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She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

she wore a yellow ribbon, she wore a yellow ribbon cast
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is a 1949 Technicolor Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne The Academy Award winning film was the second of Ford's Cavalry trilogy films the other two being Fort Apache 1948 and Rio Grande 1950 With a budget of $16 million, the film was one of the most expensive Westerns made up to that time It was a major hit for RKO The film takes its name from "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", a popular US military song that is used to keep marching cadence

The film was shot on location in Monument Valley utilizing large areas of the Navajo reservation along the Arizona-Utah state border Ford and cinematographer Winton Hoch based much of the film's imagery on the paintings and sculptures of Frederic Remington The film won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography in 1950 It was also nominated as 1950's Best Written American Western which the Writers Guild of America awarded to Yellow Sky


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Production
    • 31 Casting
    • 32 Filming
    • 33 Publicity
    • 34 Reception
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


The Post Headquarters building, where Capt Nathan Brittles John Wayne was quartered in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, is located at Goulding's Trading Post near Monument Valley 37°00′246″N 110°12′137″W / 37006833°N 110203806°W / 37006833; -110203806 Nathan Brittle's cabin

On the verge of his retirement at Fort Starke, a one-troop cavalry post, aging US Cavalry Captain Nathan Cutting Brittles John Wayne is given one last mission: to take his troop and deal with a breakout from the reservation by the Cheyenne and Arapaho following the defeat of George Armstrong Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn

Brittles' task is complicated by being forced at the same time to deliver his commanding officer's wife and niece, Abby Allshard Mildred Natwick and Olivia Dandridge Joanne Dru, to an eastbound stage and by the need to avoid a new Indian war His troop officers, 1st Lt Flint Cohill John Agar and 2nd Lt Ross Pennell Harry Carey, Jr, meanwhile vie for the affections of Miss Dandridge while uneasily anticipating the retirement of their captain and mentor

Assisting him with his mission is Capt Brittles' chief scout, Sgt Tyree Ben Johnson, a one-time Confederate cavalry officer; his first sergeant, Quincannon Victor McLaglen; and Maj Allshard George O'Brien, Brittles' long-time friend and commanding officer

After apparently failing in both missions, Brittles returns with the troop to Fort Starke to retire His lieutenants continue the mission in the field, joined by Brittles after "quitting the post and the Army" Unwilling to see more lives needlessly taken, Brittles takes it upon himself to try to make peace with Chief Pony That Walks Chief John Big Tree When that too fails, he devises a risky stratagem to avoid a bloody war by stampeding the Indians' horses out of their camp, forcing the renegades to return to their reservation

The movie ends with Brittles being recalled to duty as chief of scouts with the rank of Lt Colonel and Miss Dandridge and Lt Cohill becoming engaged


  • John Wayne as Captain Nathan Brittles
  • Joanne Dru as Olivia Dandridge
  • John Agar as Lieutenant Flint Cohill
  • Ben Johnson as Sergeant Tyree
  • Harry Carey Jr as Lieutenant Ross Pennell
  • Victor McLaglen as Sergeant Quincannon
  • Mildred Natwick as Mrs Abbey Allshard
  • George O'Brien as Major Mack Allshard
  • Arthur Shields as Dr O'Laughlin
  • Michael Dugan as Sergeant Hochbauer
  • Chief John Big Tree as Pony-That-Walks
  • Fred Graham as Sergeant Hench
  • Chief White Eagle as Chief Sky Eagle
  • Tom Tyler as Corporal Quayne
  • Noble Johnson as Red Shirt

Director John Ford's older brother Francis appears in only one scene as Connolly, the barman Ford kept Francis on wages "for eight weeks even through Francis could have completed his scenes in less than a week"4 Other uncredited cast members include: Harry Woods as Karl Rynders, the sutler, Cliff Lyons as Trooper Cliff, Mickey Simpson as Wagner, the blacksmith, Fred Libby as Corporal Kumrein, and Rudy Bowman as Private Smith5 Among Rynders' associates is veteran character actor Paul Fix Harry Carey's father-in-law in a small uncredited role6



Director Ford initially was uncertain who to cast in the lead role However, he knew that he did not want John Wayne for the part—considering, among other factors, that Wayne would be playing a character over twenty years older than he was at the time Reportedly, Wayne's 1948 performance in Red River changed Ford's mind, causing him to exclaim, "I didn’t know the big son of a bitch could act!"7 Ford realized Wayne had grown considerably as an actor, and was now capable of playing the character he envisaged for this film When shooting was completed, Ford presented Wayne with a cake with the message, "You're an actor now"8 The role also became one of Wayne's favorite performances8


The cast and crew lived in relatively primitive conditions in Monument Valley Most slept in dirt-floor cabins that only had communal cold-water drum showers The film was completed ahead of schedule and under budget

Although the film's cinematographer, Winton Hoch, won an Academy Award for his work, filming was not a smooth creative process because of conflicts with Ford Ironically one of the most iconic scenes from the film was created during a dispute As a line of cavalry rode through the desert, a real thunderstorm grew on the horizon Hoch began to pack up the cameras as the weather worsened only for Ford to order him to keep shooting Hoch argued that there was not enough natural light for the scene and, more importantly, the cameras could become potential lightning rods if the storm swept over them Ford ignored Hoch's complaints; completing the scene as the thunderstorm rolled in, soaking the cast and crew Hoch later had filed a letter of complaint against Ford with his trade union over the filming of this scenecitation needed


A theater poster featured the male lead wearing a yellow neckerchief with his uniform and a yellow banner with proportions and shape evocative of a stylish ribbon him behind him, that also looped some 270 degrees around the female lead's shoulders


The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

  • 2003: AFI's 100 Years100 Heroes & Villains:
    • Captain Nathan Brittles – Nominated Hero9
  • 2005: AFI's 100 Years100 Movie Quotes:
    • Capt Nathan Brittles: "Never apologize and never explain, it's a sign of weakness" – Nominated10
  • 2008: AFI's 10 Top 10:
    • Nominated Western Film11


  1. ^ http://wwwaficom/members/catalog/DetailViewaspxs=&Movie=26100
  2. ^ http://wwwimdbcom/title/tt0041866/fullcreditsref_=tt_cl_sm#cast
  3. ^ a b "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" AFI Catalog of Feature Films American Film Institute Retrieved September 23, 2014 
  4. ^ Bar, Charles July 2010 "Irish Brother Feeney: Francis Ford in John Ford’s films" Senses of Cinema Retrieved September 23, 2014 
  5. ^ Darby, William 1996 John Ford's Westerns: A Thematic Analysis, with a Filmography McFarland & Company p 294 ISBN 9780786429547 
  6. ^ Darby, William 1996 John Ford's Westerns: A Thematic Analysis, with a Filmography McFarland & Company p 126 ISBN 9780786429547 
  7. ^ http://wwwtcmcom/thismonth/article/cid=12472, retrieved 2008-09-21
  8. ^ a b Davis, Ronald L 2001 Duke: The Life and Image of John Wayne Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press pp 140–141 0806133295 
  9. ^ "AFI's 100 Years100 Heroes & Villains Nominees" PDF Retrieved 2016-08-06 
  10. ^ "AFI's 100 Years100 Movie Quotes Nominees" PDF Retrieved 2016-08-06 
  11. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10 Nominees" PDF Retrieved 2016-08-19 

External linksedit

  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon at the American Film Institute Catalog
  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon on Internet Movie Database
  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon at the TCM Movie Database
  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon at AllMovie
  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon at Box Office Mojo

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