Rio Grande (1950) - Rotten Tomatoes

Rio Grande (1950)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

John Wayne stars as Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke, whose devotion to duty has cost him his marriage to his beloved Kathleen (Maureen O'Hara). Yorke gets word that his son, Jeff (Claude Jarman Jr.) -- whom he hasn't seen in 15 years -- has been dropped as a cadet from West Point, and that he lied about his age to enlist in the cavalry, in an effort to redeem himself. By chance, the boy is then assigned to his father's post. Once more, as a function of his duty as a cavalry officer, Yorke must sacrifice his love of family -- he cannot show any preferential treatment to the boy, or exhibit any sign of love and affection. But Jeff is too strong to be injured by his father's actions, and already enough of a man that he is befriended by two older recruits, troopers Tyree (Ben Johnson) and Boone (Harry Carey Jr.), who watch out for him while taking him in as a virtual equal. Yorke's resolve is further tested when his estranged wife, Kathleen, arrives at the post, the better to look after her son -- and possibly to buy back the boy's enlistment, which Yorke, as commanding officer in a remote post with a critical shortage of men, can't and won't permit. After an attack by the Apaches, Yorke orders the post's women and children to be moved to safety, and Jeff is assigned as part of the troop conducting the caravan, despite his wish to participate in the planned action against the Apaches. The caravan is attacked, and the wagon with the children is taken by the Apaches to their encampment in a deserted village across the Rio Grande in Mexico. Yorke has been given permission by General Sheridan (J. Carrol Naish) to take his men into Mexico in pursuit of the Apaches, but the punitive expedition is now a rescue mission, as the Indians' night-time vengeance dance is the prelude to certain slaughter of the children at daybreak. As part of the mission, it's up to Tyree, the slyest man in the troop, to infiltrate the enemy camp, and he chooses Jeff and Boone as the two men he wants with him on this dangerous mission.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Western, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: James Kevin McGuinness, James K. McGuinness
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 22, 2001
Artisan Entertainment


John Wayne
as Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke
Maureen O'Hara
as Mrs. Kathleen Yorke
Ben Johnson
as Trooper Travis Tyree
Harry Carey Jr.
as Trooper Daniel "Sand...
Victor McLaglen
as Sgt. Maj. Timothy Qu...
Chill Wills
as Dr. Wilkins (regimen...
J. Carrol Naish
as Lt. Gen. Philip Sher...
Grant Withers
as Deputy Marshal
Peter Ortiz
as Capt. St. Jacques
Karolyn Grimes
as Margaret Mary
Alberto Morin
as Lieutenant
Claude Jarman Jr.
as Trooper Jeff Yorke
Stan Jones
as Sergeant
Ken Curtis
as Regimental singer
Hugh Farr
as Regimental Singer
Carl Farr
as Regimental Singer
Lloyd Perryman
as Regimental Singer
Shug Fisher
as Regimental singer
Tommy Doss
as Regimental Singer
Jack Pennick
as Sergeant
Cliff Lyons
as Soldier
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Rio Grande

Critic Reviews for Rio Grande

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (3)

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

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

August 9, 2002
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

I like it better than the problematic Fort Apache; it's far simpler and more effective.

Full Review… | January 3, 2008
Combustible Celluloid

In this Ford's Western, part of a trilogy that also includes She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Wayne gets to play the tough biological and sociological father of his recruits, which include his son.

Full Review… | August 9, 2006

A minor but enjoyable John Ford and John Wayne collaboration.

Full Review… | July 20, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Rio Grande

Though the least impressive of Ford's three "Cavalry" films, this still is a great film.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

The true sequel to Fort Apache in that you get to see what happens to Yorke and the remaining troops. This is a lot more of a relationship based movie than the other two, maybe that's what makes it so powerful. John Wayne's performance is even stronger this time around and he plays such a timeless character. The father/son storyline is such a classic representation, but so well done that it doesn't feel stale. John Ford truly is the greatest pioneer in film-making and took all the risks and leaps that no one else dared to do.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

Director John Ford agreed to make this one in a deal with Republic Pictures to secure financing for his pet project, The Quiet Man. Never one to do things half-ass, Ford secured a rather large budget and a top notch supporting cast for his two stars, John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Rio Grande isn't Ford's most popular or most acclaimed film, but it's hard to deny it's prototypical old-west charm.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Rio Grande Quotes

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