Rio Grande | Chicago Reader

Rio Grande

Rated NR 105 minutes 1950

The final film of John Ford's cavalry trilogy (1950), dealing with an army colonel and his estranged wife (John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara) brought together during the Apache wars near the Mexican border. Ford's theme here is a deep rift between group and personal values, between patriotic duty and domestic responsibility. The conflict is clearly irreconcilable, and the film has a tension and a closeness in its images that are highly uncharacteristic of Ford's work in the period. A great film, though problematic. Ford returned to the subject in 1957 with The Wings of Eagles.

Film Credits

Director: John Ford

Writer: James Kevin McGuinness

Producer: Merian Cooper, John Ford and Herbert J. Yates

Cast: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr., Victor McLaglen, Claude Jarman Jr., Chill Wills and J. Carrol Naish

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