Hondo (1953) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hondo (1953)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Hondo is so "perfect" a John Ford western that many people assume it was directed by John Ford--or at the very least, Andrew McLaglen. Actually the director was suspense expert John Farrow, who worked with the "Duke" only twice in his career (the second film was an oddball war drama, The Sea Chase [55]). In Hondo, John Wayne plays a hard-bitten cavalry scout who is humanized by frontierswoman Geraldine Page and her young son (Lee Aaker, star of TV's Rin Tin Tin). Try as he might, Wayne can't convince Page to move off her land in anticipation of an Apache attack. He leaves her ranch, only to be ambushed by desperado Leo Gordon--who happens to be Page's long-absent husband. Having killed Gordon, Hondo returns to the ranch to protect Page from the Indians, and to rekindle the woman's hesitant love for him. The climactic attack sequence is enhanced by Hondo's 3-D photography, one of the few truly effective utilizations of this much-maligned process. Long unavailable thanks to the labyrinthine legal tangles of the John Wayne estate, Hondo was finally released to videotape in the early 1990s. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: PG (for western violence)
Genre: Western, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Louis L'Amour, James Edward Grant
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 11, 2005
Batjac Productions Inc.


John Wayne
as Hondo Lane
Geraldine Page
as Angie Lowe
Ward Bond
as Buffalo Baker, Army...
James Arness
as Lennie, Army Indian...
Michael Pate
as Vittoro
Leo Gordon
as Ed Lowe
Tom Irish
as Lt. McKay
Lee Aaker
as Johnny
Paul Fix
as Major Sherry
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hondo

Critic Reviews for Hondo

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Stands out as one of Wayne's best-remembered features, a smooth Western co-produced by Wayne and shot at the tail end of the '50s 3-D craze. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | June 4, 2012
Groucho Reviews

...an intelligent yet thrilling film, long on talk but with sufficient derring-do to satisfy most fans of the Western genre.

Full Review… | May 19, 2012
Movie Metropolis

Directed by John Farrow in 3-D, this Western resembles George Stevens' Shane (released few months earlier), based on the premise that to become a real man every boy needs a father (biological or surrogate); the film marks Geraldine Page's screen debut

Full Review… | October 29, 2006

Aside from the films of Howard Hawks and John Ford, this is arguably John Wayne's best and most beloved Western

Full Review… | March 16, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for Hondo


A different kind of John Wayne Western, one where the lines between good and evil aren't as simplistic or cartoony. Based on a Louis L'Amour novel and directed by John Farrow (Mia's dad), this is aided by the early 3-D filming process, making for gorgeous viewing, and Geraldine Page's film debut, who brings an earthy charm to the proceedings, and out of the Duke himself.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


I haven't seen many of John Wayne's movies, but I would imagine that most of his are like this. John is the good guy, but the movie can't decide if the natives are the bad guys or the soldiers are. What is different about this movie to many other westerns is that a lot of emphasis is on how significant a father's influence is in raising a son. If you like Westerns, or you like John Wayne, watch this movie.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

A fun movie showcasing John Wayne as an incredibly cool human being. The plot's straight-forward and the characters make sense. Even if it lacks visual magnificence, it's still extremely good and undeniably entertaining. It stands out as an early type of straight action movie, any fan of Shane should also see this to realize this movie accomplished the same thing years before.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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