They Came To Cordura
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Called "an impressive and important film" by Variety, THEY CAME TO CORDURA was hailed by critics as"the most disturbing war picture since The Bridge on the River Kwai." A Timeless story of courage and cowardice set against the backdrop of the 1916 war against Pancho Villa. The film stars Gary Cooper as Thomas Thorn, a career Army officer given the humiliating task of leading five Medal of Honor candidates to the military base of Cordura, Texas. Branded a coward during the battle, Thorn hopes to learn what these men, each of whom performed heroically under fire, possess which he lacks. But as the grueling journey through the desert progresses, the "heroes" panic, attempting murder, mutiny and rape as the quest for survival reveals their true characters. Rita Hayworth, in a dramatic departure from her glamour-girl roles, co-stars as the seventh member of the group, an American expatriate accused of aiding the Mexicans. At first contemptuous of Thorn, she gradually comes to apprecia
Gary Cooper's forte--the searching, lone figure beleaguered by conflicts over conscience, truth, and ethics--followed him all the way to the ambitious They Came to Cordura, his third-to-last feature. Cooper plays Thomas Thorn, a career officer in America's fading horse Army of the early 20th century. Thorn's alleged cowardice in battle has been papered over by superiors: He is to identify acts of bravery during an attack on Pancho Villa's troops and lead those designated heroes to a Medal of Honor ceremony in Cordura, Texas. Though Thorn tries to extract the secret behind courage from each man, he discovers a battle-hardened, bestial side to them as well. The Cordura journey becomes fraught with mutiny and near-assaults on a Yankee expatriate (Rita Hayworth). Thorn, reputation aside, redefines courage on his own terms. This widescreen drama (the DVD offers full-screen format as well) is suspenseful, morally complex, and visually rich, but Cooper's performance carries the day. --Tom Keogh
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
duty of escorting war heroes to a destination where they will be cited for their valor. For various reasons many do not wish to receive the highly publicized medals and recognition afforded. The long, arduous journey becomes one of trial and tribulation as the "merry" band journeys toCordura. Accompanying them is a women of "reputation," who is being transported to prision for aiding the enemy. The coward does regain
his courage and sense of pride and duty. However, he may not live to complete his present assignment. Impressive battle sequence at the
beginning of the film. Rousing musical score and great photography. All performances are very well done. Notable performance by character
actor Robert Keith (Brian Keith's father) in the opening scenes, as the battlefield military commander who leads his troops to glory! A must-see film!
While much of the dialogue in the book appears in the film, the full sentences are not as they are shown visually. In the book there are some really long complex sentences which interested me. Here's one where Thorn is thinking to himself about Lieutenant Fowler:
"Major Thorn new something about him: three years out of the Point, he had put in two of them at Fort Riley as an aide and the third at Columbus under Colonel Rogers and himself, with A Troop his first command. Column of twos into line of charge, column of fours into line of charge, he drilled his men half an hour after the other troops were dismissed; he took the train to El Paso regularly to play polo, not because he enjoyed the game or was good at it but because for second lieutenants on border duty, it was the game to play; it had been he who protested, with due deference, when the sabers of the regiment had been stored at Dublan, for which he had been called to his face by fellow officers and behind his back by his men, George Armstrong, after Custer, Fowler. A soldier by training, not by nature, Thorn believed, he was strung tight as a bow. Pluck him and he would twang."
As for the long haul across the desert, it's takes up 114 pages out of a total of 175 in the book -- didn't calculate how many minutes of the film -- during which all of the people involved go more or less crazy. Having spent long days in the Mojave Desert of California and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, I can't help but wonder if the actual troops upon which the story is based were so naïve as to struggle through the burning sands of the day where it's now common knowledge that while you don't need to have food, you definitely need to have water or your mind begins to fall apart. This isn't just hikers, but drivers: if you break down, it's best to stay in the shade and not try and walk out until dark or at least when the heat has gone out of the sun.
It's really a wonderful film, terribly underrated in my opinion. Cooper breathes weariness and pain better than any actor ever has. It's not flamboyant acting, it's just in him (actual chronic back pain may have helped). Hayworth and the evil guys are all wonderful. The panorama, when you can see it, is lonely, dusty and moving. A more ironic and yet deeply inspiring film on heroism was never made.
The only thing lacking when you can see the movie correctly (not this DVD) is Sinatra's title song, which wasn't used. Too bad.
Most recent customer reviews
I will be back for more