Fort Apache (1948)
Watch it now
as Lt. Col. Owen Thursd...
as Capt. Kirby York
as Philadelphia Thursda...
as Sgt. Beaufort
as Sgt. Maj. Michael O'...
as Lt. Michael `Mickey'...
as Capt. Sam Collingwoo...
as Mrs. Mary O'Rourke
as Sgt. Festus Mulcahy
as Mrs. Emily Collingwo...
as Dr. Wilkens
as Silas Meacham
as Sgt. Shattuck
as Sgt. Quincannon
as Capt. Gates
as Mrs. Martha Gates
as Fen, the Stagecoach...
as Bald-Headed Southern...
as Woman in Stagecoach ...
as Stage Driver
as Irish Recruit
as Stunt rider
as Stunt rider
News & Interviews for Fort Apache
Critic Reviews for Fort Apache
It's an odd film, consisting more of sidetracks than of an actual story, but it showed a new restlessness in Ford.
Audience Reviews for Fort Apache
The greatest of the "Cavalry" trilogy. Packed with great social commentary and amazing performances by Fonda, Wayne and Ward Bond. Fonda's final scene is one of the most powerful I've seen.
The first part in John Ford's Cavalry Trilogy and it's a complete epic. It's hard to find any mistakes, potholes or dull spots; probably because they don't exist. This is a wonderful story with great characters, messages, and overall outlook concerning the west. Henry Fonda went against his usual personality and plays quite a flawed man, sick with a case of too much pride. John Wayne plays a supporting role in this, but his character is so important to the plot that he completely overshadows everyone else. He might have a fraction of some of the others lines, but he's there when it means something.
I know that many consider Red River or The Searchers to be Wayne's greatest cowboy movies, but for me, you can't get better than Fort Apache. It is the first of John Ford and John Wayne's cavalry trilogy and is the best of the lot.
I think the most interesting thing about the film is its rather sympathetic view of the American Indians--they were shown as being decent and 3-dimensional and Wayne repeatedly stressed the importance of our country keeping its word of honor to them as well. In fact, it was very funny seeing Wayne portraying the voice of reason while Henry Fonda was more of a martinet and could have cared less about honor and truth.
Along the way, these two great actors are supported by old familiars like Victor McLaglen and Ward Bond, as well as Shirley Temple and her then husband, John Agar. Despite criticism leveled towards Agar by the media over the years (and to a lesser extent, to the adult Temple), I think they did just fine in their roles and made a positive contribution to the movie.
And finally, the action and cinematography is tops. It's hard to imagine a more beautiful black and white film or one where so much care and effort was given to make a great film.
Fort Apache Quotes
|Lt. Col. Owen Thursday:||[steps on scale] What is this scale used for?|
|Capt. Kirby York:||Weigh government beef, sir.|
|Lt. Col. Owen Thursday:||[adjusts scale] Seems I've gained seventy pounds since I've been in Arizona.|
|Sgt. Beaufort:||[the four soldiers who've come to escort Lt. O'Rourke to the fort have been invited to have a drink by Col. Thursday] Four bottles of cool beer, Ma.|
|Sgt. Festus Mulcahy:||And I'll have the same... with a whiskey chaser.|
|Sgt. Festus Mulcahy:||[after Co. Thursday has told the soldiers to destroy the contraband 'whiskey'] 'Destroy it,' he says. Well, boys, we've a man's work ahead of us this day.|
|Lt. Col. Owen Thursday:||This Lt. O'Rourke - are you by chance related?|
|Sgt. Major O'Rourke:||Not by chance, sir, by blood. He's my son.|
|Lt. Col. Owen Thursday:||I see. How did he happen to get into West Point?|
|Sgt. Major O'Rourke:||It happened by presidential appointment, sir|
|Lt. Col. Owen Thursday:||Are you a former officer, O'Rourke?|
|Sgt. Major O'Rourke:||During the war, I was a major in the 69th New York regiment... The Irish Brigade, sir.|
|Lt. Col. Owen Thursday:||Still, it's been my impression that presidential appointments were restricted to sons of holders of the Medal of Honor.|
|Sgt. Major O'Rourke:||That is my impression, too, sir. Will that be all, sir?|
Discuss Fort Apache on our Movie forum!