The second installment of John Ford's famous cavalry trilogy (which also includes Fort Apache and Rio Grande), this meditative Western continues the director's fascination with history's obliteration of the past. It featur... more »es one of John Wayne's more sensitive performances as Capt. Nathan Brittles, a stern yet sentimental war horse who has difficulty preparing for his impending military retirement. All things considered, he refuses to leave before fulfilling his obligation to the local Indian tribe. It's a film about honor and duty as well as loneliness and mortality. And Oscar-winner Winton C. Hoch beautifully photographs it in Remington-like Technicolor tones (you've never seen such stunning cloud-covered skies). The combination of melancholy and farce (Victor McLaglen makes a perfect court jester) evokes comparisons to Shakespeare. Best of all, the scene in which Wayne fights back tears when receiving a gold watch from his troops is unforgettably bittersweet. If you view the whole trilogy, it actually makes sense to save this for last. --Bill Desowitz« less
Rebekah M. (PossumAnnie) from JOPLIN, MO Reviewed on 2/10/2010...
I greatly enjoy watching this movie. The music is wonderful as well as the acting. It gives you a feeling of what it must have been like living in an army post out in the wild west. The views are breathtaking as the horseriding is incredible. I would recomend this movie.
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Paul Miller | Memphis | 03/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the second and ,as many have said, best in John Ford's famed cavalry trilogy. I go further in claiming for it high status in the genre of western films, it is one of the finest. Wayne wears makeup that ages him 20 years and his acting performance transforms him into that older man Captain Nathan Brittles, soon to be retired from the U. S. Cavalry. Captain Brittles talking to his late wife at her grave ,while he waters the plants he has placed there, with Monument valley in the background is one of the more moving scenes. This and "The Searchers" are Wayne's finest acting performances. "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" won an academy award for it's color cinematography and it was well deserved. This is one beautiful film. Ford shot many of his westerns in Monument valley, this is his definitive Monument valley western, you really see alot of the landscape and clouds and it's glorious. The special features on this dvd has a short home movie of Ford and Wayne flying down to Mexico and hanging out back in the forties. Own this one because it's one of those rare films you can, and will want to, watch over and over."
"Lest we forget!"
J. Hoerth | United States | 11/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Capt. Nathan Brittles (John Wayne) is near retirement and looks at it with an unsure and heavy heart. After years in the U.S. Cavalry it is all he knows and is not sure what will become of him when he leaves it. Brittles knows that the Army and life will go on, but what will his role in life be, since he lost his wife years before. This is the second and best film in the John Ford cavalry trilogy. As it Brittles is not very keen on handing over command to younger soldiers who are yet to prove themself in leading other men and in combat. For all it's worth he has little to no say about what will happen to those who take over and what will become of the indian tribe that he has worked with and delt with for so long. Victor McLaglen is a great supporter in the film as he also faces retirement and enjoys his whiskey and fights along with the other men. A story about trust and service along with changing times, it features one of Wayne's best performances. An Oscar winner for best color cinematography (Winton C. Hoch) that features Monument Valley, this is a film to see as it is a western and war film wraped into one. It is simple yet not boring and it get's to the point when needed. Grade: B+"
The Duke and Ford ride the trail again...
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 06/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Joanne Dru teams with The DUKE again in this Technicolor marvel (after appearing together in "Red River" the year before). In this one, Dru plays a young romantic hopeful for both John Agar and Harry Carey, Jr.Monument Valley never looked better. The stormclouds are stunning, even if the fake lightning is not. And the sunsets! Only Technicolor can capture the colors with such brilliance!While I prefer "Rio Grande" and the lamentably-not-on-DVD-yet "Fort Apache", "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" plays more as a quiet homage to the cavalry than the actionfests of the other two films. Not that this film is sparse on action! However, the focus here is most definitely on the honor and wisdom of the old guard.As usual, Ford has many subtle threads woven in to the plot of the film that enhance the story with backstories that are only hinted at. The most notable of these is the former Confederate soldiers, now part of the U.S. Cavalry. Their honor is intact, and they are still true to their ideals, despite wearing the uniform of the Yankee. There is, we know, much more to their story, but we see just what we need to. Any more, and the real story would get lost, the focus moved to the wrong place. How many modern directors make the mistake of letting this happen again and again and again? Too many, for sure.Some people have complained that John Wanye was a lousy actor, which I've always chalked up to a refusal to recognize talent in a celebrity simply through differences in personal taste. Like "The Searchers", "Red River", "The Horse Soldiers" and "The Sands of Iwo Jima" (also starring the late John Agar), there are solid moments in this film when DUKE delivers. Just look as he "gives his report" to his wife and children, when he writes out his protest to his commanding officer, and again, when he gets the memento of the silver watch from his troopers. The viewer's taste notwithstanding, it cannot be denied that DUKE could act.The usual excellent Ford supporting players abound. Ben Johnson, Arthur Shields, Harry Carey Jr., and of course, the lovable Victor McLaglen (yet again playing a man named Quincannon), are all on hand. Paul Fix has a cameo as a gun-runner. Two real-life Indian chiefs also appear. Chief John Big Tree appeared in several westerns (including "The Big Trail" and "Stagecoach", both with The DUKE), and is famous for being the original model for artist James Fraser when he crafted the indian head nickel. Chief Sky Eagle cameos in his only film appearance.A touching and poignant western, it is a must see for fans of Ford, The DUKE, The U.S. Calvalry, or the Old West.And, incidentally, this film was not shot in a widescreen format. It was shot in a 35mm, spherical process, with an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. In other words, it will show about the correct size when displayed on your standard TV screen."
A Great Movie, Now A Fantastic DVD!
John G. Gleeson Sr. | Frederic, Mi USA | 09/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Ford's "Cavalry Trilogy" presents some of the finest western scenes ever made. I believe this to be the best of the three, although I'm sure to hear from folks who differ. Be that as it may, this is a beautifully made disc. On the big screen ( a must), it is the scenery that is a major factor, because the film is so vivid. I saw the "Trilogy" in the theatre when released, and I believe that the DVD viewer will see the film better realized on the digital screen than moviegoers saw in 1959. Another opinion that many will differ with is that this is John Wayne's best performance; his role as Captain Nathan Briddles could not be better done. John Ford had a cadre of actors that appeared regularly in his films, but Victor McLaglin, Ben Johnson and Arthur Shields do good work in their respective parts. Johnson, a former rodeo rider, is a superb horseman, and watch Shields' stagecraft when his character operates on a wounded trooper. It's fantastic attention to the details of the scene. Joanne Dru was a fifties actress, and the love interest is a bit dated, but it is the cinematography that is the winner here. Some of the scenes, one involving a thunderstorm, and another showing a stunning sunset are still amazing, especially since no computer graphics are involved. The attention to detail that makes or breaks historical film are consistantly well done here, as exemplified in the correctness of the cavalry scenes. Back in 1959, there were people around who knew what horse soldiering was, and it is painstakingly recreated here. Please don't pass this one up - it's a wonderful film."
ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS LOOKING DVD OF THIS JOHN FORD CLASSIC
Nix Pix | Windsor, Ontario, Canada | 04/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" is one of those glorious westerns, luminously photographed by director, John Ford. It stars, John Wayne, as a widower living at a military outpost with the cavalry and features some of the most gorgeously photographed exteriors ever captured on film. Monument Valley becomes a place of quiet, stoic beauty and the duke never gave a more impressive performance than he does here.
My hat off to the good people at Warner Home Video. This is a truly amazing looking DVD and one that should definitely be on every film buffs wish list to own. Colors are fully saturated, well balanced and incredibly life like. Contrast levels are on pitch as are black levels. There is a hint of edge enhancement and pixelization but really - it's just a hint. Chips, scratches and imperfections inherant in the original camera negative are kept to a bare, bare minimum. The audio is mono, as originally presented, but extremely well balanced, with low to non-existant background hiss in most scenes. No extras: a shame! One craves a documentary on either the making-of this movie or John Ford himself. We get neither. Still, it's hard to fault such a near pristine looking transfer.
BOTTOM LINE: Get this one before it goes out of print!"