Another great Western with one of the greats, William Holden.
Another good western from John Sturges
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 06/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Escape from Fort Bravo is a very good western that deals with a time and place not often featured in westerns. Fort Bravo is a Union outpost in the Arizona territory during the Civil War. Colonel Owens, Captain Roper, and a company of Union cavalry must watch over the stockade full of Confederate officers while also dealing with the Mescalero Apaches. When four of the prisoners escape with a woman from the fort, Captain Roper and a small detail must chase them across the barren desert as the Apaches close in on them. This is a very good western from director John Sturges(The Magnificent Seven). It is a beautifully shot movie with a good score by Jeff Alexander and Stan Jones. While the first part of the movie is good, the climax is the best part. Stranded in the desert by the Mescaleros, the Union and Confederate troops must try and survive as arrows rain down on them. It is a great ending that should not be missed. William Holden gives a typically good performance as the ruthless Captain Roper, who must try and bring the escaped prisoners back to Fort Bravo. Eleanor Parker is also very good as Carla Forester, a woman who comes to the fort with alterior motives but begins to fall for Roper. John Forsythe, William Demarest, and William Campbell play three of the escaped prisoners, Marsh, Campbell, and Young. The trio brings a humor to their parts that is otherwise missing in the movie. The movie also stars Polly Bergen, Richard Anderson as Lt. Beecher, the voice of reason, Carl Benton Reid as Colonel Owens, and John Lupton as Bailey. The VHS is of average quality, but the movie is well worth a watch. For a highly entertaing western with a great final showdown, check out Escape from Fort Bravo!"
Pleasantly understated entertaining Western.
Ginge | Sydney | 11/22/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bill holden portrays a cynical union officer at Fort Bravo. Despite his hard bitten reputation, he grows roses. He's in charge of protecting the fort from Indian attack and Confederate prisoner escapes. However, for all his experience, he gets distracted by a woman of course, who's secretly assisting a Confederate escape. This all leads up to an exciting climax, when confederate and union officer must join forces to survive Mescalero attack. Bill Holden shines in this role, bringing his usual natural charm to a western that quietly goes about it's business to it's suspenseful end. Some really romantic lines in this one too!"
The box lies!
Bloodrider | Rego Park, New York United States | 06/04/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen this movie in widescreen on TCM network on cable. The box says widescreen. The movie is being shown 1:33:1, only because they zoomed it. You can see how the proportions are wrong for the actors. What the hell gives???. Shame on Warner home video. I want my widescreen movie!!!!!!....Knights of the Round table with Robert Taylor was MGM's first widescreen, and Fort Bravo was its first western in widescreen. I want the movie in widescreen!!!"
"William Holden Series ... Escape from Fort Bravo (1953) ...
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 09/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MGM presents "ESCAPE FROM FORT BRAVO" (9 December 1953) (98 mins/Color) (Dolby digitally remastered) -- Our story line and plot, In the Civil War, Fort Bravo is a prison camp for captured southerners --- Its isolated position and unfriendly natives make escape almost impossible, but anyone who tries is always brought back by by-the-book Captain Roper (William Holden) --- Another Captain John Marsh (John Forsythe) a Confederate and a group of prisoners hatch a plot to get away by bringing in a southern belle Carla Forester (Eleanor Parker) to distract Roper --- The plan seems to work, but the inhospitable desert, the murderous Indians, and - most importantly - the Colonel apparently wronged in love mean that this is only the start --- William Holden and John Forsythe both love Parker --- Besides the three main leads mentioned above, the supporting cast includes William Demerest, William Campbell, Richard Anderson, Polly Bergen, and in a pre "Broken Arrow" role, John Lupton --- Campbell and Demerest do provide some comic relief, playing off each other's abilities, but the lead actors do carry the picture and prevent it from becoming just another Cavalry-Indians western --- Filmed on location at California's Death Valley, "Escape from Fort Bravo" was co-written by Australian-born actor Michael Pate --- Another brilliant John Sturges film with excellent directing.
Under the production staff of: John Sturges - Director Nicholas Nayfack - Producer Frank Fenton - Screenwriter Michael Pate - Screen Story Philip Rock - Screen Story Robert Surtees - Cinematographer Jeff Alexander - Songwriter / Composer (Music Score) Stan Jones - Songwriter George Boemler - Editor Malcolm Brown - Art Director Cedric Gibbons - Art Director Ralph S. Hurst - Set Designer Edwin B. Willis - Set Designer Helen Rose - Costume Designer Warren Newcombe - Special Effects
SPECIAL FEATURES: BIOS: 1. William Holden (aka: William Franklin Beedle Jr.) Date of Birth: 17 April 1918 - O'Fallon, Illinois Date of Death: 16 November 1981 - Santa Monica, California
2. Eleanor Parker Date of Birth: 26 June 1922 - Cedarville, Ohio Date of Death: Still Living
3. John Forsythe (aka: John Lincoln Freund) Date of Birth: 29 January 1918 - Penn's Grove, New Jersey Date of Death: Still Living
4. John Sturges (Director) Date of Birth: 3 January 1911 - Oak Park, Illinois Date of Death: 18 August 1992 - San Luis Obispo, California
the cast includes: William Holden ... Capt. Roper Eleanor Parker ... Carla Forester John Forsythe ... Capt. John Marsh William Demarest ... Campbell William Campbell ... Cabot Young Polly Bergen ... Alice Owens Richard Anderson ... Lt. Beecher Carl Benton Reid ... Col. Owens John Lupton ... Bailey Fred Graham ... Jones Charles Stevens ... Eilota Glenn Strange ... Sgt. Compton
Hats off and thanks to Les Adams (collector/guideslines for character identification), Chuck Anderson (Webmaster: The Old Corral/B-Westerns.Com), Boyd Magers (Western Clippings), Bobby J. Copeland (author of "Trail Talk"), Rhonda Lemons (Empire Publishing Inc) and Bob Nareau (author of "The Real Bob Steele") as they have rekindled my interest once again for B-Westerns and Serials --- If you're into the memories of B-Westerns with high drama, this is the one you've been anxiously waiting for --- please stand up and take a bow Western Classics --- all my heroes have been cowboys!
Total Time: 98 mins on DVD ~ Warner Home Video ~ (8/26/2008)"
Grey against Blue and Indians against everybody!
Roberto Frangie | Leon, Gto. Mexico | 02/02/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"William Holden is Captain Roper, a strict commanding officer in charge of a large group of Confederate prisoners in a dry heat stockade at Fort Bravo, Arizona, in 1863...
He is disliked by his captors as well by his captives because of his displeasing behavior toward the escapees whom he invariably recaptures... A main example, dragging back to the fort John Lupton with a rope around his waist...
To Fort Bravo arrived, one morning, the talented, and beautiful Eleanor Parker (Carla) apparently for the wedding of a friend (Polly Bergen)... In fact she is scheming the escape of a rebel, Captain John Forsythe...
Carla - a confederate agent - knows how to charm and handle beautifully Holden in her sojourn in the fort... Holden is the only danger to her plan, as he is the man who finds everybody...
One night, she escapes in a horse-drawn cart with three men, and a coward storekeeper, her Confederate ally... A deceived Holden receives with shock the striking notice that Carla, the woman he loves, is the one who planned the escape... He sets out in their pursuit, ignoring that outside, and around him, in the wilderness, common enemy is watching, the deadly Mescalero Indians...
Holden is stern, enigmatic and firm as the brusque young officer, who keeps the restless prisoners in Fort Bravo while trying to keep out marauding Indians... However Holden is an ideal human officer with integrity beneath his inflexible rules that discipline is fundamental in and around Fort Bravo...
The film carries cautiously, continuous tense action sequences as it incorporates into the exciting climax... The state of expectation and the quality of hopefulness are extremely controlled... The cast gives force and pressure to the nature of the drama keeping the actions spontaneous... The dynamic climactic redskin ambush, with brutal arrow-artillery, express great tension... The rain of the Indians arrows is vigorously presented by John Sturges who directed many fine Westerns like "Backlash," "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," and "The Law and Jake Wade."
"Escape from Fort Bravo" is a great Western and a good suspense drama with a sweet romance and spectacular action... The scenery is overwhelming: the jagged rocks, the dirt and the sage as well as the play of light and shade, all fulfilling, in Technicolor, one purpose, Grey against Blue and Indians against everybody..."