Rio Grande

Synopsis: Rio Grande takes place after the Civil War when the Union turned their attention towards the Apaches. Union officer Kirby Yorke is in charge of an outpost on the Rio Grande in which he is in charge of training of new recruits one of which is his son whom he hasn't seen in 15 years. He whips him into shape to take on the Apaches but not before his mother shows up to take him out of there.The decision to leave is left up to Trooper Yorke who decides to stay and fight. Through it all Kirby and Kathleen though separated for years fall back into love and decide that it's time to give it another try. But Yorke faces his toughest battle when his unorthodox plan to outwit the elusive Apaches leads to possible court- martial. Locked in a bloody Indian war, he must fight to redeem his honor and save the love and lives of his broken family
Genre: Romance, Western
Director(s): John Ford
Production: Artisan Entertainment
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min

Sick call!


A Troop, forward right, yo-ho!

Forward right, yo-ho!


- Gentlemen, congratulations.

- Thank you, sir.

The Indian scouts...

When you're dismissed,

walk your horses for half an hour,

then water and picket them.

The sutler's store will remain open

until 12 o'clock.

- Have some beer.

- We thank the colonel.

That's a fine idea.

Officers post. Gallop.

Prepare to dismount!


- Good evening.

- Good evening, sir.

Good evening, sir.

- Have a cup of your own coffee, York?

- I've been thinking of nothing else.

- Tough, huh?

- Tough, sir.

I haven't had a cup of duty coffee with

you since we rode down to Shenandoah.

- How did you fare on patrol?

- Had a running fight for 30-odd miles.

We captured Naches, their chief,

eight others before the Apaches reached

the Rio Grande and crossed into Mexico.

Pursuant to orders,

I halted on our side of the river.

- Men didn't like it very much.

- Neither did you. And neither do I.

But that's the policy. Soldiers

don't make policy. They carry it out.

- State Department could do something.

- They'll write a sharp note of protest.

If you care to read

sharp notes of protest...

I'll declaim them over the graves

of the troopers guarding the waterholes.

Three of them

staked face-down on anthills.

You've got the dirtiest job in the army.

No doubt of that, Kirby.

- I'm not complaining. I get paid for it.

- Maybe you should complain. I'll listen.

This coffee isn't as good as it used to be.

I'll make a note of that.

But maybe someday

it'll get better and stronger.

I'll drink to that, sir. Stronger.

Too bad about your son.

- I hadn't heard.

- I'm sorry, Kirby. I thought you knew.

He failed mathematics at West Point.

They dropped him from the academy.

- Indeed?

- It's no disgrace failing mathematics.

I missed it myself

by the skin of my teeth.

I haven't seen my son in 15 years.

Yes, I know. It's... Well, Kirby,

this coffee is weak but it's all we have.

- More?

- If it's all we have.

Knock it off, knock it off.

Left face.

Aye, you're a fine body of men.

Now put your bags down.

This is your home,

so make yourselves comfortable.

Aye. I bid you all welcome to Fort Starke,

recruits that you are.

But in no time at all, you'll be soldiers.

Sure. Why, in less than six months,

with good behaviour and hard work,

you'll be wearing yellow stripes

on your breeches.

Would you mind

putting your cap on your head?

No, not at all, Doc.

Did any of yous ever ride a horse?

Yeah, some.

Now answer the roll-call.

- Adams.

- Present.

- Boone.

- Yes, sir?

- Boone.

- Yeah?

Just say "yo".


Carol. Dirks.

Dark. Eaton.

Fragman. Goodwin.

Hegginsmith. Heinze. Dibbs.

Murphy. O'Toole.

Perkins. Selby.

- Tyree. York.

- Present, sir.

All right, pick up your bags.

Left face.

As you were, Sergeant.

I don't want you men to be fooled

about what's coming up for you.

Torture. At least that.

The war department

promised me 180 men.

They sent me 18, all told.

You are the 18.

So each one of you

will have to do the work of 10 men.

If you fail, I'll have you

spreadeagled on a wagon wheel.

If you desert, you'll be found.

Tracked down and broken into bits.

- That is all.

- Forward!

Trooper York, sir.

I haven't seen you for 15 years.

So I've been told, sir.

I have no clear memory.

You proved that

when you failed at West Point.

- Yes, sir.

- Where did you enlist?

- At Highland Falls, sir, next day.

- Lied about your age.

- Recruit training?

- Jefferson Barracks, sir.

Well, on the official records,

you're my son.

But on this post

you're just another trooper.

You heard me tell the recruits

what I need from them.

Twice that I will expect from you.

At Chapultepec

my father - your grandfather -

shot for cowardice

the son of a US senator.

That was his duty. I will do mine.

You've chosen my way of life.

I hope you have the guts to endure it.

But put out of your mind any

romantic ideas that it's a way of glory.

It's a life of suffering and of hardship

and uncompromising devotion

to your oath and your duty.

- Have I permission to speak?

- Within proper limits.

I didn't ask to come to this regiment, but

I wouldn't have it otherwise now I'm here.

- May I also put something straight?

- Proceed.

I'm not in this post to call you Father.

I was ordered here as Trooper

Jefferson York of the US Cavalry.

- That is all I wish to be, sir.

- Then we understand each other.

- We do, sir.

- Sergeant Major.

The recruits are for field duty

as of now. Dismissed.

Trooper York.

- What are you waiting for?

- For the salute to be returned.

- Military regulations, sir.

- Quincannon.

- Once again, and faster!

- Up a notch. Give him a good jump.

Do you see how easy it is?

When I was a young man like yourselves

I could jump nine feet tall,

and with an Indian under each arm.

What tribe?

Once again, and faster.


Appears to me they make a lot of fuss

jumping a horse over some sticks.


- That's a six-foot jump, Travis.

- Now, keep 'em ahead. Now over.

You see? That gives you an idea what

horsemanship is like in the US Cavalry.

Now, after that comes the Roman teams.

That's easy. It's the way the Romans

used to ride, the ancient Romans.

Standing up. Standing up.


Slim. Upsy-daisy.

Mister? What time do you blow the horn

around here for folks to eat?

You think you'd like to try that

before you eat?

You mean ride

like them ancient Romans?

- Yes.

- Yo.

Let's go, Sandy!

Come on, Sandy!

Easy, now! Easy!

Horsemen! Oh, boyo, horsemen!

- Nice team, Corporal.

- That the general idea, Doc?

That's the general idea.

But before I'm through with yous, you'll

take them jumps backwards. Is there...?

The marshal wants to make a check.

He thinks perhaps this man

might be among our new recruits.

Anybody by the name of Tyree

among your horse thieves?

- Horse thieves, is it now?

- That's what I said.

They're wearing the uniform

of the US Cavalry.

Fella I'm looking for is from Texas.

Wanted for questioning about a killing.

- Is there a man from Texas?

- Yes, sir. I'm from Texas.

Name of Boone. Daniel Boone.

Daniel Boone?

That name's kinda familiar, ain't it, Mink?

Name's Tyree. A $50 reward.

- Right tidy sum.

- Tyree. Nobody here by that name.

Sergeant, be taking the marshals

and give them a wee drop of comfort.

- Who's gonna pay for that liquor?

- The sergeant'll pay for it.

Horse thieves we don't have here.

But horsemen I'll make of yous yet.


Anyone else like to try the jumps after

the manner of the ancient Romans?

Yes, sir. I would.

Get it done, Johnny Reb.

Get up on them!

You'll get busted for this, Quincannon.

Get your hat. You all right, boy?


Now cover them well

and cool them off, men.

In six months, we'll have

the finest drill team in the world.

Come here.

Break it up!

Break it up!

Break it up, I tell you.

Let 'em fight.

Now, what started this fight?

- I refuse to answer, sir.

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James Kevin McGuinness

James Kevin McGuinness (December 20, 1893 – December 4, 1950) was an American screenwriter and film producer. He wrote for 36 films between 1927 and 1950. He wrote for The New Yorker magazine. He was born in Ireland and immigrated to New York in 1904. He arrived in Los Angeles in the 1920s at the dawn of the "talkies" era and thereafter worked in the film industry as a writer and later a producer. He died in New York in 1950 from a heart attack. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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