The Horse Soldiers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Horse Soldiers Reviews

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½ January 7, 2016
William Holden punks John Wayne.
½ June 16, 2015
Lesser John Ford western was his only film set during the civil war (unless you count the segment he directed in "How the West Was Won"). John wayne plays a civil war Colonel buts heads with pacifist doctor William Holden as he leads a group of soldiers on a mission behind enemy lines. The film looks gorgeous, so fan of director Ford do get his gorgeously framed shots but the story is rather trite and uninvolving. Reportedly Ford had been warned to lay off of booze by his doctor for health reasons and he had banned drinking on set, which certainly would have put a cramp on both Wayne and Holden's penchant to imbibe, and maybe explains why this film fizzled comparatively to Fords other classics. Still, comparing any film to "The Searchers," "How Green was my Valley" or "The Grapes of Wrath" (the only great novel ever made into a great film) is unfair, so even the worst Ford film, who I consider the best American filmmaker of all time, is still infinitely watchable and entertaining.
May 30, 2015
Not a bad cavalry civil war flick.
August 20, 2014
The parts of character drama and adventure don't fit quite cleanly together in this one. Still, Wayne is near the top of his game and even a sub-par Ford picture is pretty to look at.
June 9, 2014
Pretty boring story, the conflict between Wayne and Holden is so blah, as is the relationship between Wayne and Constance Towers. Just not a very compelling movie.
May 9, 2014
amazing story and performances from the cast
February 28, 2014
I had a hard time finishing this film which didn't do justice to the magnificent acting talents of William Holden. The plot involving a Union detachment heading south into Mississippi during the Civil War could have provided tension, excitement and thrills but instead it falls flat at every turn. Plus there's a love story involving a plantation dwelling woman who's brought along with the army that just made no sense at all. John Wayne struts about and the production values are quite high but script, ideas, invention, coherence, all are lacking. For a while there is a growing conflict between the commanding officer played by Wayne and the doctor played by Holden over priorities and policy but that, like everything else in this poor film, ends up going nowhere.
December 15, 2013
A lesser Ford/Wayne film.
October 28, 2013
I didn't think it was that great.
May 26, 2013
Something strangely compelling about this movie. No one thing in this movie (acting, script, pacing) is great, but the combined whole is significantly stronger than the parts. I highly recommend it.
November 4, 2012
An enjoyable Western. I haven't seen much of John Wayne's work, but this is a good starter for those new to John Wayne. I do have to say though that he's a true all-American badass, which his movies (and his life) all convey successfully. It offers plenty of witty humor, action, and romance along the way. There's a standard storyline that's easily aided by its messages, its fast pace, and the great acting. How old-fashioned and comprehensible the action is also makes this superior to most action-oriented films these days. Overall, this may not be so for some others, but this now has me intrigued in some of his work.
October 11, 2012
a great movie but, it kind of cuts off at the end.
½ September 25, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

(1959) The Horse Soldiers

Based on actual persons and actual cavalry incidents but if there's any reason to watch this, it'd be for the picturesque scenery since it's some of the best looking scenes anyone can ever find in a film. And although the history portrayed is heavily inaccurate nor does it consists of any plot whatsoever, in such a dull and dreary way, viewers can appreciate the collision between it's two veteran titans of John Wayne as a head of it's Yankee cavalry and William Holden as the surgeon whose been assigned to tag along. There's some very good lines but not enough to hold the movie since it goes absolutely nowhere. Directed by John Ford who was making attempts in making another "The Searchers" but does not succeed this time around.

2 out of 4
September 16, 2012
Un drama. El foco está puesto principalmente en la ambivalencia frente al conflicto de los personajes. El director revela una intención de mostrar a los norteamericanos metidos en una lucha pasajera donde al final irremediablemente deberá existir reconciliación. Por eso el amor surge en lugares inesperados. "Una lucha fraticida" así describe el conflicto la mujer sureña Hannah Hunter.

John Ford también demuestra su capacidad para construir escenarios muy realistas gracias a los grande planos generales y a las maniobras muy realistas realizadas con los caballos. Es una película de alta factura.

Sin embargo el guión es un tanto simple. Hace falta mayor intensidad dramática en ciertos momentos. Es correcta la forma en que desarrolla los conflictos, pero le faltó más para entrar en lo particular de los personajes.

Un correcto western clásico de alta factura. Recomendable para los amantes del género.
September 5, 2012
Apart from John Wayne and some touches from John Ford here and there, this movie doesn't have much going for it. It just doesn't hook me in like it should and the conflict seems very forced between Holden and Wayne, as well as between Wayne and Constance Towers.
½ August 12, 2012
You have to watch and rate this movie as a "war movie." For a war movie, this movie is excellant. For entertainment value it is still good too. It has a lot of suspense and good back and forth between Wayne and the Doctor.
August 7, 2012
Incredibly lame, and not representative of the genius of John Ford. Very unrealistic and contrived. Just about everything is wrong, militarily. Subordinates question just about every order of their commanding officer, the CO gets drunk in the middle of a raid, US Grant gets called by his nickname by subordinates, after doing well to disguise their intentions the Union soldiers give it all away by showing the towns people the direction they are headed.

Then there are the sappy sentimentalities that devalue the movie even more. The doctor who doesn't seem to realise there is a war on, the irritating Southern woman who is just there as a very contrived love interest (and who should have been shot as a spy), the successful attack by a regiment of kids.

Add in a few overblown characters that are there just to represent the types of people who fought in the Civil war: eg the politician-officer.

Usual one-dimensional swagger-filled performance from John Wayne. William Holden is incredibly irritating as the doctor. Even more irritating is Constance Towers as the Southern woman. Hardly a good performance in the whole movie.

The saddest thing is that the movie is loosely based on a real event, the Grierson Raid. Though the characters and many details have been changed, this movie is an insult to the memories of the men who took part in that raid.
½ July 28, 2012
Hard to go wrong with John Wayne & William Holden in a John Ford film.
½ July 15, 2012
Very Average John Wayne film.
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