Retrospective 2014

The Horse Soldiers

John Ford
USA 1959
119min
V'14

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, 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, a cynical physician disgusted by the notion that there's glory in the carnage, and the politically ambitious Colonel Secord. Marlowe temporarily appropriates the plantation of Southerner Hannah Hunter while in transit and is forced to take her along, 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. William Clothier's photography is outstanding in a film that delves beneath simplistic notions of heroism to reveal something more complicated, grisly, and real.

Credits
  • John Wayne - Henry, genannt «Ringo Kid»
  • Hank Worden
  • O.Z. Whitehead
  • Anna Lee
  • William Holden
  • Constance Towers
  • Judson Pratt
  • Hoot Gibson
  • Ken Curtis
  • Willis Bouchey
  • Bing Russell
  • Chuck Hayward
  • Denver Pyle
  • John Lee Mahin
  • Martin Rackin
  • Jack Solomon
  • William H. Clothier
  • Jack Murray
  • David Buttolph
  • Frank Hotaling
  • Frank Beetson
  • Joan Joseff
  • «The Horse Soldiers» von Harold Sinclair
The Mirisch Corporation
35 mm
col
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