She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

Movie Details

DirectorJohn Ford
Key CastJohn Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar, Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr., Victor McLaglen, Mildred Natwick, George O’Brien, Arthur Shields, Michael Dugan, Chief John Big Tree
MPAA RatingNot Rated
Film TypeColor
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Another John Wayne and John Ford Calvary Western Classic!

“She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” is the second film in a famous trilogy of western movies that director John Ford and actor John Wayne made together.
Popularly known as the “John Ford Cavalry Trilogy,” all three westerns in this series are cavalry epics. The first western film in this series was “Fort Apache” which was first released in 1948. “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” was the second western and was released in 1949 and the finally, the third western, “Rio Grande,” was released in 1950. Of these three films, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” was the only one made in color.
In “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” John Wayne stars as Captain Brittles – a military officer who is serving his last week in the cavalry before returning to civilian life.
Before finishing his final patrol, however, Captain Brittles is assigned one last task – to take Major Allshard’s wife Abby (Mildred Natwick) and pretty niece Olivia (Joanne Dru) to the stage line at Sudros Well. Word has reached the Major that Custer and his cavalry have been killed by Indians. The commanding officer is concerned that their fort may be attacked, so he wants his wife and niece to be evacuated.
The trip to Sudros Well is derailed when Captain Brittles finds out that warring Indians have destroyed the stage depot where they were headed. They have to turn around and go back to the fort. It’s too late for the wife and niece to leave.
In the meantime, two of Brittle’s men are vying for the affections of Olivia. Olivia is wearing a yellow ribbon in her hair, which means that she has a boyfriend in the cavalry, but she is not letting either man know which one she has chosen.
In his 1973 book, “The Western Films of John Ford,” J.A. Place describes “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” as “a canvas for the eyes” which was one of director John Ford’s main cinematography goals. Ford wanted to capture the look and feel of famous western painter Frederick Remington’s style on the movie screen. Ford’s efforts were acknowledged and rewarded, because the movie won an Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography.

• John Ford spent over a million dollars making “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” which was a lot of money for a western film at that time. However, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” turned out to be an enormous box office success making the investment a very profitable one.
• The song “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” is still to this day the official anthem of the United States Cavalry/Armor.
• Extensive makeup was used to make John Wayne look 20 years older for his role in this western.
• “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” won an Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography (Winton C. Hoch)


She Wore a Yellow Ribbon Movie DVD

John Wayne is Captain Brittles, a cavalry officer serving his last week in the military.   However, his final week is not going to end smoothly or quietly.   General Custer has been killed and it looks like the Fort where Brittles is serving may be attacked. The commanding officer wants his wife and niece evacuated, but it may be too late.

DVD Set - TCM Classic Film Collection - Legends: John Ford

TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection – Legends: John Ford Westerns

This special Turner Classic Movies film collection contains four westerns – all of them directed by legendary filmmaker John Ford.   This exclusive DVD set contains: • She Wore a Yellow RibbonThree GodfathersCheyenne AutumnWagon Master

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She Wore a Yellow Ribbon Instant Download

You can watch “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” right now by instantly downloading it onto your computer (or other media device).   Click the button for details.

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