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Fort Apache

328 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Fort Apache (DVD) (Commemorative Amaray)

Academy Award winners Henry Fonda and John Wayne star an epic of clashing wills, pointless heroism and deadly arrogance as a band of American cavalrymen fight to hold the Western outpost Fort Apache. Arizona Territory. Following the United States' Civil War, decorated Lieutenant Colonel Owen Thursday (Fonda) resents his transfer to the desolate frontier. He strives to impose strict military discipline on the ragged troops stationed under his command and plans to violently subdue the Native Americans he views as savage and unruly. Thursday is opposed by seasoned Western fighter Captain Kirby York (Wayne), who believes the army should be making peace with the local tribes. York is proven correct when Thursday leads his troops into a slaughter at the hands of the legendary Apache leader Cochise.

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Jr. Pedro Armendáriz, Ward Bond
  • Directors: John Ford
  • Writers: Frank S. Nugent
  • Producers: John Ford, Merian C. Cooper
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: RKO Radio Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: July 2, 2012
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (328 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000O599NA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,660 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fort Apache" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Roger Kennedy VINE VOICE on August 4, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
This John Ford classic has all the requirements for a great film. While a bit sappy at times with the old army Irish types, Victor Mclaughlin got a second life with these films, there is still enough here to engage the intellect. Shirely Temple is interesting to see grown up. Her acting style certainly did not evolve much over the years.

What makes this film great are Fonda and Wayne, both playing roles opposite to their norm. Fonda is wonderfully arrogant and yet vulnerable at the same time. Wayne is humble and second fiddle for a change, he comes off well being the wiser, disgruntled subordinate. What really makes this film is the scenry an production quality. John Ford was painstakingly accurate with unifroms, equippment and gear. He provides a believeable image of army life, with all its pettiness and sense of honor. Everything is accurate down to the various bugle calls and the troop commands issued to the men. While there are obvious comparisons to Custer, what makes this film interesting is the sheer study of military incompetence. Fonda's character is desperate to make a name for himself, and he sacrefices his command in order to do so. The battle scenes are exciting to watch, even the old fashion carriage chase with the Indians running about is well done. In the end what is the message of this film? There probably isn't any exactly. Fonda's character creates a military disaster, pure and simple, yet we see that Wayne is willing to carry on this legacy of heroism to inspire the regiment in its continued campaigns against the hostiles. Here we see how myths are made from the most unlikely sources. A fine film all around, and probably the best of Ford's cavalry epics.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The first, and in my opinion, the best of John Ford's so-called Cavarly Trilogy. "Fort Apache" is Ford's thinly veiled re-telling of the Custer-Little Bighorn legend. A subject that fascinated Ford, but he didn't want to be hemmed in by the history so he completely changed the names and locations so he could tell the story the way he wanted to tell it.
Henry Fonda plays a Custer-like Colonel who has seen his career's meteoric rise during the Civil War end with peacetime and an assignment to a frontier outpost. He resents this, and looks for an opportunity to earn fame and glory. He finds this opportunity at the expense of the Apaches who have left their reservation for good reasons. If he can defeat the Apaches then his career will certainly be boosted. Fonda's Colonel Thursday is a brave and competent officer, who does recognize some of the injustice and indignity that the reservation system has imposed upon the Apaches, but his lust for glory blinds him to everything in the end.
John Wayne plays the competent, experienced second in command who clashes repeatedly with his superior. The film also features a love interest between a grown-up Shirley Temple and her then real-life husband John Agar. Being a Ford movie there is plenty of comic relief from various Irish NCO's, and romanticized vignettes of frontier cavalry life.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Buzz Pliskin on June 5, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
A true John Ford classic. Some films are classed classic due to their age and people involved: this film actually deserves the monicker.

I won't dwell on the film as its the Blu ray I'm reviewing here!
First the transfer:
The transfer is excellent, rich blacks and monument valley looks stunning on a big screen TV: the best the film has ever looked. A worthy updated on the DVD which was pretty washed out.
The sound:
Nothing to write home about but it's clear and not full of hiss.
Extras:
A great documentary on John Ford and filming in Monument Valley which includes Fort Apache.

We could always do with more extras and behind the scenes but, all in all, as good a Blu ray release of a true classic as you could wish for.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
An all-star cast in a John Ford Classic. Henry Fonda, John Wayne, Shirley Temple, Ward Bond, Victor MacLaglen all give fine performances. The story centers on Fonda's character being assigned to Fort Apache against his will. He takes his anger out on the Indians with a result loosely based on Gen. Custer at Little Big Horn. The rest of the movie has all the elements that have made John Ford famous, action, adventure, humor, romance, and the spectacular scenery of Monument Valley.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on December 13, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
The western genre has been probably one of the most frequently used in Hollywood filmmaking , at least until fairly recent times. In every decade there have been countless mediocre efforts and a few that have come down to us as true classics of the genre, whether it be for their great action sequences, good character studies or spectacular scenery. John Ford's 1948 "Fort Apache" is I believe one that belongs in the later category boasting excellence in all the three areas mentioned. The first installment in Ford's deservedly classic cavalry trilogy "Fort Apache", is strong on interesting character studies while never sacrificing the exciting action element which makes for a thrilling western. The teaming of veterans John Wayne and Henry Fonda in characters that have personalites that are bound to collide makes for much of the fine dramatic meat of this story. The film is also a standout in this genre for presenting a sympathetic and dignified image of the Indian races depicted in the story which helps give the film a certain uniqueness for western efforts from this period in Hollywood history.

The conflict element central to this entire story is introduced very quickly when we see Col. Owen Thursday (Henry Fonda), reluctantly arriving at Fort Apache to take up command of this outpost against his will. He has with him his young daughter Philadelphia (Shirley Temple), and almost before he is settled into his new home he comes into opposition with the local Captain York (John Wayne). York has extensive knowledge of the region and by his fairness and respectful dealings has earned the trust of the Indian population on the reservation however he immediately clashes with the unbending and unrealistic views that Col.
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Color DVDs w/US Cavalry vs "Indians"?
Hope you're not looking for anything even remotely historically accurate. If it's from Hollywood, it won't be!
Jul 10, 2010 by Richard Byers |  See all 2 posts
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