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The Horse Soldiers
The Horse Soldiers
Actors: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers, Judson Pratt, Hoot Gibson
Director: John Ford
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Indie & Art House, Military & War
NR     2001     1hr 55min

John Wayne teams with William Holden and eminent western director John Ford for this frontier actioner "packed with laughter, romance and thrills" (The Hollywood Reporter)! Written by John LeeMahin and Martin Rackin, this ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers, Judson Pratt, Hoot Gibson
Director: John Ford
Creators: William H. Clothier, Jack Murray, John Lee Mahin, Martin Rackin, Harold Sinclair
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Indie & Art House, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Indie & Art House, Military & War
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/08/2001
Original Release Date: 06/12/1959
Theatrical Release Date: 06/12/1959
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 55min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

C.E. M. from CATAULA, GA
Reviewed on 3/24/2013...
Great Movie
Reviewed on 1/29/2010...
Anyone interested in an entertaining look at one of the many atrocities of the Civil War will find this film to their liking. John Ford was a director, it seems, who sought to understand history. William Holden is very good in this one, as usual.
David P S. from MOLENA, GA
Reviewed on 10/2/2009...
good story line

Movie Reviews

The DUKE rides again!
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 05/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A wonderful picture of the war between the states, "Horse Soldiers" follows the story of Wayne leading his troopers in an attack deep into enemy territory. Loosely based on a factual event, the Union must cut off the supply lines to Vicksburg. DUKE leads the raid.This is a fantastic transfer, as others have mentioned. I spotted literally one damaged frame, with a "V" shaped crease in it. The colors blaze off the screeen, and although there are no booklets, inserts, or extras (other than the original trailer), the disc is a real keeper.Although many see this picture as "Ford-lite," there are several classic Ford touches throughout the film. The opening shot of the calvary marching in a sundown silhouette is stirring. The charge of the child soldiers is a great moment (you see Wayne tip his hat to them as he rides off). For me, I like the subtle, "hidden" Ford touches in all of his films, which reveal telling information about characters without the overbearing, in-your-face, and just plain heavy-handed direction in today's movies.In "Horse Soldiers", the dyed-in-the-wool Southern patriot Hannah Hunter has spent several days as prisoner of the Union soldiers. At one point, in order to make her feel better, a soldier gives her a candle for light. Another offers her a fragment of a looking glass. The soldier holds up the broken mirror, and when she looks at her reflection she can see the soldier's Yankee cap over the top of it, as if she wore it herself. That's Ford telling us she's been converted, without slapping us in the face or dumbing it down for us.You'll see familiar Ford faces pop up here and there, too. Jack Pennick is in just about all of John Ford's westerns. Hank Worden and Ken Curtis will be instantly familiar to fans of "The Searchers". Ken Curtis was also in "Rio Grande" and "The Quiet Man", and is probably best known as Festus on "Gunsmoke". O.Z. Whitehead was in "The Grapes of Wrath" and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance". Walter Reed was in "Sergeant Rutledge" and "Cheyenne Autumn".Bing Russell, who plays Dunker, is the man gunned down in the saloon in another DUKE movie, "Rio Bravo".Of couse, other familiar faces include Storther Martin and Denver Pyle as a pair of Confederate deserters.This is a really solid cavalry film, with The DUKE in the thick of the action. William Holden is a good match as a foil for DUKE.For those who say DUKE couldn't act, DUKE has a great scene in the Newton Station bar when he reveals why he doesn't like doctors."Horse Soldiers" is an overlooked gem from Ford, only because his more famous films shine that much more."
My Favorite John Wayne Movie
Steve Rawlings | Denver, CO USA | 01/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am an unabashed fan of John Wayne movies from "Stagecoach" to "The Shootist." Among them all, "The Horse Soldiers" is my personal favorite. John Ford captures, in vivid, robust color, the pageantry of the Union and Confederate cavalries. With flags flying, horses pounding, and bugles blaring, Ford and Wayne create sheer movie entertainment. The musical score by David Buttolph perfectly captures the varying moods of the film and complements the stirring visual images. From "I Left My Love" to the "Bonnie Blue Flag," the music accents the film's emotions. William Holden and Constance Towers are well-cast as Wayne's nemesis. The supporting cast is bolstered with many Wayne regulars, including Ken Curtus (Festus from "Gunsmoke"). Many criticize the factual inaccuracies in John Wayne films. So what! He didn't intend to make documentaries, he intended to make rousing, entertaining movies. I will always believe this was his best..."
Ford's Interpretation of Grierson's Raid
Dennis J. Buckley | Harrisburg, PA USA | 06/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"John Ford was granted license long ago to interpret historical events. After all, he granted it to himself and made no secret of it. Other reviewers are correct that this is Ford's, and John Wayne's, only full length Civil War film, the team's "Shiloh" contribution to _How the West Was Won_ notwithstanding.I have one "if only," but it is a bigee: if only they had left out the insipid, incredible romantic subplot (which adds nothing to plot or picture), this would have been one of the great Civil War movies. I suppose that Ford thought if he didn't add this the ladies would stay away, to which I say, "So what?"With that out of my system, there is still a lot to enjoy in this pic. The usual, Fordian conflicts among strong male characters (notably between Wayne and Holden) are there as are the comic moments ("Now lookee, here. The sun comes up in the east, don't it?" "Well it does in Missouri!" "Well if that's the east, we're ridin' south! Straight into Reb country!"). The plot is standard "dangerous mission" genre. There is lots of action, lots of shooting, and that last obstacle to get by.Wayne's character is interesting. Far from a professional military man, he is a railroad engineer sent, reluctantly, to destroy railroads-- and he has his own reason to hate doctors. Holden is a military doctor with no fear of higher command (Wayne). These two strong personalities play well off one another.Ford has also been unjustly criticized for setting up weak opponents. _The Horse Soldiers_ undercuts that. Nathan Bedford Forrest, an ever lurking presence, dogs the cavalry column which is attacked at least three times. One of these attacks draws from the Battle of New Market (yes, I know that is in Virginia, not Mississippi, where the film is set), and the charge of the VMI cadets in that battle.Visually, the film is magnificent. Even his detractors concede that Ford knew how to do camera work, and he is at his best, here. Great opening song and rousing score.I do come back to my original gripe, though. The Duke did not need a female lead in every film, and it was a mistake to include one, here. Try to ignore that, and enjoy the rest of the film."