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The Horse Soldiers [Blu-ray]

311 customer reviews

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(May 10, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

John Wayne teams with William Holden and eminent western director John Ford for this frontier actioner "packed with laughter, romance and thrills" (The Hollywood Reporter)! Written by John LeeMahin and Martin Rackin, this faithful representation of one of the most daring cavalry exploits inhistory is both a moving tribute to the men who fought and died in that bloody war and a powerful, action-packed drama.Based on an actual Civil War incident, The Horse Soldiers tells the rousing tale of a troop of Union soldiers who force their way deep into Southern territory to destroy a rebel stronghold at Newton Station. In command is hardbitten Colonel Marlowe (Wayne), a man who is strikingly contrasted by the company's gentle surgeon (Holden) and the beautiful but crafty Southern belle (Constance Towers) who's forced to accompany the Union raiders on perhaps the most harrowing mission in the war.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC
  • Language: English (Mono), French (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2011
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004TJ1H3W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,427 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Mark Savary on May 13, 2001
Format: DVD
A wonderful picture of the war between the states, "Horse Soldiers" follows the story of Wayne leading his troopers in an attack deep into enemy territory. Loosely based on a factual event, the Union must cut off the supply lines to Vicksburg. DUKE leads the raid.
This is a fantastic transfer, as others have mentioned. I spotted literally one damaged frame, with a "V" shaped crease in it. The colors blaze off the screeen, and although there are no booklets, inserts, or extras (other than the original trailer), the disc is a real keeper.
Although many see this picture as "Ford-lite," there are several classic Ford touches throughout the film. The opening shot of the calvary marching in a sundown silhouette is stirring. The charge of the child soldiers is a great moment (you see Wayne tip his hat to them as he rides off).
For me, I like the subtle, "hidden" Ford touches in all of his films, which reveal telling information about characters without the overbearing, in-your-face, and just plain heavy-handed direction in today's movies.
In "Horse Soldiers", the dyed-in-the-wool Southern patriot Hannah Hunter has spent several days as prisoner of the Union soldiers. At one point, in order to make her feel better, a soldier gives her a candle for light. Another offers her a fragment of a looking glass. The soldier holds up the broken mirror, and when she looks at her reflection she can see the soldier's Yankee cap over the top of it, as if she wore it herself. That's Ford telling us she's been converted, without slapping us in the face or dumbing it down for us.
You'll see familiar Ford faces pop up here and there, too. Jack Pennick is in just about all of John Ford's westerns.
Read more ›
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Ted on April 19, 2001
Format: DVD
I remember the advertisement to The Horse Soldiers today as if the movie was just being released. Way back in 1960, the newspaper ads and trailer all bragged of the big showdown between the Duke, and costar, William Holden.Unfortunately, even at 10 years old, the big showdown was more of a letdown, but that is the only negative aspect of this fine, actioner picture, which was directed by the great, John Ford. This was the only Ford picture set during the Civil War, and he did a masterful job. The story line was simple,Union Colonel Wayne leads soldiers deep into Rebel territory, and Holden as the liberal Army Doctor, whose beliefs often conflict with the Duke's. As in many Wayne-Ford pictures, there are many magic little moments in this picture which all combine to a thrilling and heart-stopping conclusion. I firmly recommend the Horse Soldiers,especially on DVD. If you have never seen it in wide-screen format, you are in for a real treat. If you are a John Wayne fan from way back, but have already seen The Horse Soldiers, mount up and join the cavalry ride one more time. And who knows, you may even sing along with them this time.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Steve R. on January 30, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I am an unabashed fan of John Wayne movies from "Stagecoach" to "The Shootist." Among them all, "The Horse Soldiers" is my personal favorite.
John Ford captures, in vivid, robust color, the pageantry of the Union and Confederate cavalries. With flags flying, horses pounding, and bugles blaring, Ford and Wayne create sheer movie entertainment. The musical score by David Buttolph perfectly captures the varying moods of the film and complements the stirring visual images. From "I Left My Love" to the "Bonnie Blue Flag," the music accents the film's emotions. William Holden and Constance Towers are well-cast as Wayne's nemesis. The supporting cast is bolstered with many Wayne regulars, including Ken Curtus (Festus from "Gunsmoke").
Many criticize the factual inaccuracies in John Wayne films. So what! He didn't intend to make documentaries, he intended to make rousing, entertaining movies. I will always believe this was his best...
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Falconer on May 11, 2001
Format: DVD
I have been watching this film on video & laserdisc for the last dozen, or so, years. Never have I seen such a fine print! The beautiful technicolors come shining through. The reds, blues, & yellows are all brilliant & vibrant. As for the story, it is a wonderful telling of a union army raid deep into the south, that's based on a true Civil War incident. There is real chemistry between Wayne & Holden. And John Ford's masterful directing skills are evident throughout. Great job MGM on this DVD!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John G. Gleeson Sr. on September 6, 2002
Format: DVD
Director, John Ford, seemingly never made a bad movie and the list of his really good ones is long. "The Horse Soldiers" is one of his best. Ford portrayed the cavalry exceptionally well, capturing in near perfect detail the equipment, the formalities and drill, and all of the realities of this long defunct service. His "Cavalry Trilogy", set in the West during the Indian Wars will never, I suspect, be equalled. "The Horse Soldiers", based on a true Civil War event, is very close to the Trilogy in richness of story and characterization. It follows a raid by a large force of Union cavalry deep into the heart of the Confederacy. Wayne plays the role of Col. Marlowe, whose stern dedication to duty and the realities of operating behind enemy lines brings him into conflict with the regiment's idealistic surgeon, played by Willaim Holden. The only negative aspect of this film is the love interest, which was required in films of that time. Constance Towers is a "fifties girl" placed in the middle of a Civil War movie, and it is more than a minor distraction. Modern films like "We Were Soldiers" and "Black Hawk Down" don't have this element because girlfriends don't suddenly appear in the middle of a battle. Be that as it may, this is still a highly entertaining movie. If you like John Ford's work or would like to know why his films are still highly regarded, see this film. Similarly, if you are looking for a good story well told, you will not be disappointed.
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The Horse Soldiers [Blu-ray]
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