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The Horse Soldiers (1959)

aka The Horse Soldiers

"John Ford's Thundering Spectacle"

Directed By: 
Details: 115 mins · English


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Small Col. John Marlowe
Small Major 'Hank' Kendall
Small Miss Hannah Hunter
Small Sgt Major Kirby
No_movie_poster Sgt. Brown
No_movie_poster Cpl. Wilkie
No_movie_poster Col. Phil Secord
No_movie_poster Dunker, Yankee Soldier Amputee
No_movie_poster Otis 'Hoppy' Hopkins
No_movie_poster Deacon Clump
No_movie_poster Union Captain
Small Jackie Jo
Small Virgil
Small The Reverend (Jefferson Military Academy)
No_movie_poster Col. Jonathan Miles, CSA


Small John Ford Director
No_movie_poster John Lee Mahin Production
No_movie_poster Martin Rackin Production
No_movie_poster John Lee Mahin Writer
No_movie_poster Martin Rackin Writer
No_movie_poster Jack Murray Editing


"John Ford's Thundering Spectacle"

"...Rides Where Only The Great Ones Go!"


A Union cavalry brigade, led by Colonel John Marlowe (John Wayne), is sent on a raid behind Confederate lines to destroy a railroad and supply depot at Newton Station. Ironically, before the war, Marlowe had been a railroad building engineer. With the troop is a new regimental surgeon, Major Henry Kendall (William Holden) who seems to be constantly at odds with his commander. Kendall is torn between the duty and the horror of war.

Complicating matters, while the unit rests at Greenbriar Plantation, Miss Hannah Hunter (Constance Towers), the plantation's mistress, and her slave Lukey (Althea Gibson) eavesdrop on a staff meeting wherein Marlowe discusses his plans. To protect the mission, Marlowe is forced to take the two women with him. Initially hostile to her Yankee captor, Miss Hunter gradually warms to him. In addition to Miss Hunter, Marlowe also has continually to contend with Col. Phil Secord who doubts Marlowe's orders and command decisions.

Several battles later, including a fire-fight which results in the death of Lukey, and a skirmish with Boy Cadets from a local military school (based on the real-life Battle of New Market), and with Confederate forces in pursuit, Marlowe and his command reach a bridge which must be stormed in order to access the Union lines. Dr. Kendall is forced to choose between remaining behind with some badly wounded men (and being captured with them), or leaving the men without medical care until the Confederates arrive. Marlowe, wounded, is able to lead his troops over the bridge after they have set charges under it. First, he lights the fuse and the bridge blows up to halt the Confederates once again. He and his command continue on to their destination having successfully completed their mission. This is not shown but is understood. See below.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2001-05-08