Escape from Fort Bravo

Synopsis: A ruthless Union captain is renowned throughout his prison fort as the toughest soldier in the business, capable of capturing every escaped convict under his supervision. However, when he falls in love with a visiting woman some of the prisoners seize the advantage and try to escape while he is in a more "mellow" mood.
Genre: Western
Director(s): John Sturges
99 min

Take him.

How far did he get?

Casa Grande.

- Thank you, sir.

- Sit down.

Where's his horse?

He was so scared of being caught,

he ran it to death.

Didn't bother to shoot it.

Just left it to die.

Is that why you made him walk back?

Do you love horses?

That's one reason.

What's the other? You hate men?


No, thanks.

When I see you work at soldiering, Roper,

I'm glad we're in the same Army.

But I don't like what you've just done.

I know how you think.

You bring one of them back like that.

- Maybe the others won't try it, is that right?

- That's right.

You don't see the whole picture.

I used to have a full regiment in this area,

now I've got one troop.

I've got as many Confederate prisoners

as I have men.

I know it and the Indians know it.

I don't know who's going to win this war,

the North or the South.

But we're here to hold this country

for one of them...

...even if we have to arm

those reb prisoners.

It's a difficult position.

It's hard to know what to do.

Roper, am I losing my nerve

or am I getting old?

Go ahead and say it.

This is hard country to stay alive in, colonel,

much less stay young.

Anything else, sir?

Four of Crandall's supply wagons

are overdue, with rifles in them.

I'll look them up tomorrow.


Yes, sir.

I'm taking out a patrol tomorrow

to look for supply wagons.

Detail of 16 men.

Two Kiowa scouts,

Sergeants Chavez and Jones.

Yes, sir.

They don't like what I did, do they?

I don't either.

Well, that makes it unanimous.

Anything else, captain?

No, that's all.

Don't tell me you're sick.

- I'm tired.

- Then go to bed.

I am.

Don't know why you should be tired.

You rode the horse.

- How is he?

- He'll live.

Drag a man across the desert at the end

of a rope and you wanna know how he is.

Should've brought some flowers.

- You raise flowers, don't you?

- Yeah.

You don't raise them

to destroy them, do you?

Look, doctor,

I'm asking how the man is, not how I am.

- You should ask me that some time.

- You tell me anyway.

Roper, there are two

big businesses in the world.

One of them is to keep people alive.

The other one seems to be yours.

It's not a world I made.


- Yes, Marsh?

- I'd like to talk to you.

All right. Come on.

Wonder what the captain

is gonna say to him.

He didn't tell me.

How did a decrepit old man like you

ever get in the war?

Because all the smart young men like you

was losing it.

- Captain.

- Evening, Symore.

All right, Marsh, go ahead.

I'd like permission to see Bailey,

the man you brought in.

- Why don't you ask the colonel?

- I want it from you.

All right, you got it.

There's something else, isn't there?

If he'd done it like a man,

even fought like one...

...I'd have brought him back that way.

But he isn't. He's a fool and a coward.

He's a boy and a poet and my friend.

I could have let the Indians take him.

They don't lose prisoners

and they don't keep any.

When you make your break... won't be like a fool

nor a boy or a poet, will it?

I hope not, captain.

You're a good officer, Marsh.

Only you're unlucky.

You got in the wrong army.

But the right cause.

They say that's the one that wins.

I shouldn't have tried it.

I should have waited for you,

but I couldn't stand it.

I had to get home.

It's all right, Bob.

I don't think I could make it again,

even with you.

It's awful out there.

Just space and death.

I know.

You know where I lived?

Virginia town on a street of maple trees.

At the end of that street,

a brook ran under a stone bridge.

That's all I tried to think

about all day, coming back.

I think about it too. We all do.

- I'm sorry about not telling you.

- That's all right, Bob.

- I'm so-

- It's all right, Bob.

I'll get you home.

- How's Bailey, captain?

He's all right.

What got into him?

He go crazy or something?

- It's not hard to do around here, is it?

- It ain't hard to do anywhere.

Bailey didn't think

we'd ever make the break.

Beginning to wonder myself.

- What are we waiting for?

- The right time.

- When's that?

- When I say so.


You want to steal a horse

and run off like Bailey?

You wanna come back

on the end of a rope?

That Roper is as mean and tough

as they come.

I think that Roper suspects something.

He doesn't know exactly

what's happening...

...but he's watching and listening.

That's why he did that to Bailey,

so we could see it.

But I'm not Bailey.

Neither am I.

Think he knows what he's doing?

I know you don't.


What about them?

I was just thinking

about you getting scalped...

...with all that pretty black hair.

It's still your move.

All present?

All present or accounted for, sir.


Hundred rounds per man, sir.

Very good.

Left wheel by twos, forward, ho.

Over here, captain.


Post a guard.

Where are the drivers?

They won't be far.

You want to see them, captain?

- Bury them up on the hill.

Yes, sir.

Carter. Storder.

Is this the way they make war?

Didn't they teach you that at the Point?

Why do they have to do that?

When you're in the grave, Beecher,

it doesn't matter how you got there.

- I think it matters. I think it does.

- Write the War Department.

Our father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done on Earth

as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

and forgive us our trespasses...

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Frank Fenton

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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