The Horse Soldiers

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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