Combustible Celluloid
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With: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar, Ben Johnson, Harrey Carey Jr., Victor McLaglen, Mildred Natwick, George O'Brien, Arthur Shields
Written by: Frank S. Nugent, Laurence Stalling
Directed by: John Ford
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 103
Date: 10/22/1949

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Cavalry, Part Two

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

After working successfully in both the war and Western genres, directorJohn Ford had the presence of mind to combine the two for his celebrated"Cavalry Trilogy," comprised of Fort Apache (1948), Rio Grande(1950), and this, the middle film.

Most fans consider it best of the three for two reasons: because of Winton Hoch's beautiful color cinematography, and because of John Wayne's touching performance as an aging and close-to-retirement Captain. Ford had recently seen Howard Hawks' "Red River," in which Wayne aged several years, and finally realized that "the big son of a bitch could act!"

Ford's graceful direction ranges from a gentle scene in which Wayne accepts his retirement watch, fighting back the tears, to another in which when an army of younger soldiers try to get a drunken Victor McLaglen away from the bar.

DVD Details: Warner Home Video's new DVD ($19.98) contains a lovely color print, and a vast improvement over Artisan's fuzzy treatment of The Quiet Man (1950). It also includes a few text extras describing Wayne and Ford's lifelong collaboration.

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