- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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"Section Hand" and "Croaker" crackle
- Jeff Boston
Wayne and Holden helped shape a fine film. Ford's signature, well-framed exterior shots and well-aimed anterior (and ulterior) shots at politicians run throughout this historical piece with the expected, dramatic dose of Hollywoodism. Holden is deservedly one of the all-time greats, but like lesser fifties phenoms Clift and Brando, more suited for contemporary fare. In Ford's one Civil War film, the Newton Station ripping of the railroad tracks, the southern boys march from camp, and the leg amputation scene ("Hold him down!") stand out, and there's comic relief in the form of Sgt. Kirby, the Martin and Pyle bit, and Towers "What is your preference? play. It was cool hearing "When Johnny Come Marching Home" (a Civil War song) six years after it was showcased in Holden's "Stalag 17." It was also cool hearing Host Ben M declare before this film's 8:00 showing last night that in the Hollywood community "Everybody loved John Wayne" one week after he said the same thing about Holden before the playing of his "The Moon is Blue" during TCM's month-long celebration of Holden's 100th birthday.
Great classic film
I saw this film first when I eas a little kid at a drive in theatre (the twin drive in in Cincinnati Ohio).Gets more dated as it goes along but still a classic. Now i am something of an expert on the Civil War,and I see lots of stuff I missed back then. First, there was a real life hero, Col. Grierson, that the film is very loosely based on. His real exploits far exceeded those shown in the film. He was " the Union Mosby".Next the theme song was written for the movie. "Hell and back for Ulysses Simpson Grant" was A pretty good hook line though. The rest of the songs I heard were recognizably traditional.Many uniforms and weapons bother me, they look wrong for the period. Those were leftovers of other western films. They also manufacture a forced love interest for Wayne, pure 50s Hollywood hokum. We would do better with historic details now if it was to be remade.One thing they do right is to make "Sherman hairpins" of railroad rails. We sure cant re enact that today. I think its the only depiction of that Union army passtime on film.Still in all a classic, I still like to see it.
Love this movie!
- Joseph Brush
I remember this time frame for it seemed the Duke had at least two or three movies released every year. The Horse Soldiers was also promoted on the radio broadcast of the first Floyd Patterson vs Ingemar Johansson fight. As a matter of fact, both Wayne and Holden were at ringside for the fight.
Not one of my favorites.....
- Gary T
....and I'm a sucker for John Wayne movies. But this one seems like a it just goes through the motions of the everyday Westerns that were churned out in the 50's. Almost every Wayne movie has some piece of memorable dialogue that's often quoted or some scene that just sticks in your head. Not this one. It's OK, but certainly not much better that the typical western fare. Not being historically accurate is just another telltale sign that not much effort was put forth in making this movie. As an aside, although I like William Holden, his style has always seemed much too contemporary to me for westerns or other period pieces. Supporting cast has some great western supporting actors in it; at least they do not disappoint.
A major goof: the uniforms
The uniforms worn by the Federal Cavalry were not worn until the late 1870's--Civil war cavalrymen at the beginning of the Civil War wore Mexican war style dragoon jackets, which were gradually replaced by theplain sack coat, commonly referred to as a "blouse". The civil war issue had 4 buttons; a later issue (1874)had five. Shirtsleeve campaigning did not come until 1876. Officers wore frock coats for full dress occasions;in the field they often wore jackets which were actually cut down frock coats.
- Guy Gertsch
Don't get me wrong, I think the films that Ford and Wayne made early on were some of the finest films ever, (Stagecoach, They Were Expendable, The Long Voyage Home, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, et.al) But following "The Searchers" it was all downhill. John Wayne decided that he didn't want to be an actor, but would rather be John Wayne, and thus made few good films from then on (The Cowboys, Chisum, The Shootist). John Ford never made another quality film. The Horse Soldiers was completely pedestrian. Constance Towers falling for grandpa Wayne was ridiculous,especially with Bill Holden around. The screenplay was insipid and the whole plot absurd. Ford had lost his powers when this one was made.
I love this film.Very well done.You can't beat the Duke and John Ford.But did you ever notice that throughout the film Duke isn't wearing any sidearms?Just a plain belt with no gun and holster and no saber.I thought that curious.But it doesn't take away from the whole production and is very well done!
North Meets South
My husband and I first saw this movie in 1959 (the year we met). We both were John Wayne fans, so it was a given that we would watch this movie. Besides my husband was an avid civil war historian. John Wayne is his usual great self; but Constance Tower is his equal in the acting between them. Willliam Holden is as strong a character as always (liked him in Bridge on the River Kwai). The story progresses along going through many different parts of the South. Young boys from a military school get involved; and it's just wonderful to see how passionate they are about their South as are Northerners. Both hard headed John & Constance don't understand that they hate/love each other right away, as soon as they meet. It's quite a delightful movie experience. One that I still experience every time I watch this great movie. I gave it 5 stars many years ago.