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Rio Grande (1950) HD online

Rio Grande (1950) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Romance / Western
Original Title: Rio Grande
Director: John Ford
Writers: James Kevin McGuinness,James Warner Bellah
Released: 1950
Budget: $1,214,899
Duration: 1h 45min
Video type: Movie
Rio Grande takes place after the Civil War when the Union turned their attention towards the Apaches. Union officer Kirby Yorke is in charge of an outpost on the Rio Grande in which he is in charge of training of new recruits one of which is his son whom he hasn't seen in 15 years. He whips him into shape to take on the Apaches but not before his mother shows up to take him out of there.The decision to leave is left up to Trooper Yorke who decides to stay and fight. Through it all Kirby and Kathleen though separated for years fall back into love and decide that it's time to give it another try. But Yorke faces his toughest battle when his unorthodox plan to outwit the elusive Apaches leads to possible court- martial. Locked in a bloody Indian war, he must fight to redeem his honor and save the love and lives of his broken family
Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne John Wayne - Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke
Maureen O'Hara Maureen O'Hara - Mrs. Kathleen Yorke
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson - Trooper Travis Tyree
Claude Jarman Jr. Claude Jarman Jr. - Trooper Jefferson 'Jeff' Yorke
Harry Carey Jr. Harry Carey Jr. - Trooper Daniel 'Sandy' Boone
Chill Wills Chill Wills - Dr. Wilkins (regimental surgeon)
J. Carrol Naish J. Carrol Naish - Lt. Gen. Philip Sheridan
Victor McLaglen Victor McLaglen - Sgt. Maj. Timothy Quincannon
Grant Withers Grant Withers - U.S. Deputy Marshal
Sons of the Pioneers Sons of the Pioneers - Regimental Musicians (as Sons Of The Pioneers)
Peter Ortiz Peter Ortiz - Capt. St. Jacques
Steve Pendleton Steve Pendleton - Capt. Prescott
Karolyn Grimes Karolyn Grimes - Margaret Mary
Alberto Morin Alberto Morin - Lieutenant
Stan Jones Stan Jones - Sergeant

According to Maureen O'Hara in her biography, "Tis Herself", some stunt men died during the shooting of the film when they fell from their horses during a scene in the middle of a muddy river. Their bodies were never recovered.

John Wayne wore a smaller toupee than usual to make his character look slightly older.

While on location in Moab, the crew brought fifty Navajo up from the reservation to play Apache in the film, accompanied by Lee Bradley, who served as translator. Billy Yellow, one of the Indians selected for closeups, stated forty years later that the Navajo weren't told that they were portraying Apache.

The film was criticized for being too studio-bound and for having too many songs. However, Harry Carey Jr. defended the inclusion of songs as authentic, since cavalrymen did sing on a regular basis.

John Ford was especially irritated when producer Herbert J. Yates showed up on location with fellow Republic executive Rudy Ralston. Pointing out the time (it was ten in the morning), Yates asked when Ford intended to start shooting; "Just as soon as you get the hell off my set", Ford supposedly replied. The director later played a practical joke on the two producers at dinnertime. He hired one of his actors, Alberto Morin, to masquerade as a French waiter with poor English skills. During their meal, Morin managed to spill soup on the men, break several plates, and create a general ruckus in the dining room but Yates and Ralston never seemed to catch on to the joke.

Often described as John Ford's last cavalry Western, as Konnica (1959) was a Civil War drama.

In order to get approval for a film he very much wanted to make, Spokojny czlowiek (1952), John Ford had to agree to Herbert J. Yates, head of Republic Pictures, to make this film, starring both John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Republic believed that "The Quiet Man" would tank at the box office and thought a western would recoup that film's expected losses.

Film debut of Patrick Wayne.

John Wayne's first film with Maureen O'Hara. They starred together five times and would become known as one of Hollywood's greatest on-screen couples.

John Wayne later said he considered the movie a parable for the Korean War. Wayne was in favor of extending the conflict when Chinese forces crossed the Yalu River.

John Ford recycled the stampeding of the pony herd sound effect from Nosila zólta wstazke (1949) for the rescue charge.

The lead singer of the Regimental Singers, who sings "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" to Mrs. Yorke, is played by Ken Curtis, who is well known as Festus Hagen in Gunsmoke. He was the lead singer of the Sons of the Pioneers at the time this movie was filmed.

One of the songs performed in this film, "Aha San Antone" was composed by actress, singer and songwriter Dale Evans, who was also the wife of singer and actor Roy Rogers. Roy Rogers was one time lead singer with the Sons of Pioneers who play the Regimental Singers.

Ben Johnson (Tyree) and Victor McLaglen (Quincannon) had the same character names in both this film and Nosila zólta wstazke (1949). The oddity is in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"--released before this one-- Johnson was an older Sergeant (who had also formerly been a Confederate Captain) and McLaglen was also older, but with a lower rank (First Sergeant instead of Sergeant Major).

At 29 Maureen O'Hara was only 14 years older than Claude Jarman Jr. who played her son.

Set in the summer of 1879.

It is unclear whether John Wayne's character in this film (Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke) is the same as in Fort Apache (Capt. Kirby York) at a later stage of his career or not. Although the characters have the same name save for the spelling, the fact that Victor McLaglen plays Sgt.Maj. Quincannon here, but Sgt. Mulcahy in Fort Apache would indicate that Duke's characters are in fact completely different people. Director John Ford often had a habit of reusing names in his films, an example of this is in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) where Victor McLaglen's character shares the name Quincannon with his Rio Grande (1950) counterpart, as does Ben Johnson's character of Tyree whilst Duke's character is completely different.

The film was treated as an exercise by John Ford (Harry Carey Jr. called it one of the director's "vacation pictures"). The budget was half of the production costs for Fort Apaczów (1948), and no one, Ford included, seemed to take the project very seriously.

"Rio Grande" was made by John Ford for Republic Pictures in order for the studio to finance "The Quiet Man," which was much more expensive, since it was filmed in color and on location in Ireland.

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

J. Carroll Naish plays General Sheridan in " Rio Grande ". During his 225 - film career, this was the only time he played an Irishman. Both his parents were from Limerick in Ireland, and he was very proud of his Irish heritage.

The working titles of this film were "Rio Bravo" and "Rio Grande Command".

Peter Ortiz (Captain St Jacques) was a Marine major in WWII serving in the OSS in France. Prior to that he was in the French Foreign Legion He was the most decorated Marine in that war. Among the medals won by Ortiz were the French Legion of Honor and the Navy Cross. His character Captain St Jacques appears to be wearing the French Legion of Honor on his uniform.

Some aspects of the story, notably the regiment's crossing into Mexico, and undertaking a campaign there, loosely resemble the expedition conducted by the 4th Cavalry Regiment (United States) under Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie in 1873

At the dinner with General Sheridan, John Wayne's character is wearing the Medal of Honor.

Of all the shooting locations listed, none are near or on the Rio Grande. It flows only in Colorado, New Mexico & Texas.

Opening credits: Many of the incidents and, except where true names are intentionally used, all of the characters depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any resemblance, between such events and characters, and actual events or persons is coincidental.

Reviews: [25]

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    'Rio Grande', the last of director John Ford's 'unofficial' Cavalry Trilogy, has often been unfairly judged the 'weakest' of the three westerns. Certainly, it lacks the poetic quality of 'She Wore a Yellow Ribbon', or the revisionist view of a thinly-disguised reworking of the events surrounding the death of George Armstrong Custer ('Fort Apache'), but for richness of detail, a sense of the camaraderie of cavalrymen, an 'adult' (in the best sense of the word) love story, and a symbolic 'rejoining' of North and South conclusion that may have you tapping your toe, 'Rio Grande' is hard to beat!

    It is remarkable that 'Rio Grande' ever got to the screen; Ford hadn't planned to make it, but in order to get Republic Pictures to agree to his demands for 'The Quiet Man' (he wanted the film to be shot on location in Ireland, and in color), he had to agree to do a 'quickie' western that would turn a quick profit for the usually cash-strapped studio. This is, perhaps, a reason why the film is held in less esteem than it deserves. 'Rio Grande' may have not been born with high expectations, but with John Ford in the director's chair, and John Wayne and the Ford 'family' in the cast and crew, the potential for something 'special' was ALWAYS present!

    A few bits of trivia to enhance your viewing pleasure: Yes, that IS Ken Curtis, singing with The Sons of the Pioneers, in the film...while uncredited, he made a favorable impression with Ford, and soon became a part of his 'family'...Ben Johnson, Harry Carey, Jr, and Claude Jarman, Jr, actually did their own stunts while performing the 'Roman Style' riding sequence (Carey said in interviews that they were all young, and didn't think about the danger of it; a production would lose their insurance if they 'allowed' three major performers to do something as risky, today!)...Did you know that O'Hara, playing Jarman's 'mother', was barely 14 years older than her 'son', and was only 29 at the time of the filming?...Harry Carey barely had any lines in the script; most of what you see in the film was ad-libbed!...the popular ditty, 'San Antoine', sung by Jarman, Carey, Johnson, and Curtis, was, in fact, written by Mrs. Roy Rogers, herself, Dale Evans!

    Whether you're viewing 'Rio Grande' for the first time, or have sat through many viewings, the film has a richness and sense of nostalgia for a West that 'may never have existed, but SHOULD have'. It would be a proud addition to any collector's library!
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    Ford's cavalry trilogy is, in its way, just as much Victor McLaglen's trilogy, for he appears once again in 'Rio Grande', still superbly filling the tough-soft sergeant part, still providing the Ford horse-play comedy element with just a touch of parody, still, one might add, probably fulfilling Ford's own particular vision of revering the heroes who have helped conquer the West...

    The McLaglen sergeant seems drawn on the spreading of lines, but in retrospect, one realizes that somehow, paradoxically, he has inspired a remarkable degree of realism into the three motion pictures... (They would be not the same without him.)

    'Rio Grande' has a very strong domestic flavor...

    John Wayne - a casualty of the Civil War - is a cavalry officer, under strict orders, with great family problems... He's a northerner who, not surprisingly, has left his wife, a southerner, because he obediently did his military duty and burned several southern plantations - including the one owned by his wife's family... Maureen O'Hara - bringing a fitting maturity to her stereotyped assignment in the film - never forgives her husband for burning her plantation, and abruptly takes their son and goes away, effectively ending their marriage...

    Fifteen years later, Wayne, promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Cavalry officer, attempts to maintain the truce calm at his southwestern post, which is besieged by marauding renegade Apaches who are continually using the border with Mexico as an escape route after their raids, a lost cause since the U.S. and Mexican governments agreed that their military forces will not cross the Rio Grande under any circumstances...

    He hurries to put down an Indian uprising when his past and his wife cross his path again... He is confronted by a new recruit: his West Point dropout son (Claude Jarman Jr.) and, later, the arrival of his frigid wife, desperate to buy her son out of the cavalry...

    Everything, domestically and militarily is, of course, resolved successfully and, indeed, predictably, but it is the texture of the film that gives it its enjoyment - the gentle study of the reconciliation of a colonel and his estranged wife; the interplay of a father compelled to send his son on a dangerous mission; the peculiar supporting contributions of the 'beloved brute sergeant,' or the cavalry side-kicks, Ben Johnson and Harry Carey, Jr.

    The three films (even considered singly) give a feeling of frontier military life, however colored by a director's highly personal viewpoint, that has hardly been approached, let alone surpassed...

    There's a beautiful scene in which Wayne and Maureen are serenaded by soldiers of his troop... We can observe a husband meditating about all that went wrong with his marriage, and watch the inclination and desire that exist in his longing sideways brief look at his wife...

    With first rate acting and lushly sentimental score, 'Rio Grande' can never be missed... It is the last of John Ford's cavalry movies and the most sentimental...
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    Although I am not particularly fond of westerns, I saw this movie since I had heard much about it from many people. It is true that a lot of westerns show the wild lives of cowboys overdoing with cruelty. RIO GRANDE, however, is a different story. It is not only a western but a highly educational movie which combines all precious values in life, some of which do not necessarily go in harmony, including honor, love, the feeling of duty, grandeur, and psychological reflections. Moreover, as a film, it is supplied with highly prestigious cinematography, memorable music, and, most importantly, great cast. But there is something more that makes Ford's film really memorable - the characters presented very clearly. But why such a title? While watching the movie, one clearly notices that the title RIO GRANDE does not only refer to the famous river that separated the cavalrymen from Indians in Mexico, but has wider metaphorical extensions.

    The characters are very well developed throughout. Lieutanant Kirby Yorke (John Wayne), a northerner, lost the family 15 years earlier but never gives up finding a chance to rebuild the old relationship with his southern wife, Kathleen (Maureen O'Hara) and their son Jeff. His "rio grande" is duties and strict orders that make a barrier for a happy life within the family. Kathleen Yorke tries to get her son out of the cavalry; however, Jeff decides to protect honor rather than his comfort. She also aims at rebuilding the family ties with Kirby but is aware that it requires much sacrifice. Their relationship is built upon a high respect for the freedom of both and a very delicate love between a man and a woman. Jeff (Claude Jarman), their son, attempts to do right and seeks for the honorable deeds. The blink of ambition in his eyes is noticeable in every scene with him. There are also other characters that the movie shows in a very psychological light (consider Travis Tyree played by Ben Johnson).

    The cast give memorable performances but the pair of John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara shine above all. Wayne seems to have been born for the role and, although he played in two previous parts of John Ford's cavalry trilogy (FORT APACHE and SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON), he gives his best performance in RIO GRANDE. Wayne wonderfully emphasizes grandeur, feeling of duty and a husband who reflects on his past mistakes in marriage. Maureen O'Hara has something aristocratic in her behavior as well as in her appearance, which helps her portray a southern lady who used to live a rich life on a plantation. She also stresses her attempts to rebuild the past mistakes; however, she seems to be driven by completely different factors.

    Music is absolutely wonderful for this genre. The ballads supply the movie with sentimental mood. Yes, they are deadly sentimental, but they in no way make you sad but rather lifted to high emotions. Here comes to my mind a very poetic scene when Wayne and O'Hara are serenaded by troop soldiers on one moonlit night. Their faces strongly express profound emotions and nostalgia for the better life together. This is so well played that anybody who sees the pair will be able to deduce some reflections from their faces.

    Some people said that the Apaches are showed as real monsters in RIO GRANDE. It is important to state here that they are showed exactly in the way they were perceived rather than what they were really like. These were very "wild" tribes in the eyes of the white people and that is what the film shows. As a matter of fact, both the Apaches and the cavalrymen defended their values and John Ford did not forget about it.

    And coming back to the thrilling atmosphere of the movie, there is one more aspect that needs to be mentioned - the locations. The Monument Valley supplies the scenes with authenticity as well as drives viewers into a wonderful mood. It simply leaves an unfading trace in memory as do the cast, the content, and everything about RIO GRANDE.

    What to say at the end?... The last part of Ford's cavalry trilogy, though 55 years old, is a classic attempt to bring all that is valuable onto screen - HISTORY MEETS SINGLE INDIVIDUALS! Aren't our lives constructed in such a way that we all have our own "rio grande", such a barrier that closes us from happiness? I leave this universal question open to every open minded reader as John Ford implicitly did more than 50 years ago to every open minded viewer. Anyway, the film is unarguably worth seeing!
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    Rio Grande, the last of John Ford's 'Calvary Trilogy' is a triumphant paen to the US Calvary and a great romance between John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara and a wonderful showcase of the great character actors who are at the heart of all Ford's films. This movie has drama, romance, beautiful photography and great music by the Son's of the Pioneers. Their version of the "Down by the Glenside" still sends chills up my spine as well as tears to Victor McLaglen, the redoubtable Sergent Major timothy Quincannon and Wayne's ever present comrade in arms from, the bloody Shenendoah campaign of the Civil War, when they burned down the estranged Mrs. Yorke's beloved Bridesdale. The country that had lately been torn apart, was being brought together as former Johnny Rebs like Travis Tyree (Ben Johnson)and Yankees like Lt.Col. Kirby Yorke fought together along America's western frontier. A wonderful screen chemistry between Wayne and O'hara, and some understated, economic emoting, rather than sappiness or corn make this a distinguished film, a highlight of Ford's great career.
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    "Rio Grande" was the last of John Ford's cavalry trilogy, which also included "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" and "Fort Apache". Like the latter, this film was filmed in black and white. All three films were based on short stories by James Warner Bellah.

    In this film John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara first played the romantic roles that they played later in films like "The Quiet Man" and "McLintock". There is real chemistry between these two stars. Their relationship is a major thread that weaves the plots and subplots of this film together. Both of their characters have depth. O'Hara is more than her usual fiery Irish self. She is sensitive, sometimes humorous and occasionally aristocratic. She has difficulty hiding her continued affection for her estranged husband Wayne despite the fact that he was responsible for burning the family plantation. Wayne is the tough commanding officer of the remote outpost. His toughness masks a softer side. This shows clearly when he stands outside the hospital window of his son, who has a black eye from a "soldier's fight". At the end of the film he takes a father's pride in his son's courage in battle.

    There is more going on in the film than in the usual Western. There are relationships. Wayne is disappointed in his son who flunked at West Point and enlisted in the cavalry as a trooper. His mother wants to buy him out of the cavalry. The son wants to prove himself. All of this contributes to some real human moments in the film. Subplots include Trooper Tyree's sometimes humorous attempts to escape the law and the sometimes unwilling help provided by others. And of course there are the Apaches.

    The river is a major theme in the movie. It is a barrier which the cavalry cannot cross in their pursuit of the Apaches. This is demonstrated in the opening credits. The cavalry and Mexican soldiers meet at the river in a scene from later in the movie. When captured chiefs escape across the river Wayne meets a Mexican officer in the middle of the stream. He offers to place himself under Mexican command. The Mexican officer declines, saying he must defend the border "at all costs". Wayne responds, "With three men.. .Your dedication to duty is to be commended. I too have my orders." At the end of the film Wayne risks his career with the complicity of General Sheridan (played by J. Carroll Naish) and crosses the river to rescue the children captured by the Apaches.

    The supporting cast does a wonderful job with this film. Many are regular faces in John Ford films. Ben Johnson and Harry Carey, Jr. play friends of Wayne's son (played by Claude Jarman, Jr.). Victor McLaglen plays the role of top Sergeant. He played the same role in all three films in Ford's trilogy. Chill Wills is around and is much better than usual as the doctor who helps Trooper Tyree escape from a Texas sheriff. The Sons of the Pioneers are also on hand to sing songs.

    The Victor Young score includes elements which will appear later in the "Quiet Man". Many of the songs are dumb and inappropriate. There are too many Irish ballads that would have been much better used in "The Quiet Man". The few songs by Stan Jones are the best of the lot. At one point in the film the cavalrymen are walking their horses to the lyrics "twenty-four miles on beans and hay".

    Photographically this film is less impressive than "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon", but the usual shots of Monument Valley are still impressive. There is an appropriate dark quality to this movie that is missing in the other films in the trilogy, even in "Fort Apache", which was also filmed in black and white. The scene at the deserted church is memorable. The black and white photography accentuates the shadows and the threat of death to the children as the Apaches dance the night away.

    This film is based on a historical incident. In 1874 Colonel McKenzie led the 5th Cavalry across the Rio Grande to destroy a Kickapoo village in Mexico. The Kickapoos had been raiding quite successfully in Texas and efforts to punish them had been quite fruitless. This forgotten incident was used by Ford in this film. The Indians now are Apaches, but whoever heard of Kickapoos?

    This fine Western is worth seeing for its rich characterizations and fine story. It can be enjoyed on many levels.
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    According to a trailer on my Quiet Man VHS and Maureen O'Hara's memoirs Rio Grande was a negotiating chip that Republic Pictures studio president Herbert J. Yates used in order to get John Ford to work for his studio. John Ford had wanted to make The Quiet Man for years and the major studios turned him down. Republic was the last stop he made. Yates agreed to let him shoot The Quiet Man at Republic, but first he wanted a guaranteed moneymaker.

    Fort Apache and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon were both done at RKO and made money. So Yates said give me another cavalry picture with John Wayne and you can shoot The Quiet Man afterwards.

    James Warner Bellah who had written the short stories that the other two were based on fortunately had a third one published. And that boys and girls is how Rio Grande came into being.

    Good thing too because of studio politics we got ourselves a western classic. And a family classic as well. John Wayne who is once again playing a character named Kirby Yorke has two families, the United States Cavalry to which he's devoted and a wife and son from whom he's been estranged. How he repairs the relationships between wife Maureen O'Hara and son Claude Jarman, Jr. is the key to the whole story.

    As Maureen toasts at a dinner scene with J. Carrol Naish as General Philip H. Sheridan, "to my one rival, the United States Cavalry."

    Young Jefferson Yorke has flunked out of West Point and has joined the army as an enlisted man. Through none of his own doing he's assigned to the frontier post commanded by his father. Mom then comes west to try and spring him from the army, but young Jeff doesn't want to be sprung.

    In fact to his father's surprise the young man proves himself to be an able cavalryman without any assistance from Dad. And when Maureen comes west, old love rekindles between Wayne and O'Hara.

    All this is against the background of some Apache hit and run raids across the Rio Grande. Topped off by them attacking a party escorting dependent women and children away from the post. Young Trooper Yorke rides for help there, hence the title quote.

    A lot of John Ford's stock company fills out the cast to give it that familiar look of Ford films. Some bits from previous films were used like the training Roman style of the new recruits. They prove a more able bunch than the ones from Fort Apache.

    Some traditional melodies were used as they are in John Ford period pieces, but unusual for a Ford film, several new songs were written for the film, done by the Sons of the Pioneers. One of them written by Dale Evans entitled Aha San Antone. She was employed at Republic studios also.

    A fine classic western with a nice story about family relationships and responsibilities one incurs in life.
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    This is an excellent film. Not usually a western fan, I am now a true-believer -- fan of the genre, of Wayne and O'Hara, and even, reluctantly, John Ford. Rio Grande captures the spirit of heroism that colors most of John Ford's best work. Strong personalities pursuing their values with a philosophical issue dividing them: it has an excellent, concise plot, well-developed characters, and boasts fantastic acting. Ford even shies away from allowing the scenery to star in the picture, which is a welcomed departure. With monuments like Wayne and O'Hara one does not need Monument Valley (this writer humbly submits.)

    There is a profoundly moving scene in which Kirby and Kathleen York's entire relationship is summed up in the mere singing of a song (by the unforgettable voice of Ken Curtis) and O'Hara and Wayne's excellent acting -- hardly any dialogue, no flashbacks. It has to be cinematic moment for the history books... it is at least in mine.

    By the way, avoid the colorized version if possible. Among other distractions, it makes John Wayne's hair look like instant brownie mix.
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    As many people know, Rio Grande is the third installation of John Ford's sweeping "Cavalry trilogy*," his paean and dirge for the forging of the West after the Cival War. In each, there is Indian fighting, romance and Monument Valley. Younger officers look forward to winning glory in the Indian Wars while the older, veteran officers who served in the Civil War are tired of fighting and would rather keep the peace instead. And the enlisted men coming from all walks of life, some running from something, others trying to find something, but all taking war and peace as they come. They want to stay alive, but aren't too worried about dying.

    Unlike the first two cavalry films, Rio Grande focuses more on the love between an Army officer and his wife, and the pain his life causes her. This pain is made even worse by the fact that their ònly son has chosen to follow his father's way of life, and winds up serving in his father's command. When, as is inevitable, Indians flee their reservation, the family becomes embroiled in war against the Apaches (whom, everyone knows, were the toughest, most ruthless and evil Indian fighters of them all). :))

    This is where Ford moves away from typical westerns. While his Indians are fierce and tough, Ford tries to show in all the Cavalry films that they are also honorable and fighting for home and family, not because they are evil. And while Wayne's character must pursue his Indians until they're either captured or dead, he is not without both sympathy and respect, and knows for certain that it is the white man's treatment of them that is at the heart of all the Indian wars.

    Over the years, as I've seen more and more of his movies, John Ford has become my favorite director. He had the ability to make stories with depth, compassion and remarkable truth; and these qualities have caused his films to last. I hope that you will see all of the Cavalry Trilogy, and then seek out all of the rest his movies.

    *The other films in the trilogy are Fort Apache (1948) and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949).
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    Director John Ford's third and last film about the U.S. Cavalry (the others being 1948's "Fort Apache" and 1949's "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon"), "Rio Grande", was initially a minor project, done only to please the head of Republic Films, Herbert Yates, who wanted a marketable western before allowing Ford to make "The Quiet Man", a movie that in Yates' mind showed no promise (Of course, time would prove him wrong anyway). However, instead of delivering a throwaway film just to please his producers, Ford final "Cavalry film" was another step in his own evolution of the genre, as it included a new dimension to his Westerns by adding the family element to the picture.

    "Rio Grande" stars John Wayne as Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke, a Union officer who has spent his time after the Civil War battling apache rebels in an Outspot in the Rio Grande. Suddenly, the life of this lonely man gives a 180° spin as he discovers that his son Jeff Yorke (Claude Jarman Jr.), whom he hasn't seen in 15 years, has joined the Cavalry and is assigned to his post. Things get even more complicated as his wife Kathleen (Maureen O'Hara) arrives too in order to get her son back, and in some way, recover the family she lost when the Civil War made her husband (a Northerner) her enemy. In the middle of this family drama, troubles arise as an Apache bandit is using three tribes to create chaos, and Yorke will have to decide between his two loves: the Cavalry or Kathleen.

    Like the previous two Cavalry stories, "Rio Grande" was based on a story by James Warner Bellah, and despite sharing many elements with the past two films (like members of the cast and some character names), the three stories are not tied together and are basically stand alone films joined by a common theme. The story is more oriented to drama rather than to action, although it still gives the characters a chance to show off their riding skills. The element of the family adds a new dimension to Wayne's character, and the theme of division between families because of the Civil War is a nice touch that adds to the sexual tension between the main characters. The tag line reads "John Ford's Greatest Romantic Triumph" and this time it doesn't lie, this Western is a powerful melodrama that plays a different tune than other westerns.

    Despite being a "minor" project, John Ford shows off his great talent turning this small modest movie into a wonderful film of epic proportions. His trademark cinematography shines in all its splendor and portrays Monument Valley with an unnatural beauty, and he keeps his film as historically accurate as possible (despite the use of some recently composed songs). The portrayal of the Native Americans, so demonized this days, it's actually realistic for its time, and Ford makes sure that it's stated that the Apaches are not evil per se, but leaded by a criminal rebel. His familiar themes like honor, sacrifice and responsibility (and being torn by them), are all present here, making a powerful and entertaining Western that even non-fans of the genre can appreciate.

    I'm not very familiar with John Wayne, but in my opinion his performance was very good. His character is torn between the love he feels for his country and the love he feels for his family, and the guilt he feels for his actions during the Civil War makes him even more interesting; as if behind the macho image were a loving man tied by his duties. Maureen O'Hara is wonderful as Kathleen, and makes the perfect match for Wayne's troubled hero, my only complain would be that she looks a bit too young for the part. Ford regulars like Victor McLaglen, Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr. also appear in supporting roles and have remarkable scenes (specially Johnson).

    "Rio Grande" is a remarkably well-done film, mixing drama and action it definitely makes up for an entertaining evening. Most people (me included) have a certain prejudice towards pre-60s Westerns; while it's true that Westerns used to portray Native Americans in a bad light, one has to judge the films according to the times when they were done, and John Ford's Western are no exception (in fact, he seems to portray them in a relatively fairer way than other directors). While maybe outdated by today's standards, "Rio Grande" is definitely a masterpiece of the genre that deserves a chance before passing judgment over it.

    Before watching "Rio Grande" I was not really familiar with John Ford's career (or John Wayne's), so I'm not biased towards the man and his work. "Rio Grande" has some problems, its true, but it's miles ahead of other Westerns of its time and is definitely a must-see for anyone interested in the history of cinema. 8/10
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    As a writer, I find this to be the most honest and least pretentious of all John Ford's western films. His cavalry trilogy ended with "Rio Grande" (the others are "Fort Apache" and "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon: and it was also the first pairing of John Wayne with Maureen O'Hara, with whom he made five film appearances all told. The setting of the film is not glamorous by anyone's standards; it is dusty, hot, remote, a country for hard men and hard duty. The storyline has Wayne in command of a fort. When his son is assigned to him for training with other recruits, his wife, estranged for fifteen years, follows him--to try to meddle... The storyline makes clear that during the Civil War he refused to disobey orders to burn down her family's plantation; now she's come west, and he wants her back and want to instill his pride in and love for the cavalry in his son. There is rough humor in the film, changes to mind and body, learning to ride, standing up to the elements and to men, lessons the West can demand of anyone who comes there. nd after a plan of Wayne's to protect settlers against the Indians backfires, he has to risk everything to save his career and his command. The theme of the film is that any man has to dare and dream beyond old conventions and ideas in order to reach his best; and that goes for O'Hara as well. The film was directed by John Ford, with script by James Kevin MacGuinness..Bert Glennon's skilled B/W cinematography captures the bleak beauty of the spare semi-desert country, and admirably. Frank Hotaling did the production design and Victor Young contributed the score. In this feature's large cast were Wane, O'Hara. Claude Jarman Jr. of "The Yearling" as their son, Harry Carey Jr., Victor Maclaglen, J Carrol Naish, Chill Wills and many solid western performers. But the best thing to me about the production is the absence of any attempt to glamorize or apologize for the West. The men who rode for the cavalry lived with loneliness, the roughness of the country they patrolled and constant danger from those they opposed; this film makes it clear why men would do this for the meager pay they received; that it was the challenge they took up, as a way to use their abilities and emotional strength to the full. That is why I like this film the best of all of Ford's estimable works.
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    This is the last outing in John Ford's trilogy cavalry continuing ¨Fort Apache and She wore a yellow ribbon¨ based on writings by James Warner Bellah.It's the first John Wayne-Maureen O'Hara-John Ford's three movies together along with ¨Quiet man and Wing of eagles¨.It's a powerful retelling of the wild Indians wars at the Southwest US. It concerns about an US cavalry unit on the Mexican frontier and nearly to Rio Grande.The commander of the far outpost is ruled by Lieutenent Colonel Kirby(Wayne)leading an unsuccessful campaign against the Apaches.Kirby is under command of General Philip Sheridan(J.Carroll Naish).A grumpy sergeant(Victor McLagen)is in charge of training of new recruits,one which is the Kirby'son(Claude Jarman Jr).His mother Kathleen(Maureen O'Hara) arrives looking for her son Jeff ,she and Kirby are separated for fifteen years,but the marriage broke when Kirby fired a plantation of her ancestors during Civil War ,however now they fall back in love.Meanwhile the marauding Indians attack the outpost and Kirby taking on his toughest fight to redeem his honor.

    This excellent film featuring a magnificent performance by complete casting.Awesome John Wayne in a larger-than-life role.Gorgeous Maureen O'Hara in a sensible role with sensational performance.The film develops usual John Ford's themes: The friendship,sense of camaraderie,a little bit of enjoyable humor,the familiar feeling,sentimental nostalgia and the glorification of the cavalry,besides a sensible songs in charge of Son of Pioneers with Ken Curtis and music score by Dimitri Tiomkin.Touching scenes when they're singing between the marriage Wayne-O'Hara with sweet glances.Spectacular scenes when the Apaches Indian-Chiricagua and Mezcaleros-spontaneously attack the outpost and sensational riding races with Roman style,someone did their own stunts.In the movie appear all habitual Ford's friends ,Chill Wills,Ben Johnson,Grant Withers,Jack Pennick,Ken Curtis and ,of course,Victor McLagen .Even appears Patrick Wayne,but his father John Wayne persuaded to Ford for an uncredited cameo role. Appropriate photography by Bert Glennon as sensational as the Ford's usual, Winston Hoch.The movie is produced by Ford's Argosy Production Company ,Republic Pictures and Merian C. Cooper(King Kong).The motion picture is magnificently directed by the master John Ford.
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    I have never paid much attention to westerns in general and have not bothered with this film even though Republic Studios made it, a fact that normally would have me magnetized to any of their other films (especially serials and musicals) .... but cable TV in Sydney Australia has played RIO GRANDE a few times on a double with FLAME OF BARBARY COAST. What a fool I have been to avoid RIO GRANDE. This superb humane film (even though about the cruel US cavalry) is a perfect balance of family dramas, hilarious tough humor and genuine concern for the development and survival of soldiers and the camaraderie of the troop. Everything good anyone else on this site can say it utterly true, especially the astonishing photography, breathtaking Maureen O'Hara, the raucous Victor MacLaglen and sensitive Claude Jarman. I eagerly look forward to waking up more to myself and seeing FORT APACHE and SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON, and as usual celebrating more of the diverse product of Republic Studios. FLAME OF BARBARY COAST was good especially the incredible lavishness of the sets. I would be very keen to know the cost and box office success of both films. Anyone......? WAKE OF THE RED WITCH made around 1949 was a massive success... as was THE QUIET MAN in 1952. Vale Republic!
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    One of the best Westerns of all time. One is rivited to the TV screen from the moment this fine film starts till its finished.

    You have many memorable characters in this movie--like Sgt Maj Quincannon (Victor McLaglen) Tyree (Ben Johnson) etc.

    Everything is classic about this film. The Colonels own son enlisting in the US Cavalry, the soldiers fight scenes, the Indians capturing a wagon-load of children, Tyree being charged for murder of a Yankee Cavalryman--escaping w/ some help from SgtMaj Quincannon, to the finale fight at a chapel in an Indian held town.

    Favorite line: "You'll Get Busted for this Quincannon!!!"
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    For some reason, over the years I failed to see this particular John Ford western, thinking it was probably just another cavalry yarn and I'd seen so many of them I figured I'd let this one pass.

    Wrong. It's now among my favorite John Ford westerns with both JOHN WAYNE and MAUREEN O'HARA giving really heartfelt performances as a husband and wife separated for some time, their only son (CLAUDE JARMAN, JR.) having just joined the regiment as a soldier under his father's command at an outpost being menaced by Apaches.

    There's a jaunty, rollicking score by Victor Young that captures ballads of the Old West to provide some colorful background music, wonderful scenes of soldiers training under VICTOR McLAGLEN (at his crustiest and endearingly funny), BEN JOHNSON (wonderful as a man on the lam), and the breezily confident HARRY CAREY, JR. It's even got a story that has more than one theme running through it--the personal conflict between father and son, husband and wife, and how the young son (played extremely well by Claude Jarman, Jr.) has to prove himself to his fellow soldiers.

    The final shootout occurs when the Apaches kidnap some children and hold them prisoners in a church. It sets the stage for the final encounter, just one of several skirmishes with the Indians that is masterfully staged and photographed.

    Pictorially, it's one of the handsomest of all the John Ford epics and should definitely have been filmed in Technicolor, although the B&W photography is indeed impressive. MAUREEN O'HARA gives one of her most sensitive portrayals and JOHN WAYNE is at his best.

    Summing up: A solid western well worth watching whether you're a John Ford fan or not.
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    to me ,this third and final film of John Ford's Cavalry "trilogy" is better than the second entry,She Wore a yellow Ribbon,but not quite as good as the first entry,Fort Apache.this one has some exciting moments and a few funny moments,which were lacking in Ribbon.this one has quite a strong romance angle to it,which i didn't like that much.however,John Wayne is very good in these sensitive moments.we get to see more of Wayne in this one than in Ribbon,which is a good thing.Maureen O'Hara is also good as the romantic interest.however,i thought Claude Jarman Jr.was strong as as Trooper Jeff Yorke,son of the commanding officer,Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke,played by John Wayne.i was also impressed by Harry Carey Jr.(one of Ford's regulars)as Trooper Daniel 'Sandy' Boone.i felt there were some slow moments here and there,but overall,i liked it.for me,Rio Grande is a 6.5/10
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    This is one of the finest movies ever made, that wasn't ever supposed to BE made. Herbert Yates demanded the making of this film (in B&W no less)in advance for green-lighting "The Quiet Man." The pairing of John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara was pure magic, and the Moab (NOT Monument Valley) locale was breath taking. The supporting cast was quite good, as well.

    All of these elements added up to a special moment in movie history one could one get from John Ford as a director. His attention to detail, not only in the beautiful landscape shots, but in the capturing of mundane tasks of the lonely cavalry soldier on a lonely desert outpost.

    Fort Apache was great, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon even better, but Rio Grande had a quality that surpassed them both. Wayne and O'Hara. The fact that they only managed 5 movies together is really sad. They had such a great chemistry on the screen. When you see the way they look into each other's eyes, you BELIEVE the love passing between them. You can see the Shennandoah Valley, and Bridesdale. When he comes back into his darkened tent to find her waiting and sweeps her into his arms and kisses her, then stops and says.."I'm sorry, Katherine.." you know that he is....for everything. You know they belong together. The entire movie is this way, BUT it doesn't get IN the way OF the movie. That's FORD for you.

    Lot's of great singing, which was COMPLETELY appropriate to the time and circumstances. Ken Curtis does his usual fine job with the Sons of the Pioneers. A bit of trivia: Ken Curtis replaced Frank Sinatra as the singer in the Tommy Dorsey band, and later became Festus in the long-running TV western "Gunsmoke."

    Comic relief: Victor McLaglen: He did the boxing bit with Fred Kennedy after Fred's fight with Claude Jarman Jr. where he knocks him out for calling him a "chowder headed Mick sergeant." A line completely improvised by Harry Carey Jr. Then the scene where McLaglen is during in the infirmary with the doctor (Chill Wills) after he hears Mareen O'Hara refer to him as an arsonist. When he realizes what it is and why she called him that, he holds out his huge hand and asks the doc to take the big stick he's been whittling' on and knock it off (the hand, that is!). Wills then rears back with the big stick and hits his hand. The stick breaks off, and you can tell that it was a REAL piece of solid wood NOT Balsa wood. That was completely improvised, and not in the script, as you can tell by the look on McLaglen's face!!

    Pathos: When the second wagon the Indians made off with is found, the bonnet, and tattered, torn dress of a women is found leading toward a scene of unspeakable horror, the words of Captain St. Jacque "Le Savage" and John Wayne calling for Cpl. Bell to come forward. The look on the face of the soldier that had just a few hours before given his wife the advance he received from the paymaster, and now he had to face the hard news that she had been tortured, and was now dead. As the scene plays out, he begs Wayne to let him go forward to get his wife, but Wayne says no. He says "If it was your wife, wouldn't you want to go," to which wisely replies "Yes I would, but if I had a friend, he'd keep me here. Stay here, boy" At which point the look on the soldier's face is pure anguish and yet, admiration. He leans his head down and over as if to lean on Wayne's shoulder, but since they were on horseback, they couldn't, but the gesture was the same. A commanding officer, a father figure, a friend.

    I won't keep going, because you need to see this for yourself. It's a great movie, and the DVD set has great bonus features, including a lengthy interview with "herself," Maureen O'Hara. She also does the commentary on the CD. That is a nice feature as well.
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    Critics are correct—this is by far the weakest of Ford's cavalry trilogy. Let's give Ford the benefit of the doubt. It wasn't he who loaded up the screenplay with way too much McLaglen (Sgt. Quincannon) buffoonery, inopportune singing, and cheap 'outdoor' sets. Unfortunately, these bear the stamp of Republic Pictures' matinée fare. Most importantly, this is a movie of bits and pieces, some of which work well (the processions of wounded, the battlefield tactics), but too many which don't. Overall, the movie lacks the coherence and clean lines of the other two entries. Ford, the artist (and he was a pictorial and story-telling artist), was always prone to excess, and here those typical excesses (comic-relief buffoonery, stereotyped characters) are not redeemed by the discipline of a solid screenplay. Instead, the result tends to fracture rather than cohere, resulting in the weakest of the three entries.

    In passing—probably Ford's stock has fallen further over time than any other of America's great pioneering filmmakers. That's not surprising, given the cultural changes since his heyday. Post-Vietnam audiences, it seems, are simply too realistic to accept the facile assumptions that underlie too many of his films, especially the Westerns—that boozers are lovable, that authority-figures know best, that the military makes men, and especially, that European culture civilizes. No doubt each of these is true some of the time, but with Ford they too often remain unexamined assumptions raised to the level of historical verities. The fact that he often weaves these assumptions into artful wholes makes them no less suppositional. Among the Hawks-Welles-Hitchcock generation, Ford remains the great myth-maker. He's always pictorial, nearly always entertaining, but ultimately lacking in the mark of the true artist— he's seldom profound.
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    happy light

    There were four reasons why I decided to watch this western: the lead star, director John Ford (My Darling Clementine, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance), five stars by the critics, and it appears in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Basically after set after the Civil War, Union officer Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke (John Wayne) in charge of the outpost of Rio Grande is training new recruits, one of which is his son Trooper Jefferson 'Jeff' Yorke (Claude Jarman Jr.) who hasn't seen for fifteen years. He whips him and the other men to against the Apaches, but of course Jeff's mother Kathleen (Maureen O'Hara), who Kirby separated from, shows up to take her son away. Kirby faces a tough battle, and his unorthodox plan gets him a court-martial, and he must fight to redeem himself and bring his broken family back together. Also starring Ben Johnson as Trooper Travis Tyree, Harry Carey Jr. as Trooper Daniel 'Sandy' Boone, Chill Wills as Dr. Wilkins, J. Carrol Naish as Lt. Gen. Philip Sheridan, Victor McLaglen as Sgt. Maj. Timothy Quincannon, Grant Withers as U.S. Deputy Marshal and Peter Ortiz as Capt. St. Jacques. This was the third film in Ford's cavalry trilogy following Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and even though it doesn't have the most interesting story in my opinion, Wayne is a good lead and there are some good sights to be seen. John Wayne was number 56 on The 100 Greatest Movie Stars, and he was number 13 on 100 Years, 100 Stars - Men. Very good!
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    Most everyone else praises this film and I can't help but agree with them.

    However, some of the comments state that this film was made in Monument Valley. This is incorrect. The film actually was made in the Moab, Utah area.

    I once backpacked down into the canyonlands south of Moab and the scenery is fantastic. This is also a great microbrewery in Moab if you are ever in that town.

    Another thought, a very minor one for historical accuracy, at the end of this film General Phil Sheridan gives permission for the band to play Dixie. I doubt that the real Sheridan would have done this as he hated the Confederates as much as Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson hated Yankees. At Appomattox, Sheridan bitterly protested the truce before Lee's surrender. He wanted to take the Army of the Potomac and wipe out the last of the Army of Northern Virginia. Thank God, General Grant knew better.
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    At the end of the movie, while the band is playing "Dixie", J. Carroll Naish, who is credited with playing Gen. Philip Sheridan, throws a thumb over his shoulder towards Maureen O'Hara and says "Sheridan". Why would he be crediting Sheridan with the playing of that song in honor of O'Hara's southern roots, if he was Sheridan himself ? This is yet another movie for which John Wayne has been given little credit for the range of his abilities. His love for his estranged wife (Maureen O"Hara) is so plain, and yet so painful......after such a long separation, it almost seems like it's their first date ! Now, who but a really great actor can do that ? By now I figure you can guess, this is one of my all-time favorite movies.....
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    I have never fully understood the great reverence for 'The Searchers' in Ford's pantheon. Heresy it may be but I find it overlong and unnecessarily dark. Even within the Cavalry Trilogy 'Rio Grande' is often described as the weakest of the three, over-sentimental and racist. I beg to differ. Of course it is sentimental...nearly all Ford's films are in one way or another. Of course the Apache are painted in the worst possible light but Ford was a man of his generation and in those days the Apache were still seen as brutal savages.

    What makes this film stand out for me as at least the equivalent of the other two in the trilogy is the relationship between Wayne and O'Hara. They really spark together on screen and their dialogue is both witty and genuinely touching as two proud people inch back towards each other. The action scenes are great too and heh, I like a happy ending!
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    John Ford was perhaps the best-known exponent of the of the 'cavalry film', that sub-genre of the Western that tells the story of the conflict between the US Army and the native Indians of the American West during the second half of the nineteenth century. The three films which he made on this theme between 1948 and 1950 (all of which starred John Wayne) have become known as his "cavalry trilogy". "Rio Grande" is the third of these, the earlier instalments being "Fort Apache" and "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon". It is also the first of three films Wayne made beginning with the word "Rio", the others being "Rio Bravo" and "Rio Lobo", both directed by Howard Hawks.

    In "Rio Grande" Wayne plays the same character he played in "Fort Apache", Kirby Yorke, although he has now been promoted from Captain to Lieutenant Colonel. (The spelling of his surname has also changed; in the earlier film it was spelt "York"). The title derives from the fact that Yorke is now stationed on the Texas frontier, charged with defending settlers against marauding Apaches. The fight against the Indians, however, is only one of a number of interlocking plot lines. The most important one concerns Yorke's relationship with his son Jeff and his estranged wife Kathleen, neither of whom he has seen for fifteen years. The cause of the estrangement was an incident during the Civil War when Yorke, then serving with the Union forces, obeyed an order to burn down his wife's plantation home in the Shenandoah valley. (Kathleen is from an old Virginia family). During the course of the film, however, they begin to rediscover their love for one another.

    Jeff, having failed officer training at West Point, has enlisted in the Army as a private, and has been sent to serve with his father's regiment. Kathleen disapproves of her son's choice of a career and arrives at the fort determined home with her, only to find that he is just as determined to remain in the Army. A third plot line concerns Jeff's friend Trooper Travis Tyree who is on the run from the law, having killed a man in a fight. Jeff and Tyree are among those who volunteer for a dangerous mission to rescue some children kidnapped by the Apaches.

    Ford is, rightly, regarded as one of the great Western directors; some of his films, such as "Stagecoach" are recognised as being among the great classics of the genre. As with all great directors, however, not all his films are of the same quality, and "Rio Grande" has always struck me as being one of his lesser works. It has its good points; John Wayne was an expert in portraying tough but honourable men of action, and this is a typical Wayne performance. There is some good photography of the dramatic scenery of the West (black-and-white, although "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" had been made in colour), especially of Monument Valley, one of Ford's favourite locations. (Although the action supposedly takes place on the Texas frontier, the valley is actually on the borders of Utah and Arizona).

    The film, however, also has its weaknesses. Maureen O'Hara is miscast as Kathleen; only 30 at the time, she was far too young to play the mother of an adult son. (Apparently the studio, Republic Pictures, insisted that Ford use her as part of their price for allowing him to make The Quiet Man, which was eventually made two years later with the same combination of Wayne and O'Hara). The depiction of the Indians is biased; as in many Westerns of this period such as "Only the Valiant", another "cavalry film", they are simply portrayed as savage barbarians venting their bloodlust on innocent white settlers, with no attempt to show their point of view. (The earlier instalments of the trilogy had been rather more liberal in this respect). For a film which is not officially a musical there is an awful lot of singing going one, so much so that one might conclude that the US Cavalry's main function was light entertainment, with warfare only a sideline. (A sentimental ballad like "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" doesn't really seem right on the lips of hardened cavalrymen). Overall, "Rio Grande" is really little more than a standard Western adventure story. 6/10
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    More realistic than She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, happily free of the juvenile shenanigans of both earlier films (the romantic scenes between Agar and Temple in FA and Agar-Carey-Dru in SWAYR are hard to take for this viewer), Rio Grande seems tighter, and better unified dramatically than the previous two. Bert Glennon's photography shows why black and white can be as artistically satisfying as even the best Technicolor--and much more appropriate for many subjects. Glennon never seemed to get the recognition (or the plum assignments) enjoyed by famous names like Wong Howe, Freund, and Toland, despite his superb work on this, Young Mr. Lincoln, Stagecoach, and many of Sternberg's best, especially the amazing The Scarlet Empress.

    The domestic drama, as many viewers pointed out, is poignant and more mature than many of Ford's films, the comedy byplay between the Ford stock company players is less gratuitous and silly than in Apache and Ribbon and doesn't rely on Irish- or alcohol-based humor, that many find offensive.

    All in all, and I've seen all three films many times, I'd have to say that if you gave me the choice of which one I wanted to watch tonight, I'd choose Rio Grande.
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    John Wayne is handsome, stern and tough playing a Calvary Officer in Civil War times who is reunited with his estranged wife and son, the latter a new recruit in his own father's platoon! Emotional, oft-times amusing outdoor yarn with the occasional Apache Indian attack, family strife, and wonderful, take-a-deep-breath outdoor cinematography. John Ford-directed film isn't a bracing, memorable western in the classic sense, though it does have sentiment and good cheer, and of course the lovely Maureen O'Hara playing wife to the Duke (their chemistry is under the restraints of the script, but manages to glimmer through anyway). **1/2 from ****
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    Commanding a remote outpost in Texas, cavalry officer John Wayne reconnects with estranged wife Maureen O'Hara and new-recruit son Claude Jarman Jr. However, the reunion is complicated by an Apache uprising and an illegal incursion across the Rio Grande.

    One of the lesser talked-about pairings of Wayne and John Ford and their third cavalry picture, this is satisfying, though a bit familiar in the drama department. Action scenes and Monument Valley locations are excellent, as are the musical numbers by Ken Curtis and the Sons Of The Pioneers. O'Hara looks a little young to have a teenage son though.

    Memorable subplots include fugitive recruit Ben Johnson trying to stay ahead of the law and some male-bonding between himself, Jarman, and fellow soldiers Harry Carey Jr. and Victor Maglaglen.