Greatest Classic Films: John Wayne Westerns
John Wayne had one of his richest late-career roles as a leather-tough rancher who, deserted by his regular help, hires 11 greenhorn schoolboys for a cattle drive across 400 treacherous miles. Roscoe Lee Browne, Colleen Dewhurst and Bruce Dern co-star.
The soldiers at Fort Apache may disagree with the tactics of their glory-seeking new commander. But to a man, theyre duty-bound to obey even when it means almost certain disaster. John Wayne, Henry Fonda and others familiar players from director John Fords"stock company" saddle up for the first film in the directors famed cavalry trilogy.
On one side is an army of gunmen dead-set on springing a murderous cohort from jail. On the other is a sheriff (John Wayne), two deputies (Dean Martin and Walter Brennan), an unseasoned, trigger-happy youth (Ricky Nelson) and a woman with a past (Angie Dickinson). Howard Hawks directs one of the genres greatest and most influential works.
John Wayne plays an ex-Confederate soldier seeking his niece, captured by Comanches who massacred his family. He wont surrender to hunger, thirst, the elements or loneliness. And in his five-year search, he finds the unexpected: his own humanity. This 12th John Wayne/John Ford collaboration resulted in a universally acclaimed cinema landmark.