Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, John McIntire, Charles Bronson, John Dehner
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 91 minutes
John Ford's 1948 classic stars John Wayne as a Cavalry officer used to doing things a certain way out West at Fort Apache. Along comes a rigid, new commanding officer (Henry Fonda) who insists that everything on his watch be done by the book, including dealings with local Indians. The results are mixed: greater discipline at the fort, but increased hostilities with the natives. Ford deliberately leaves judgments about the wisdom of these changes ambiguous, but he also allows plenty of room in this wonderful film for the fullness of life among the soldiers and their families--community rituals, new romances--to blossom. Fonda, in an unusual role for him, is stern and formal as the new man in charge; Wayne is heroic as the rebellious second; Victor McLaglen provides comic relief; and Ward Bond is a paragon of sturdy and sentimental masculinity. All of this is set against the magnificent, poetic topography of Monument Valley. This is easily one of the greatest of American films. --Tom Keogh
If the Cherokee is like the white man, then he is Massai's enemy.
I am the enemy of no man.
Then the Cherokee is a woman!
I am no woman! My people have fought the white man many times but have always been driven west. First from a place called Carolina, then the land of Tennessee and then at last to Oklahoma. But there our chiefs grew wise. They did not fight and they did not run.
Neither does the turtle.
Are you afraid of the turtle? Then put your knife away.
Apaches are warriors, not farmers.
You have seen the world of the white man...their numbers are like leaves on the trees. That taught you nothing? The warriors' day is over. Once we Cherokees were like the Apaches. We feasted when the hunting was good. We starved when it was bad. But the white man ate all year around...because he raised his own food. We found we could live with the white man...only if we live like him.
You want us to kill you, don't you Massai? Right out here in front of all your blood-thirsty brothers...so they could sing your praises around the campfire and start another war in your honor. That would be a sweet death, wouldn't it Massai? A warrior's death! But you're not a warrior anymore. You're just a whoopin' injun!