Fort Apache

Movie Details

DirectorJohn Ford
Key CastJohn Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Pedro Armendariz, Ward Bond
MPAA RatingNot Rated
Film TypeBlack and White
Amazon Price: $

John Wayne and Henry Fonda are Calvary Officers Who Don’t See Eye-to-Eye

“Fort Apache” features an all-star cast – John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Ward Bond and Shirley Temple.
Lt. Colonel Owen Thursday (Henry Fonda) is not happy that he has been sent to command a distant fort in the west. He was a General in the Civil War who was demoted to Lt. Colonel and then shipped to the distant “Fort Apache” as commander.
Accompanied by his daughter Philadelphia (Shirley Temple), the colonel is determined to make the best of the situation and hopes for an opportunity to do something great. His great desire is to earn back his general stripes.
However, Owen’s strict, by-the-book leadership style alienates the soldiers under his command who don’t like his methods, but serve him because of their duty and honor. The men have a greater respect for the second-in-command, Captain Kirby York (John Wayne) who tries to offer the new colonel helpful advice, but is rebuffed.
When the Colonel’s daughter, Philadelphia, shows an interest in a young 2nd Lieutenant named Michael O’Rourke (John Agar), Owen disapproves of the possible relationship. Using his rank, he strictly forbids the young Lt. O’Rourke from seeing his daughter. Word spreads about this, making people at the fort dislike the Colonel even more.
The entire situation reaches a boiling point, when Native American Cochise and his tribe decide to defy the Colonel and leave the reservation for good.
A confrontation seems to be inevitable.

• “Fort Apache” is one of three films that are part of director John Ford’s famous “Calvary Trilogy.” The movies were given this name because they are all focused on the U.S. Calvary. Even though the U.S. Calvary is the focus of the trilogy, the westerns themselves are about the people in the calvary and their personal situations. The other two films that John Ford made for this special trilogy are “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” and “Rio Grande.” Of the three films, “Fort Apache” was the first one made.
• “Fort Apache” is considered to be the first Hollywood movie to present a real and sympathetic portrayal of Native Americans at the Battle of Little Bighorn. The role that Henry Fonda plays in this movie is a lightly veiled commentary about General Custer and the myth surrounding his battle at Little Bighorn.
• “Fort Apache” was filmed at the Corriganville Movie Ranch in Simi Valley, California. The Corrigan Movie Ranch has been used for filming movies since 1938 and is still in existence today. It was named after Ray Corrigan who owned the land and did some acting himself. You can find out more about the Corrigan Movie Ranch by visiting their website online.
• Shirley Temple and John Agar play love interests in “Fort Apache” which is partly based on truth because they were married to each other at the time that they made this western film together. “Fort Apache” was John Agar’s first movie role. Agar would go on to star in numerous movies and television programs after starring in this film. Before passing away in 2002, Agar performed in 94 movies and television shows. Shirley Temple had been acting a long time. She became enormously popular for her movie roles as a child.


Fort Apache Movie DVD

Lt. Colonel Owen Thursday (Henry Fonda) is not happy about being sent to the remote location of Fort Apache. He arrives with his daughter, Philadelphia (Shirley Temple), with the intention of running the military outpost with a forceful hand.   Captain Kirby York (John Wayne) tries to offer helpful advice to the Lt. Colonel, but it is rebuffed.   Trouble is brewing with the Native Americans and the Lt.’s methods appear to be making matters worse.

Blu-ray Disc

Fort Apache Blu-ray Disc

Watch “Fort Apache” in high-quality with this Blu-ray Disc.

It also contains special features that you will not find on the regular DVD like audio commentary of the western and a feature about director John Ford and his love of using Monument Valley for his westerns.

DVD Set - TCM Classic Film Collection - John Wayne Westerns

TCM Classic Film Collection John Wayne Westerns

  This special-release DVD Collection from Turner Classic Movies has 4 John Wayne western movies. All of these westerns are John Wayne classics. The following western movies are in this set:   • Fort Apache • The Searchers • Rio Bravo • The Cowboys

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