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The Horse Soldiers (1959) - movie overview

The Horse Soldiers (1959)

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Plot Description
Shooting Locations

DVD Release Date
 R1: May 8, 2001
 R2: 1 Mar 2004

Running Time
1 hour, 55 minutes

Country USA

Studio Mirisch Company, United Artists

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Other Titles
• Der Letzte Befehl (1959)

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Genre: Adventure, War, Western, True Story, Suspense, Doctor

Tagline: ...Rides Where Only The Great Ones Go!

Plot: THE HORSE SOLDIERS, John Ford's only attempt at tackling the subject of the Civil War, is based on Grierson's Raid, part of the Union's assault on Vicksburg in April 1863. After a number of failed efforts at taking the Southern stronghold, Union leaders assign Col. John Marlowe (John Wayne), a railroad designer in civilian life, to lead a cavalry detachment to destroy a vital railroad hub at Newton Station, far behind Confederate lines. Marlowe's unit includes Major Kendall (William Holden), a cynical physician disgusted by the notion that there's glory in the carnage, and the politically ambitious Colonel Secord (Willis Bouchey). Marlowe temporarily appropriates the plantation of Southerner Hannah Hunter (Constance Towers) while in transit and is forced to take her along, in lieu of killing her, after she overhears his plans for Newton Station. As their journey continues, Marlowe realizes that he is much more interested in Hannah than in her political sympathies. Wayne and Holden give gritty, soulful performances, and William Clothier's photography is outstanding in a film that delves beneath simplistic notions of heroism to reveal something more complicated, grisly, and real.

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 Directed by
John Ford
The Searchers, The Grapes of Wrath, The Quiet Man
 Written by
John Lee Mahin
Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, The Bad Seed, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
John Wayne
The Searchers, The Quiet Man, Rio Bravo
William Holden
The Bridge on the River Kwai, Sunset Blvd., The Wild Bunch
Constance Towers
A Perfect Murder, The Relic, The Next Karate Kid
Judson Pratt
I Confess, Futureworld, Cheyenne Autumn
Hoot Gibson
The Sheepman
Ken Curtis
The Searchers, Mister Roberts, Robin Hood
Willis Bouchey
From Here to Eternity, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Them!
 Music By
David Buttolph
Rope, House of Wax, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms

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