Wednesday, Feb 2024
Director: John Ford
Length: 119 mins.
Theme Song: The Horse Soldiers ~ Stan Jones. Music by David Buttolph
Released: 1959

horse soldiers 1959One of Ford's three grand cavalry movies. This film is set during the civil war and based on a Union raid deep in Confederate territory. John Wayne (Col.Marlow) and William Holden (Major Kendall) are both Union officers but adversaries throughout the movie. Marlow is the officer in charge of a daring mission into the Deep South. Kendall is the physician accompanying the raiding troops. Both are honorable men but Marlow is focused on his mission while Kendall is concerned with helping people, regardless of uniform or color. Often the two personalities collide as they conduct their respective duties. Along the way, a lovely southern belle (Constance Towers) and her attendant must be taken prisoner. Towers character, Ms. Hanna Hunter could fall for either of the Union officers but it is the tough loving Marlow that eventually wins her heart.

This is a tidy story with the spectacular scenery that you'd expect from Ford. There are many large scale cavalry scenes that are a delight to watch. And the David Buttolph score is loaded with regional military gems.


  • John Wayne....Col. John Marlowe
  • William Holden....Major Henry "Hank" Kendall, Regimental Surgeon
  • Constance Towers.... Miss Hannah Hunter of Greenbriar
  • Judson Pratt.... Sgt. Major Kirby
  • Hoot Gibson.... Sgt. Brown
  • Ken Curtis .... Corporal Wilkie
  • Willis Bouchey....Col. Phil Secord
  • Bing Russell....Dunker
  • O.Z. Whitehead....Otis 'Hoppy' Hopkins, medical assistant
  • Hank Worden....Deacon Clump
  • Chuck Hayward....Union captain
  • Denver Pyle....Jackie Jo, Rebel Deserter
  • Strother Martin.... Virgil, Rebel Deserter
  • Basil Ruysdael.... The Reverend, Jefferson Military Academy
  • Carleton Young.... Col. Jonathan Miles CSA
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