3.5 Stars out of 4
What amazes me about John Ford’s She Wore A Yellow Ribbon is how it places John Wayne in a role you’d think he would have played in 1959. The glorious year of Rio Bravo. He is Captain Nathan Brittles of the US Cavalry. He is tired, old, his moustache mean and thick, and he wants out. But the Cavalry is in his blood so it draws him back in. The film is a story of a man’s last-memorable trip through the desolate but gorgeous valleys of Arizona. It’s a collage of nostalgia for Brittles.
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon was Ford’s second film of his US Cavalry trilogy, preceded by Fort Apache and followed by Rio Grande a year later. The cinematography is accomplished masterfully by Winton Hoch (of which he won the Academy Award). Hoch worked with indefatigable pleasure, but he grew angry at Ford when he forced him to shoot a scene in a lightning storm. It put the crew in danger, but great cinema cannot be conceived without some absurd risks. (continue reading…)