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Fort Apache (1948)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Western | 14 June 1948 (Brazil)
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1:44 | Trailer
At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (screenplay), James Warner Bellah (suggested by the story "Massacre")
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Capt. Kirby York
Henry Fonda ... Lt. Col. Owen Thursday
Shirley Temple ... Philadelphia Thursday
Pedro Armendáriz ... Sgt. Beaufort (as Pedro Armendariz)
Ward Bond ... Sgt. Maj. Michael O'Rourke
George O'Brien ... Capt. Sam Collingwood
Victor McLaglen ... Sgt. Festus Mulcahy
Anna Lee ... Mrs. Emily Collingwood
Irene Rich ... Mrs. Mary O'Rourke
Dick Foran ... Sgt. Quincannon
Guy Kibbee ... Capt. Dr. Wilkens
Grant Withers ... Silas Meacham
Jack Pennick Jack Pennick ... Sgt. Daniel Schattuck
Ray Hyke Ray Hyke ... Recruit
Movita ... Guadalupe
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Storyline

Deep into the territory of the great Apache chief, Cochise, the demoted Civil War general, Lieutenant Colonel Owen Thursday, reports for duty as a commanding officer at the remote U.S. cavalry outpost known as Fort Apache, along with his daughter, Philadelphia. There, the arrogant commander will soon lock horns with the realistic and sensible second-in-command, Captain Kirby York, who, as an expert in the local Apaches, disagrees with Thursday who wants to make a name for himself in the Arizona frontier. In the end, is it wise to engage in battle when personal glory is all you seek? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

John Ford's Masterpiece of the Frontier! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 June 1948 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

War Party See more »

Filming Locations:

Monument Valley, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Argosy Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Ford hired two doctors from Los Angeles to oversee his 600-person crew at Monument Valley, where the company worked in 135-degree heat. See more »

Goofs

In the final cavalry charge Capt. Collingwood (George O'Brian) loses his hat twice. Then once the regiment is in the 'last stand depression,' Collingwood can be seen rallying the survivors, wearing his hat. When Col. Thursday joins them, he is greeted by Collingwood, hat less once more. See more »

Quotes

Newspaper reporter: [speaking of Col. Thursday] But what of the men who died with him? What of Collingworth and...
Captain Yorke: Collingwood.
Newspaper reporter: Oh, of course, Collingwood.
Reporter: That's the ironic part of it. We always remember the Thursdays, but the others are forgotten.
Captain Yorke: You're wrong there. They aren't forgotten because they haven't died. They're living - right out there.
[points out the window]
Captain Yorke: Collingwood and the rest. And they'll keep on living as long as the regiment lives. The pay is thirteen dollars a month; their diet: beans and ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

There is a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fonda on Fonda (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodnight Ladies
(uncredited)
Words by E.P. Christy
Music author unknown
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Very thoughtful, penetrating
11 August 2004 | by ALauffSee all my reviews

This beautifully shot western—the first in John Ford's so-called Cavalry Trilogy—about a fatuous lieutenant (Henry Fonda) whose hubris seriously endangers an isolated frontier outpost, grabbed me by the throat in its quietly scathing indictment of military leaders who needlessly risk the lives of their soldiers to win vague notions of heroism for posterity.

Fonda's Lieutenant Colonel Thursday seems an obvious stand-in for General Custer and the film, despite its reputation, seems less derogatory toward Native Americans than keen to extol the virtues of honorable combat agreed upon between two forthright leaders. Note the penultimate scene, occurring after the massacre, in which Wayne, Thursday's successor, wearily addresses reporters eager to talk about Thursday's "legacy." A glossy portrait of the lieutenant lords over the room. As Wayne discusses Thursday's merits, he looks out fondly at his battalion, their reflections superimposed over Wayne's gaze. This film is not anti-war, rather pro-service and pro-battle. It is not, however, supportive of egregious affronts to the sanctity of human life; a rather interesting contra-distinction, to be sure.


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