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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fort Apache: The Custer Massacre Retold, Aug. 9 2002
By 
Martin Asiner (jersey city, nj United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fort Apache (VHS Tape)
Director John Ford began his trilogy of the bluecoat versus Indian trilogy with FORT APACHE in 1948. The film was such a hit that he quickly followed with a pair of sequels, SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON and RIO GRANDE. John Wayne played basically the same character in each, a grizzled, weary veteran of the Indian wars who is one of the few people in any of the three films who sees the Indians sympathetically. In FORT APACHE, he is Captain Kirby York, who has to adjust to being in second command to a martinet of a commander, Colonel Owen Thursday, played by Henry Fonda in only one of two unsympathetic roles in a very long film career (ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is the other). Captain York wants to bring an end to the Indian wars, so he meets Cochise and Geronimo and gives them his word that they will be treated fairly. Of course, Colonel Thursday decides to attack the Indians in a surprise assault that fools nobody. Colonel Thursday is seen as a clone of General Custer who had much the same idea of surprising 5,000 Indian warriors. It is hard to find any sympathy for Thursday. Every word that he utters is starkly unemotional. He is about as fair with the Indians as he is with his own daughter Philadelphia (Shirley Temple) when he refuses consent to her marriage with a dashing cavalry lieutenant played by the blandly handsome John Agar, who, in real life, married Shirley soon after the film was released. The highlight of the film is a characteristic of John Ford, a smashingly effective use of onrushing troopers led into a cavalry charge with a bugler tooting the way. The battle scene of trooper versus Indian inevitably draws comparison with the real life massacre of the 7th Cavalry under General Custer. The role of the Indian in this and the other two installments is one of the few instances in which the Indian is not seen as the inherently bad guy. In fact, Cochise and Geronimo were both willing to abide by a verbal treaty and Colonel Thursday's verbal harangue of the two proud chiefs clearly invests them with some sympathy. The viewer is left with the distinct impression that if the west had had more Captain Yorks and fewer Colonel Thursdays, then the history of the wild west might have been written in much less blood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only two things to say : John Wayne, Aug. 25 2013
By 
Chales V. Jones "Chuck Jones" (Vancouver, B.C. Ca) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fort Apache (DVD)
I grew up in the middle of America in the 1950's and my parents were both Veterans of the US Navy in WWII so I was a dyed in the wool, Born and Bred John Wayne fan since Birth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The first of a great three, Feb. 21 2013
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This review is from: Fort Apache (DVD)
I thoroughly enjoyed this one especially because it starred Ward Bond who is a favorite of mine. Another great production by John Ford and starring "The Duke".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Find, Jan. 17 2013
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This review is from: Fort Apache (DVD)
Talk about a hard to find movie. John Wayne, John Ford, and a great western movie. It doesnt get much better. Fantastic collection for any movie buff or cinemafile. Terrific deal. Great product, great price , fast shipping
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love Calvary movies, Jan. 10 2013
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This review is from: Fort Apache (DVD)
A younger Wayne but still a great actor and who doesn't like Henry Fonda. This movie was definitely a big surprise for me but a first class surprise. Great acting, story for both sides.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie for your John Wayne collection, April 9 2012
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This review is from: Fort Apache (DVD)
This is one of the series you need to get if you are an avid fan of John Wayne.
To add to this would be She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande.
A bit of a different angle to our Duke are Donovan's Reef and The Quiet Man
which are grand movies as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Ford still works., June 14 2004
This review is from: Fort Apache (VHS Tape)
I'm out of my element with this film. I normally don't review black-and-white classics, because I'm too cynical to view the big studio releases of yesteryear with an open mind. All of them are contrived and somewhat sappy; I watch them and envision a cherubic Mickey Rooney looking on while eating chocolate chip cookies and drinking milk. "That's a swell show, Dad!"
But I like John Ford films. And I really like FORT APACHE, despite the movie being a stereotypical product of its time. Why, you ask (or mutter indifferently)? Because this film actually depicts some range for Henry Fonda and the Duke himself. Fonda plays a very unsympathetic role, while John Wayne steps out of character (for him) to play a compassionate second fiddle. And Ford's experiment works: the two actors pull off exceptional performances; their on-screen chemistry is riveting.
Tension--that's the motor that drives FORT APACHE. A new disciplined, disgruntled, by-the-book colonel (Fonda) arrives at a remote Arizona outpost; immediately, he is at odds with the fort's seasoned and weathered captain (Wayne). The captain, who possesses a deep respect for a band of Apache that has left the reservation, has the loyalty and affection of his men; the colonel is looked upon as an unwelcome intruder and resented as a martinet. The two officers wage a battle of wills that ultimately has Fonda using an unsuspecting Wayne as a ploy to draw the Apache back for a surprise attack--a strategy that produces deadly consequences.
This is good stuff, further enhanced by some outstanding supporting roles, including Ward Bond, Pedro Armendariz, and Victor McLaglen. We're even treated to a grown-up--yet still annoying--Shirley Temple. Kudos to John Ford for creating a good-looking film that successfully had Fonda and Wayne step outside their respective boxes. FORT APACHE, despite its "Aw, shucks" big studio smarm, is solid entertainment.
--D. Mikels
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great American film, July 5 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Fort Apache (VHS Tape)
Director John Ford's first entry in his "cavalry trilogy" is this excellent film about life on a military outpost far from the glamorous theaters of the Indian Wars in the American west. The film is about character development of the officers and enlisted men on the post, family relationships and the class distinctions among the military social order. Henry Fonda dominates this film with a wonderful interpretation of a bitter, unhappy colonel who feels he has been shunted aside by an ungrateful military hierarchy to an isolated desert outpost to fight Apaches, an assignment he considers beneath him. John Wayne's Capt. Kirby York gives the film just the right balance between the two men who have very different viewpoints about fighting Apaches and respect for their fierce adversaries. The concerns of the wives of officers and enlisted men are also explored in the daily routine at Fort Apache and their fears are touchingly portrayed as their men march at dawn one morning to do battle with Cochise's warriors in an attempt to force the venerable chief to return to a reservation that is run by a corrupt, morally bankrupt Indian agent. The original black and white print is superb and is much better than the colorized version available on video. Richard Hageman's music is reflective and melancholy.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four and a half stars, actually..., April 4 2004
By 
Bruce Hutton (Spokane, Washington) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fort Apache (VHS Tape)
A truly excellent western, one of the all-time greats; the only reason it's not a full 5 stars is there are a few which are marginally better, such as "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" and "Shane".
Both Henry Fonda and John Wayne are cast against type here, and both prove what great actors they are. Fonda plays a stubborn, excessively proud army commander (loosely based on General George Armstrong Custer) furious at being sent to an outpost in Arizona to fight the Apache, complaining they're not even the "tough" Indians. Wayne is a looser, kinder man more adjusted to living in the middle of nowhere, beloved by his men, and holding much more respect for the Apache since he's dealt with them many times. Fonda insists on using the Apache's trust of Wayne against them, luring them into a trap to force them back onto the reservation. Wayne does his best to stop it, but the forces are already at work and there's little he can do. The ensuing massacre (remember, this tale is based on the exploits of Custer) leaves Wayne with the dilemma: tell the truth about Fonda, or go along with the typical "national-hero" myth that has developed around his death?
This is not your typical western. The cavalry aren't the bad guys (as they would be portrayed 40 years later in "Dances With Wolves"), but the Indians aren't exactly the bad guys, either. Their treatment on the reservation at the hands of a corrupt American government, providing them with scant food to survive but plenty of rotgut whiskey to demoralize and destroy them, is clearly presented. The Indians (portrayed here mostly by Mexican actors) are justifiably angry as their trust in "the great white father" is betrayed over and over. They are presented as intelligent strategists; they offer Fonda a legitimate chance to sit down and talk, but when they're betrayed yet again they go on the offense and, incredibly, they don't lose the fight. This was a western far ahead of its time, and since it was directed by the great John Ford it isn't just a moral tract: it's a beautifully-photographed and expertly-acted drama that pulls you in and teaches you something at the same time. Great stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review of product, Aug. 31 2010
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This review is from: Fort Apache (DVD)
I received this item in good time and good condition. If there are any other items that I need from this person, I will not hesitate to order. Thank you.
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Fort Apache [Blu-ray]
Fort Apache [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray - 2012)
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