The final film of John Ford’s cavalry trilogy (1950), dealing with an army colonel and his estranged wife (John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara) brought together during the Apache wars near the Mexican border. Ford’s theme here is a deep rift between group and personal values, between patriotic duty and domestic responsibility. The conflict is clearly irreconcilable, and the film has a tension and a closeness in its images that are highly uncharacteristic of Ford’s work in the period. A great film, though problematic. Ford returned to the subject in 1957 with The Wings of Eagles.
NR • 1 hour 45 min • 1950