Fort Apache

Synopsis: In John Ford's sombre exploration mythologising of American heroes, he slowly reveals the character of Owen Thursday, who sees his new posting to the desolate Fort Apache as a chance to claim the military honour which he believes is rightfully his. Arrogant, obsessed with military form and ultimately self-destructive, Thursday attempts to destroy the Apache chief Cochise after luring him across the border from Mexico, against the advice of his subordinates.
Director(s): John Ford
Production: Turner Home Entertainment
  2 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
128 min

Get in there, Luke.

Get in there, I said.

Come on, there.

- Driver?

- Get in there, Rosie.

Driver, how much further

to this Hasenpfeffer...

...or whatever you call

the confounded place?


Oh, shouldn't be long now.

Once over the rise and round the bend,

then along a piece.

According to your schedule,

we should've been there an hour ago.

You don't suppose we could've

passed her, do you, Fink?

Might of, at that.

Don't you worry, soldier boy.

We'll get you there.

Soldier boy.

What a country.

Forty miles from mudhole to mudhole.

Mule Creek, Deadman's Squaw,

Schmidt's Wells.

Hangman's Flats, Hassayampa.

At end of the rainbow, Fort Apache.

Fort Apache.

Blast an ungrateful war department

that sends a man to a post out here.

Anyway, I'll be with you.

I hated all those years

you were in Europe.

Better there than here.

I didn't mean it that way, Phil.

It's just that after all I've done and been,

to be shunted aside like this...

We're coming in.

Practically on schedule. Right, Fink?


- Ma Macbean?

- Hi. I'm coming.

- Nice trip, boys?

- Smooth as a rock.

How far is it to Fort Apache?

Oh, the fort's 35 miles south of here.

Were you expected?

- I telegraphed.

- Oh, that.

Telegraphs doesn't mean a thing.

One day the wire's up,

the next day they're down.

Thirty-five miles south.

Madam, is there a livery stable here?


There must be some way

to rent a vehicle.

- A what?

- A rig. Any kind of rig.

Nothing fit for the lassie to ride in.

Oh, my, that's a real bonny bonnet, miss.

- St. Louis?

- Boston.

- Oh, Boston, Massachusetts?

- Here.

Oh, my.

That's mighty pretty, Ma.

Oh, my.

Oh, would you not like a wee cup of tea

and get rid of the dust?

Thank you.

If it isn't too much trouble.

Not a bit, lass, not a bit.

Come on. Right in here.

Son, how about a drink?

Gentlemen, I could use one.


There's your towel.

You'll be as fresh as a daisy.

Thanks, Ma.

Oh, I'm sorry, ma'am. I thought it was Ma.

I beg your pardon, miss.

Who and what are you, mister?

Lieutenant Michael O'Rourke, sir.

En route for duty at Fort Apache, sir.

- Get into uniform, mister.

- Yes, sir.

- Is there another wash-up back here, mister?

- Through the lean-to, sir.


Giddap. Giddap.

- Johnny Reb.

- Uncle Festus.

- Timmy.

- Uncle Dan.

Gentlemen, gentlemen.

Your manners.

Sergeant Mulcahy,

with ambulance and escort...

...for Lieutenant Michael O'Rourke.

Very good, sergeant. At ease.

At ease, he says. At ease.

Hey! Hey!

- How much you pay for it?

- Seventy-five dollars.

- I could've swiped you one better than that.

- Well, it's tailor-made.

Well, look at the fit. A perfect soldier.

What do you think of it, ma'am?


Ma'am, this is my godson

Lieutenant O'Rourke.

Many's the time he's come to me

with a wet nose.


I am Colonel Thursday.

I presume you have been sent for me.

- No, sir.

- What are you doing here?

Escorting the ambulance from Fort Apache

for Lieutenant O'Rourke, sir.

- Have you had no orders regarding me?

- No, sir.

They couldn't have known

of your arrival, sir.

That's obvious, mister.

Unless it's the custom at Fort Apache... provide transportation

for incoming second lieutenants...

...and leave a commanding officer

to travel shanks' mare.

You will, of course, sir,

accept my ambulance.

Thank you, mister.

- Sergeant, we'll leave in one half-hour.

- Yes, sir.

Get these men a drink

and put it on my account.

- We thank the colonel.

- Thank you, sir.

Oh, may I present Mr. O'Brien.

O'Rourke, sir.

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Frank S. Nugent

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Fort Apache" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 7 Jun 2023. <>.

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