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Horse Soldiers

John Wayne , William Holden , John Ford    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Product Description

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This latter-day sort-of Western from John Ford--falling midway between The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance--is a crisp retelling of a true-life episode from the Civil War. In 1863 a Union colonel named Grierson (Marlowe in the film, and John Wayne by any name) led his cavalry several hundred miles behind Confederate lines to cut the railroad between Newton Station and soon-to-be-embattled Vicksburg. Grierson's Raid was as successful as it was daring, and remarkably bloodless. Never fear that the screenplay makes up for that un-Hollywood lapse--as well as supplying amatory distraction for the colonel in the form of a feisty Southern belle (Constance Towers) who has to be dragged along to protect secrecy.

There's a certain amount of bombast in the running arguments about wartime ethics between Marlowe and the new regimental surgeon (William Holden), who don't take to each other at all. But Ford more than makes up for it with such tasty scenes as an encounter with a couple of redneck Rebel deserters (Denver Pyle and Strother Martin), an ethereal swamp crossing led by a cornpone deacon (Hank Worden), and above all the famous skirmish with a hillside full of grade-school cadets from a venerable military academy. The film ends rather abruptly because Ford abandoned a climactic battle scene--the veteran stunt man and bit player Fred Kennedy having been killed in a horse fall. Golden-age cowboy star Hoot Gibson, who acted in Ford's directorial debut, Straight Shooting, appears as Sergeant Brown. --Richard T. Jameson


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great John Wayne Movie May 29 2004
Format:DVD
I love this movie. John Wayne's swagger, William Holden's class, and Constance Towers' charm. They all combine to make an excellent Civil War Movie based on an actually raid that pushed deep into the South.
The movie of course isn't accurate but that doesn't matter. The drama and action are great and there isn't any silly romance to ruin things. Constance Towers' presence helps in the development of John Wayne's character but doesn't slip into any thing that distracts from the main part of the movie.
There are also some great battle scenes. My favorite is the VMI cadet charge. This was also based on a real event that apparently wasn't as big of a deal as in the movie but is still interesting to read about if you get a chance.
I recommend this movie to all John Wayne and Civil War movie buffs.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars July 9 2014
Format:DVD
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5.0 out of 5 stars John Wayne Horse Soldiers Jan. 7 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
We have watched this movie several times since purchasing it, it has always been a favourite of my husband. Everything we hoped it would be.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Horse Soldiers Nov. 7 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The story was about rebels about unions soldiers. It did not make one look bad, and the other look good. The soldiers were in a war, and had a job to do, and did it. Good quality supporting cast.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some of his best Oct. 17 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
How can you go wrong with the Duke. I am a huge fan and want the movies on DVD prices were right and the selection was great the more the better is the way I look at it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars John Ford with John Wayne Sept. 26 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A depiction, with typically Hollywood fanciful love interest, of the raid that U.S. Grant called "The bravest thing ever done". Good John Ford western - and as usual Ford does appear in a minor cameo role.
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4.0 out of 5 stars film to dvd conversion Aug. 19 2013
By TL
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Some of the scenes were not seen well due to the way the conversion came from the film version. It was as if the dvd image was centred on the old film image and only picked up the a part of the actors who were on either side of the original widescreen...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a keeper June 13 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of John Wayne this film is a must that should be in your collection. It is a historical action film in which Wayne leads his Union cavalry unit in a foray deep behind Confederate lines during the US civil war. The film was directed by John Ford. & is based on an actual engagement which itself was noteworthy enough that it was studied in military colleges. The duke himself is in top form & is surrounded by a cast of veterans which includes William Holden & Constance Towers.
The blue ray conversion is also great showcasing John Ford's talent as a director.
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