Pinned She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

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  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)


    Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas

    For continuity, all discussion
    please post here:-
    Duke's Movies- She Wore a Yellow Ribbon


    Plot Summary
    Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement,
    takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack.
    Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.
    Summary written by Jim Beaver

    Full Cast
    John Wayne .... Capt. Nathan Cutting Brittles
    Joanne Dru .... Olivia Dandridge
    John Agar .... Lt. Flint Cohill
    Ben Johnson .... Sgt. Tyree
    Harry Carey Jr. .... 2nd Lt. Ross Penell
    Victor McLaglen .... Top Sgt. Quincannon
    Mildred Natwick .... Abby Allshard aka Old Iron Pants
    George O'Brien .... Major Mac Allshard, Commanding Officer Fort Starke
    Arthur Shields .... Dr. O'Laughlin
    Michael Dugan .... Sgt. Hochbauer
    Chief John Big Tree .... Chief Pony That Walks
    Fred Graham .... Sgt. Hench
    Chief Sky Eagle .... Chief Sky Eagle
    Tom Tyler .... Cpl. Mike Quayne, Leader of Paradise River Patrol
    Noble Johnson .... Chief Red Shirt
    Rudy Bowman .... Pvt. John Smith aka Rome Clay (uncredited)
    Lee Bradley .... Interpreter (uncredited)
    Paul Fix .... Gun-runner (uncredited)
    Francis Ford .... Connelly, Fort Stark Suttlers Barman (uncredited)
    Ray Hyke .... Trooper McCarthy (uncredited)
    Billy Jones .... Courier (uncredited)
    Fred Kennedy .... Badger (uncredited)
    Fred Libby .... Cpl. Krumrein (uncredited)
    Cliff Lyons .... Trooper Cliff (uncredited)
    Frank McGrath .... Bugler/Indian (uncredited)
    Post Park .... Officer (uncredited)
    Jack Pennick .... Sergeant Major (uncredited)
    Irving Pichel .... Narrator (uncredited)
    Mickey Simpson .... Cpl. Wagner (blacksmith) (uncredited)
    William Steele .... Officer (uncredited)
    Don Summers .... Jenkins (uncredited)
    Dan White .... Trooper (uncredited)
    Harry Woods .... Licensed Suttler Karl Rynders (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    James Warner Bellah stories War Party and The Big Hunt
    Frank S. Nugent screenplay (as Frank Nugent)
    Laurence Stallings screenplay

    Original Music
    Richard Hageman (musical score)

    Winton C. Hoch (as Winton Hoch)

    Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
    Edward O'Fearna .... assistant director
    Wingate Smith .... assistant director
    Cliff Lyons .... second unit director (uncredited)

    Roydon Clark .... stunts (uncredited)
    Everett Creach .... stunts (uncredited)
    John Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
    Fred Graham .... stunts (uncredited)
    Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
    Bryan 'Slim' Hightower .... stunts (uncredited)
    John Hudkins .... stunts (uncredited)
    Fred Kennedy .... stunts (uncredited)
    Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
    Frank McGrath .... stunts (uncredited)
    Don Nagel .... stunts (uncredited)
    Gil Perkins .... stunts (uncredited)
    Bob Rose .... stunts (uncredited)
    Norm Taylor .... stunt double: Indian (uncredited)

    Other crew
    C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
    Charles P. Boyle .... photographer: second unit (as Charles Boyle)
    Lucien Cailliet .... music arranger
    Lucien Cailliet .... orchestrator
    Harvey Gould .... camera operator
    D.R.O. Hatswell .... costume researcher
    Natalie Kalmus .... color director: Technicolor
    Philip Kieffer .... technical advisor (as Major Philip Kieffer)
    Cliff Lyons .... technical advisor
    Morgan Padelford .... associate color director: Technicolor
    Robert Campbell .... gaffer (uncredited)
    Tom Clement .... grip (uncredited)
    Barbara Ford .... assistant editor (uncredited)
    Jester Hairston .... choral director (uncredited)
    Alexander Kahle .... still photographer (uncredited)
    Barlow Simpson .... gun wrangler (uncredited)
    Meta Stern .... script supervisor (uncredited)
    Archie Stout .... camera operator: second unit (uncredited)

    When Sgt. Quincannon (Victor McLaglen) is addressing the troops and warning them to "watch them words," he asks who owns a dog, without receiving an answer. He concludes, "Nice dog! Irish setter!" The scene was improvised on the spot by director John Ford. The dog was an unnamed Navajo pet that had fallen asleep during the setup. Multiple takes were required because McLaglen kept blowing the line, calling the dog a "cocker spaniel."

    Based on the paintings and illustrations of Frederic Remington, the artist renowned for his nostalgic packaging of the bygone "real" West for an urban public.

    Sergeant Tyree's horse is named "Laddie".

    The song "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" is still to this day the official anthem of the United States Cavalry/Armor.

    The exterior shots of Capt. Brittles' quarters and the building where Major Mac Allshard, Commanding Officer Fort Starke has his HQ are still standing and in Monument Valley itself near to the town of Kanab. The HQ building is now a museum and both are open to the public.

    As the regiment's blacksmith, named "Wagner", is seen at work, we can hear the orchestra playing the "Nibelung"-motif from Richard Wagner's famous opera, "Siegfried". In the opera the motif is connected with the forging of Siegfried's sword.

    John Ford decided to cast John Wayne as Captain Nathan Brittles after seeing his performance as Thomas Dunson in Red River (1948).

    According to Patrick Wayne, this was his father's favorite of the movies he starred in.

    John Wayne, who was 41 when the film was made, won great acclaim for his convincing portrayal of the 60-year-old Captain Brittles.

    In the graveyard, one of the crosses carries the name "DeVoto", this is likely an homage to Bernard DeVoto, a prominent historian of the American West.

    The horse that Ben Johnson rode in this film was a famous movie horse used by many stars in many 40s and 50s movies. It was a big sorrel stallion called "Steel" and was owned by Ben Johnston's father in law "Fat Jones" who ran one of the most successful horse renting stables in Hollywood. The horse, which was known for being very quiet but flashy, was ridden by John Wayne in "Tall in the Saddle" and "The Conqueror", Gregory Peck in "Yellow Skies" and Clark Gable in "The Tall T". The horse made stars look like good riders and Fat Jones always insisted if "Steel" was used in movies, the company hired every other horse used in the movie from his stable, so "Steel" was worth a fortune to him. "Steel" had his own double and the horse that Ben Johnston rides in the galloping scenes was not "Steel" but a spectacular galloper called "Bingo". "Steel" was no movie prima donna however. Ben Johnston also rode him when he won his world champion calf roping title. Ben Johnston also rode both "Steel" and "Bingo" in "Wagonmaster".

    "Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 12, 1951 with John Wayne reprising his film role.

    The medal Capt. Brittles is wearing during the final troop review is the Medal of Honor.

    * Anachronisms: The film says that news of the Battle of Little Big Horn (1876) was spread by the Pony Express - which went out of business in 1861.

    * Anachronisms: The calendar page that Capt. Brittles uses to mark off the days until his retirement is for the wrong month. The calendar most unusually shows the year but not the month, but it does show that the month has 31 days and begins on a Wednesday. Therefore, the only month in 1876 that this page would have fit was March. But it cannot be March, because it refers to the Battle of the Little Big Horn as having recently occurred and that Battle did not take place until June 1876. Arguably, the calendar should show the month of July, because John Wayne's character indicates that it is the 5th of the month, and news of Custer's death at Little Big Horn on Sunday June 25 would have taken about two weeks to arrive by (anachronistic) pony express.

    * Anachronisms: At the very end of the film the cavalry marches by with a 48-star flag. In 1876 there were only 38 states.

    * Continuity: Prior to leaving Fort Stock on his last patrol, Captain Brittles writes an objection to having to take a wagon on the mission. He hands the written complaint to Major Allshard, who in turn hands it to Sgt. Hochbauer, who then reads the report up side down.

    * Continuity: During the fight in the canteen, when Sgt. Quincannon throws the small soldier over the counter, the barman Connolly has his pipe in his mouth. In the next shot, his pipe is in his right hand.

    * Anachronisms: When Capt Brittles asks the Post commander's wife if the dress she is wearing is made from Top Soldier Quincanon's britches, she agrees, but the skirt is a full ankle length riding skirt made from much more material than a pair of britches.

    * Revealing mistakes: During the charge, you hear the same looped recordings of war whoops over and over again. Furthermore, they are the same looped recordings of war whoops that they used the previous year in "Fort Apache".

    * Anachronisms: Captain Brittles is retiring after 40 years in the army. It is 1876, which means he entered the army around 1836. He says he was "just a boy in blue jeans" when he entered the army. Blue jeans or denim trousers didn't come into the U.S. until Levi Strauss brought the material from DeNimes France to California during the 1850 gold rush. There were no "blue jeans" in the 1830s.

    * Revealing mistakes: When Sgt. Tyree stops the paymaster's stage coach, he walks back past the horses to the coach. In the footwell of the driver's seat there are two holes through which the reins pass. The head of the stuntman who was driving the "driverless" coach is visible.

    * Anachronisms: As Dr. O'Laughlin is operating on Cpl. Mike Quayne, exterior views of their wagon include a modern Coleman-type two-mantle lantern, which was not available in 1876.

    * Anachronisms: Despite the demise of the 'Pony Express' in 1861 and the completion of the telegraph in 1862, notification in many areas, even in 1876, still traveled by horse. The Custer column from Fort Lincoln did not string telegraph lines as it moved west to engage the 'hostile Indians'. After the 'massacre', the word was sent East, at least to Fort Lincoln, by courier on horseback. It took nearly two weeks for the word to reach the East Coast (General Sherman on July 4th).

    Memorable Quotes

    Filming Locations
    Kanab Movie Fort, Kanab, Utah, USA
    Kanab, Utah, USA
    Mexican Hat, Utah, USA
    Moab, Utah, USA
    Monument Valley, Utah, USA
    Pathe Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA

    Previous discussion:-
    She Wore A Yellow Ribbon

    For continuity, all discussion
    please post here:-
    Duke's Movies- She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

    Watch this Trailer

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    The post was edited 15 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is a 1949 Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne.
    The film was the second of Ford's trilogy of films focusing on the US Cavalry
    (and the only one in color); the other two films were Fort Apache (1948) and Rio Grande (1950).
    With a budget of $1.6 million, the film was one of the most expensive Westerns of the time,
    but became a major hit for RKO and remains a popular classic today.

    The film is renowned for its breathtaking views of Monument Valley located on the Navajo reservation,
    at the northern edge of Arizona; cinematographer Winton Hoch
    won the 1950 Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography.
    Ford and Hoch based much of the film's imagery on the paintings and sculptures of Frederic Remington.

    As a cinematographer, Winton Hoch is perhaps best remembered for one single scene in this film:
    as a line of cavalry ride through the desert, a thunderstorm grows on the horizon.
    Ironically, Hoch had filed a letter of complaint against Ford with his craft union over the filming of this scene;
    as the storm gathered, Hoch began to pack up the cameras, but Ford ordered him to keep shooting,
    knowing the scene would look magnificent in technicolor on the silver screen.
    Hoch argued that there was not enough light to get a decent shot, and more importantly,
    the cameras were potential lightning rods as the storm swept over them.
    Ford ignored Hoch's complaints, and the scene was shot as the thunderstorm rolled in,
    eventually soaking the cast and crew with rain.

    The cast and crew lived in relatively primitive conditions in Monument Valley,
    with many sleeping in dirt floor cabins and sharing cold water drum showers.
    This perhaps accounts for the speedy pace accomplished during shooting,
    and the film was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

    Director Ford initially was uncertain who to cast in the crucial role of Brittles,
    but knew that he did not want John Wayne for the part...
    until he saw Wayne's performance in Red River,
    and realized he had grown considerably as an actor, and was now capable
    of playing a character with subtle nuances.

    This was one of the performances which Wayne was proudest of for the rest of his life,
    although he maintained that Ford made a mistake in not concluding the film with Brittles
    retiring from the Army and riding off into the sunset.
    Instead, Ford insisted on tacking on a less bittersweet ending,
    with Brittles recalled back into the cavalry and given a promotion.

    The film is named after a song common in the U.S. military, "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon",
    which is still used today to keep marching cadence. It is a variant of the song "All Around My Hat".


    Part 2 of the Trilogy, once again shows how brilliant Ford, was with this subject.
    His cast for this film, is magnificent.
    Duke, once again, solid as a rock, as a commander, and a leader of men.
    With no love interest to weigh him down, he turns in a wonderful performance,
    as Nathan Brittles, his portrayal is one of the finest of his career.
    It was a very unlike Duke role, calling him to be passive, and reflective.
    It also further developed him as as as American icon, as Brittles was an ideal leader, his speech,
    "Lest we forget" being magical.
    His "I'll be back.I'll be back", conjuring up the same sort of leadership and authority, as MacArthur.
    Duke handles the part of an older man well, later admitting, that this, is probably his favourite film.
    His mature role(watching ,over younger love lives), was a role he would adapt as his own, in his later movies.

    Victor, turned in a fantastic performance, and I just laugh,
    at every minute he spends on the silver screen, he had such a presence.
    Ben Johnson, also, was just great, and acted well above, his status.
    Joanne Dru, and the other Ford players, put in excellent performances.

    This was to be the first time, that Ford had filmed in Monument Valley in Colour,,
    with the awesome scene, of marching through the lightning, gaining cameraman Winton Hoch, an Academy award.
    The film was an immediate hit, and it was one of the years leaders at the box office,
    and critics response was thus,
    the finest outdoor picture""another of John Ford's classics.

    User Review
    "...wherever they rode, whatever they fought for, that place became the United States."
    24 August 2005 | by bkoganbing (Buffalo, New York)

    The second of John Ford's cavalry trilogy that deals with the life of the professional soldier is the only one that was photographed in color. Lucky are we, the cinema fans two generations away.

    She Wore A Yellow Ribbon has John Wayne the embodiment of the thirty year army man. The year of the action of the film which is 1876 has Wayne mentioning in passing that he was at the Battle of Chapultepec in the Mexican War which started in 1846. Wayne's Nathan Brittles was by his account a dirty shirt tailed runaway from his father's Ohio farm when he joined the army. And now he's reached mandatory retirement. He's married and has had a family who he's lost for reasons John Ford doesn't explain in the film. But Wayne dutifully, "makes his report" at their gravesides every night he's at the post.

    Wayne's seen a lot of military history and a lot of tragedy. With no family left, the United States Cavalry is his home and family. He doesn't like the idea of retiring at all. In a later Ford film, The Long Gray Line, Martin Maher says that all he knows and holds dear is at West Point. Wayne could have said that line himself here.

    Even though George O'Brien is the commanding officer at Fort Stark, Wayne is the father figure for the whole post. And not like some of the others don't behave like children. The whole romantic rivalry between John Agar and Harry Carey, Jr. over Joanne Dru seems pretty childish. Cute while in the safety of the post, but when out on a mission downright dangerous and Wayne like the good father scolds his kiddies.

    With some makeup to grey his hair and wrinkle him a might, Wayne turns in one of his finest performances on the screen. Harry Carey, Jr. wrote what is probably the most evenly balanced portrayal of the Duke in his memoirs In the Company of Heroes. They didn't always get along, but Carey says Wayne was an inspiration to him and the other younger cast members. In fact during the scene with the gunrunners Paul Fix and Grant Withers being killed in the Indian camp while Wayne, Carey, and Agar watch on the ridge, the whole idea for the chaw of tobacco bit came from Carey himself, but that Wayne encouraged the improvisation as he was wont to do.

    Other than the Duke, my favorite portrayal in the film is that of Ben Johnson as Sergeant Tyree. Wayne recognizes in him a younger version of himself. In fact Tyree is a former Confederate Army captain, a fact brought out in the death scene of "Trooper Smith" another former Confederate who in fact was a general in that army. Ben Johnson was a real cowboy, a horse wrangler who John Ford gave a chance to act. He graced many a film with his presence and won himself an Oscar to cap his career in The Last Picture Show.

    Like in Fort Apache and Rio Grande, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is the story of the professional soldier and the sacrifices he makes when he gives up his civilian status to serve his country. It's a universal theme, not just confined to the USA. No one embodied that theme better than did John Wayne as Nathan Brittles in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.
    Best Wishes
    London- England

    The post was edited 5 times, last by ethanedwards ().