She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) movie poster

director John Ford
viewed: 11/22/2013

A few months back, the kids and I watched John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939), one of the great Westerns and it was pretty well enjoyed.  In looking for some post-Halloween horror direction in our movie-watching schedule, I bethought myself to watch another Ford/John Wayne Western, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, which I had never seen.

While it’s a beautifully-shot film, in full Technicolor glory with amazing shots of Monument Valley and lightning strikes across the grand sky, it’s a bit more run of the mill overall.

It’s the second of what is considered Ford’s Calvary Trilogy, following Fort Apache (1948) and followed by Rio Grande (1950).  Resultingly, it’s not pure Western but a Western with a bit of a War or military aspect.  The story takes place at a cavalry outpost where Capt. Nathan Brittles (John Wayne) is set soon to retire his military duty.  But on his final patrol, he’s asked to take two women along so that they can catch a stagecoach, amidst an uprising of Indians following Custer’s Last Stand.

Wayne is quite good as Capt. Brittles, but the best part of the film for me was the cinematography.

Typical of our movie-watching of late, Felix skipped out and went to bed and it was Clara and I who watched the movie.  She enjoyed it okay, as I did, though it’s no Stagecoach.  I’ve decided that we’re going to delve a little further into the Western, a genre I shunned as a kid, only came around to as an adult.   More to come.

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