Horse Soldiers

V'14

The Horse Soldiers

John Ford
USA, 1959
119min, OF

© Viennale

The Horse Soldiers

John Ford
USA, 1959
, 119min, OF

Cast: 
John Wayne
William Holden
Constance Towers
Judson Pratt
Hoot Gibson
Ken Curtis
Willis Bouchey
Bing Russell
O.Z. Whitehead
Hank Worden
Chuck Hayward
Denver Pyle
Anna Lee
Cast: 
Original novel
«The Horse Soldiers» by Harold Sinclair
Screenplay: 
John Lee Mahin
Martin Rackin
Sound: 
Jack Solomon
Camera: 
William H. Clothier
Editor: 
Jack Murray
Composer: 
David Buttolph
Decoration: 
Frank Hotaling
Costume: 
Frank Beetson
Joan Joseff

Production: 
The Mirisch Corporation
Format: 
35 mm
Color

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.