantly surprised I was by Tom Berenger's superb performance as Teddy Roosevelt. Watch for Berenger as he stands at the back gate of the caboose of a train he's commandeered to transport his troops. He has no dialogue, but get a load of the look at his face and his bearing. He just stands there, beaming, so gloriously alive with the spirit of the man and his times. Look for standout work by Gary Busey (I really wanted him to say "Mr. Roosevelt! Look at the firepower!") as the feverish Southern general Joe Wheeler, Illeana Douglas (a fresh surprise as Alice Roosevelt), Brad Johnson (who has easily the most beautiful smile in Hollywood) as the outlaw-turned-hero Henry Nash, Nick Chinlund (a fave "X Files" creep) in a great scene as Frederick Remington, and Chris Noth as the privileged Craig Wadsworth. All are tremendous. Sam Elliott turns in both subtle and commanding work as Captain Bucky O'Neil, a man as heartbreaking when he bids his wife goodbye as he is terrifying and awesome when he breaks his troops in to the concept of killing. My quibbles with the production are few: silly, Attenborough-style casting of George Hamilton as a too-handsome William Randolph Hearst, cheesy use of the "St. Crispin's Day" speech from Shakespeare's KING HENRY V, very little information on what the war was actually about from both sides (the opening credits block the vintage headlines that supposedly bring us up to speed). Still, the battle sequences are masterfully staged (watch the horses run by Remington while he paints--gorgeous shot!), the training sequences are fascinating, and Berenger's expression once the Battle for San Juan Heights is over is simply heartwrenching.

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Official Sites:






Release Date:

1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Teddy Roosevelt & the Rough Riders See more »

Filming Locations:

San Antonio, Texas, USA See more »


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(DVD) (2 parts) | (2 parts)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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