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She Wore a Yellow Ribbon star1star1

Directed By John Ford

Written By James Warner Bellah and Frank S. Nugent

Main Cast:
John Wayne Ė Nathan Brittles
Joanne Dru - Olivia Dandridge 
John Agar - Lieutenant Flint Cohill 
Ben Johnson (I) - Sergeant Tyree 
Harry Carey Jr. - Lt. Ross Pennell 
Victor McLaglen - Sergeant Quincannon 
Mildred Natwick - Abby Allshard 
George O'Brien - Major Allshard 
Arthur Shields - Dr. O'Laughlin 
Michael Dugan (I) - Sergeant Hochbauer 
Chief John Big Tree - Pony That Walks 
Fred Graham (I) - Hench 
Chief Sky Eagle - Chief Sky Eagle 
Tom Tyler (I) - Corporal Mike Quayne 
Noble Johnson - Red Shirt 

Rated: NR 

To sum up: Custerís dead and the Indians are partying while a retiring commander has to juggle the Indianís, women, and two rival soldiers. All this and a yellow ribbon too.

ďDonít apologize! Itís a sign of weakness.Ē

     Itís starring John Wayne! Itís a western! Itís in color! Itís directed by John Ford! Itís a classic! It just ainít that good. 

     John Wayne stars as fort commander Nathan Brittles, who is just six days away from retirement. Heís a hard-nosed lonely commander with a dead wife. Among the things that he has to deal with are Indian uprisings; women in his fort, specifically Ms. Dandrich (Joanne Dru), the girl wearing the yellow ribbon; her mother; two rival soldiers, one a rich ďsilver-spoonedĒ naÔve sort, the other a practical minded southern boy, both of whom are attracted to Ms. Dandrich.

     The problem for me is that the film canít seem to make up its mind as to what it is. Is it a comedy? Is it a serious western? Is it about Wayne? Is it about Ms. Dandrich and her two rivals? Is it about the Indian uprising? Itís about all these things and as a result nothing seems to get the attention that it deserves. All of these plots and characters donít get explored beyond a singular level.

     You might say that itís supposed to be an adventure film and I would say, ďFine.Ē But if a film is going to throw that many elements into the mix, it is responsible to make sure that they get adequately covered or else the film will suffer as a result.

     Even the yellow ribbon feels tacked on; as if they couldnít think of a lively title.
     It does have its share of good moments. There are the usual breathtaking vistas of the American West and a couple of nice stunts too. 

     Sadly, though, I came away from this one disappointed.

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