The Horse Soldiers

The Horse Soldiers

Infobox Film
name = The Horse Soldiers

caption = 1959 movie poster
director = John Ford
producer = John Lee Mahin
Martin Rackin
writer = John Lee Mahin (screenplay)
Martin Rackin (screenplay)
Harold Sinclair (novel)
starring = John Wayne
William Holden
Constance Towers
Althea Gibson
music = David Buttolph
cinematography = William H. Clothier
editing =
distributor = United Artists
released = June 12, 1959
runtime = 115 min.
country = USA
awards =
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
amg_id = 1:23174
imdb_id = 0052902

"The Horse Soldiers" is a 1959 western film, set in the American Civil War, directed by John Ford, starring John Wayne, William Holden and Constance Towers. The film was based on Harold Sinclair's novel of the same name.The team of John Lee Mahin and Martin Rackin both wrote the screenplay and produced the movie.

The movie is based on the true story of Grierson's Raid, led by Colonel Benjamin Grierson who, along with 1700 men, set out from northern Mississippi and rode several hundred miles behind enemy lines in April 1863 to cut the railroad between Newton's Station and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Grierson's raid was part of the Union campaign, culminating in the Battle of Vicksburg. The raid was as successful as it was daring, and remarkably bloodless. By attacking the Confederate-controlled railroad it upset the plans and troop deployments of Confederate General John C. Pemberton.

Plot summary

A Union cavalry brigade, led by Colonel John Marlowe (John Wayne), is sent on a raid behind Confederate lines to destroy a railroad and supply depot at Newton Station. Ironically, before the war, Marlowe had been a railroad building engineer. With the troop is a new regimental surgeon, Major Henry Kendall (William Holden) who seems to be constantly at odds with his commander. Kendall is torn between the duty and the horror of war.

Then to complicate matters, after the unit rests at Greenbriar Plantation, Miss Hannah Hunter (Constance Towers), the plantation's mistress, eavesdrops on the colonel's plans. So to protect the mission, Marlowe is forced to drag her along. Initially hostile to her Yankee captor, Miss Hunter gradually warms to him.


*John Wayne as Col. John Marlowe
*William Holden as Maj. Henry 'Hank' Kendall
*Constance Towers as Miss Hannah Hunter of Greenbriar
*Althea Gibson as "Lukey", Miss Hunter's fiercely loyal black maid


"The Horse Soldiers" was filmed on location in Louisiana and in and around Natchez, Mississippi. John Ford cut the film's climactic battle scene ending short when Fred Kennedy, a veteran stuntman and bit player, was killed in a horse fall. Ford was so upset he closed the set and had to film the rest of the scene later in the San Fernando Valley. The scene with the fatal fall remains in the film.

External links

*imdb title |id=0052902 | title=The Horse Soldiers
*amg title | id=1:23174 | title=The Horse Soldiers
*Ymovies title | id=1800078014 | title=The Horse Soldiers

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