Fort Apache


Fort Apache

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 20


Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,900
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Movie Info

The soldiers at Fort Apache may disagree with the tactics of their glory-seeking new commander. But to a man, they're duty-bound to obey - even when it means almost certain disaster. John Wayne, Henry Fonda and many familiar supporting players from master director John Ford's "stock company" saddle up for the first film in the director's famed cavalry trilogy (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande are the others). Roughhouse camaraderie, sentimental vignettes of frontier life, massive action sequences staged in Monument Valley - all are part of Fort Apache. So is Ford's exploration of the West's darker side. Themes of justice, heroism and honor that Ford would revisit in later Westerns are given rein in this moving, thought-provoking film that, even as it salutes a legend, gives reasons to question it.

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Henry Fonda
as Lt. Col. Owen Thursday
John Wayne
as Capt. Kirby York
Shirley Temple
as Philadelphia Thursday
Pedro Armendáriz
as Sgt. Beaufort
Ward Bond
as Sgt. Maj. Michael O'Rourke
John Agar
as Lt. Michael "Mickey" O'Rourke
George O'Brien
as Capt. Sam Collingwood
Irene Rich
as Mrs. Mary O'Rourke
Victor McLaglen
as Sgt. Festus Mulcahy
Anna Lee
as Mrs. Emily Collingwood
Guy Kibbee
as Dr. Wilkens
Grant Withers
as Silas Meacham
Jack Pennick
as Sgt. Shattuck
Dick Foran
as Sgt. Quincannon
Ray Hyke
as Capt. Gates
Mae Marsh
as Mrs. Martha Gates
as Guadalupe
Francis Ford
as Fen, the Stagecoach Guard
Hank Worden
as Bald-Headed Southern Recruit
Mary Gordon
as Woman in Stagecoach Station
Cliff Clark
as Stage Driver
Ben Johnson
as Stunt rider
Fred Graham
as Irish Recruit
Frank Baker
as Stunt rider
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Critic Reviews for Fort Apache

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (5)

Audience Reviews for Fort Apache

  • Oct 27, 2011
    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.
    Graham J Super Reviewer
  • Jun 12, 2011
    A very well done film, if a little over sentimental with regards to the army, by John Ford with solid performances from Wayne and Fonda. Fort Apache tells the tale of man't fate with regard to the time period and war. It also has lots of social commentary and was controversial in many ways concerning the questioning of heroes and legends as well as man's fate in the world, their legacy. Interesting to note is that the film was one of the first with superimposed credits during the opening, instead of the usual cards depicting the credits before the opening scene.
    Chris B Super Reviewer
  • May 17, 2011
    Made in 1948, Fort Apache is way ahead of its' time in a number of ways, namely its' complex themes. Henry Fonda is terrific, and the rest of the cast shines as well. My only significant criticism comes as a result of not enough of The Duke. A lesson Ford would later learn from.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 01, 2010
    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.
    Conner R Super Reviewer

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