Combustible Celluloid
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With: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers, Judson Pratt, Hoot Gibson, Ken Curtis, Willis Bouchey, Bing Russell, O.Z. Whitehead, Hank Worden, Chuck Hayward, Denver Pyle, Strother Martin, Basil Ruysdael, Carleton Young, William Leslie, William Henry, Walter Reed, Anna Lee, William Forrest, Ron Hagerthy, Russell Simpson, Althea Gibson
Written by: John Lee Mahin, Martin Rackin, based on a novel by Harold Sinclair
Directed by: John Ford
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 119
Date: 06/12/1959

The Horse Soldiers (1959)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Civil Western

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director John Ford combined his two strong suits, the western and the war movie, for this Civil War-era tale of Union soldier Wayne and pacifist doctor William Holden marching deep into Rebel territory and facing all kinds of challenges; Southern Belle Constance Towers among them. Wayne and Holden bicker constantly and even attempt the usual Ford fistfight. It's a lesser Ford, rife with his backwards attempts at humor, but even a lesser Ford is still a film by one of the cinema's greatest poets. It's still very much worth a viewing. Kino Lorber released a beautiful 2022 Blu-ray, complete with a new commentary track by Ford biographer Joseph McBride, and a trailer. Recommended.

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