The Horse Soldiers

  • Film
  • Action and adventure
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Underrated Civil War Western, leisurely and sometimes simplistic, but mostly quintessential Ford as Wayne's pragmatic colonel and Holden's humanitarian doctor debate (and embody) aspects of war while leading a Union cavalry patrol deep behind Confederate lines, with their conflict extended by the presence of a fiery Southern belle (a lovely performance from Towers) taken along for the ride because she's overheard their plans and bursting to undermine their mission. There's a magnificent payoff in the sequence where children from the military academy cheerfully march off to the tune of fife and drum to mount a last-ditch defence of the Confederacy, flimsy toy soldiers so ripe for the slaughter that the baffled enemy simply turn tail and flee.

Release details

Duration: 120 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Ford
Screenwriter: John Lee Mahin, Martin Rackin
Cast: John Wayne
William Holden
Constance Towers
Althea Gibson
Hoot Gibson
Anna Lee
Russell Simpson
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