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The Horse Soldiers [DVD] 
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John Wayne plays hardbitten Union Cavalry Colonel Marlowe, who teams up with a pacifist doctor (William Holden) in this Civil War western directed by John Ford. Together with a feisty Southern belle (Constance Towers), the pair lead a cavalry patrol on a mission 300 miles into Confederate territory, in an attempt to destroy a railroad junction and choke off vital supply lines.
A crisp retelling of a true-life episode from the Civil War, The Horse Soldiers is a latter-day sorta-Western from John Ford, falling midway between The Searchers (1956) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). 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 railway track 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 young 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 (1917), appears as Sergeant Brown. --Richard T. Jameson, Amazon.com --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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on 12 June 2017
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Thanks for the delivery. A story about The Civil War: "Yankees (J. Wayne) v. Dixies". Maybe not one of his best, though the story is good. Almost every later Wayne-movie from the 1960s is better. The Wimbledon-winner (Althea Gibson from 57 & 58) plays servant.
on 6 June 2017
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Based on a true story this is a well made and acted. Can be a bit corny for some as Wayne comes away with the usual clichés we expect from him but this is a good film. I have also been a fan of the "DUKE" since my childhood days.
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Most recent customer reviews
I have always liked this film. I was put off buying a Blu-ray upgrade for many months because the reviews weren't that good.Read more
Thank you for the DVD my brother loves it I can't stand John Wayne but it's his favorite movie thank you again kindest regards Patricia Thompson