Hondo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hondo Reviews

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December 8, 2017
Army scout Hondo Lane (played by John Wayne) stumbles across an isolated homestead in the middle of Apache territory. The inhabitants - a woman and her son - believe they are safe, as there is a treaty with the Apaches. Lane knows better though, as the Army has just broken the treaty, causing the Apache to seek revenge on settlers. Despite being a scout for the US Army, Lane has sympathies for the Apaches, having been married to a native American woman and living with her people for five years. With divided loyalties he now has to tread a fine line.

Based on a Louis L'Amour novel, this is one of John Wayne's lesser-known movies. It's easy to see why - is quite short and doesn't have the grandness and epicness of his classics. Plot is quite simple, almost too simple at times.

Yet, for the most part, it works. Good action scenes, some profound, even emotional, moments and John Wayne even gets to be more than just an action hero at times, showing some vulnerable moments.

Not brilliant - the simplicity and lack of depth in the story prevents that, as well as some scenes being fairly clumsily written. Geraldine Page, in her feature film debut, isn't entirely convincing either. Still, reasonably entertaining.
½ November 12, 2017
A perfect western. Is there a better John Wayne movie? Page is a remarkable piece of casting. The other star is the Apache. Not cowboy and Indian but human conflict, with heroes and villains on both sides with Wayne's final salute to the loss of an honorable way of life..
March 17, 2017
John Wayne is Hondo, a despatch rider who befriends a deserted rancher and her son, who are threatened by an Apache uprising. A shadow falls over the relationship when Hondo later kills her errant husband in self defence. A superior western, perhaps a little too low key to be a true classic, but very watchable. The side-plot involving Apache chief Vittorio is handled pretty sensitively for the time.
½ November 6, 2016
I think I just don't like John Wayne movies. *shrug*
April 29, 2016
Better than Liberty Valance, but not by much. The location shots and indian scenes are decent, but another sub-par western.
½ January 26, 2016
Classic Wayne Western, not his best, but he owns every scene. I really enjoyed this. Its not long at 86 mins but its an action packed movie that has some great moments. You can tell it was a 3-D movie opf the 50s at some times when the camera angles, or spears and arrows came at the screen, but unlike some 3D movies it didnt spoil the movie in normal picture. It doesn't have the visual brilliance of a John Ford movie but its got character Wayne is so cool in this. Smart movie and there is a great Wayne moment when he finds out the kid cant swim, he teaches him in the only way Mr Wayne could. Great stuff. For the right wing leaning Wayne his sympathy towards the native American Indians losing their former glory and land in the last scene is subtle but powerful. Not the usual portrayal of them as the bad guys and the men with the white hats being the good guys.
July 21, 2015
This movie was released as a 3D originally! I wish they would do it like that!
June 22, 2015
Routine John Wayne western about The Duke as a cavalry scout who helps a single mother and son living on their own in the midsts of an Apashe uprising. Like a lot of cavalry westerns, the depiction of Native Americans is pretty offensive and one sided. If you can get past that, there are a some positives to the film, mainly a nice relationship that slowly developed between Wayne and the single mother, Geraldine Page i her film debut (who was reportedly horrified by the conservative political views of co-stars Wayne, Ward Bond, James Arness and director John Farrow). There's also some enjoyable scenes where Wayne teaches the boy to "be a man." John Ford reportedly did uncredited director work on the film's final battle scenes, which is good, although most of the film's action is quite good. Originally filmed in 3-D, the film does feature quite a few silly moments of spears, horses, dirt , wagons and actors lunging at the camera, but it's not as bad watching it in 2-D as some 3-D films. Overall, the Shane-like short between Wayne, Page and her son (based on a Louis L'Amour novel) is enough to overcome the offensive and routine cavalry portion of the picture. And look fast for Leonard Nimoy as an Apache on the left side of the screen just prior to Wayne killing the latest chief.
½ December 17, 2014
One of his best. John Wayne performs with a natural instinct, the likes of which the world rarely encounters, that taught humans how to be better people.
July 30, 2014
Another solid if unremarkable Wayne vehicle.
½ June 27, 2014
Can't beat the lines...
"That dog don't take to pettin, son." "A man oughta do what he thinks is right."
½ April 7, 2014
This is about as Western as a Western could be. Good cowboy meets abandoned lady rancher. They make friends with good Apache but it all goes bad when the cavalry arrive. Lots of Apaches get killed but the US army still somehow end up looking like heroes.
February 21, 2014
They also place great value in dying.

Hondo comes walking out of the desert with his dog and into the lives of a woman and her son. Hondo is half Native American and feels compelled to protect the family when their lives are on the line and under the attack of a local Apache tribe. Can one man stop the Indian tribe or will his efforts fall short and lead to the dramatic fall of the family?

"I can't swim."
"Everyone can swim. Just reach out and grab a handful of water."

John Farrow, director of The Hitler Gang, Reno, Sorority House, China, California, The Unholy Wife, A Bullet is Waiting, and Copper Canyon, delivers Hondo. The storyline for this picture is entertaining to watch unfold but isn't a classic western and wasn't as compelling as it could have been. The acting is okay and the cast includes John Wayne, Geraldine Page, James Arness, Paul Fix, Michael Pate, and Ward Bond.

"Everybody gets dead. It was his turn."

I watched this randomly off Netflix primarily because this month was its last month it was going to be available online. It was very average and fairly disappointing. This is a slightly above average picture but far from a classic western.

"You let mommy do the talking."

Grade: C+
Super Reviewer
½ January 15, 2014
Hondo was directed by John Farrow but certainly reminds one of John Ford's films and stars his usual A-list actor John Wayne in a Western film, albeit a little offbeat one. The tone is unique and one that differs and the story is unique and has a lot going for it however. John Wayne gives another solid performance and the film is brisk, running under an hour and a half and is well-paced and has enough action in the latter part of the film to make it entertaining enough. Not the best of Westerns, but one that is unique and solid overall.
½ October 24, 2013
I love Duke's honesty. I hate the notion that it's ok to lie to people to make them feel better. It went against the entire ethos of the movie, until that point. That almost ruined a good movie. Too heavy on relativism.
March 21, 2013
'John Wayne plays a hard-bitten cavalry scout who is humanized by frontierswoman Geraldine Page.'

That's the problem with these old westerns - the actresses play one part, the part of the woman, who serves on purpose - to humanize... I can't help but think how much better these movies would be, if the female took a bullet to the face 5 minutes in.
½ February 22, 2013
Not One of John Wayne's Better Movies. Nothing special, predicable and disappointing
½ January 23, 2013
Its your average John Wayne movie. Nothing special about it but definitely not a bad movie by any means. I was just in a classic mood tonight.
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