She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

  • Directors: John Ford
  • Producers: Merian C Cooper, Lowell J Farrell, John Ford
  • Writers: James Warner Bellah, Frank S Nugent, Laurence Stallings
  • Genres: Western
  • Actors: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar, Victor McLaglen, Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr

On the verge of his retirement at Fort Starke, a one-troop cavalry post, the aging US Cavalry Capt. Nathan Cutting Brittles (John Wayne) is given one last patrol, to take his troop and deal with a breakout from the reservation by the Cheyenne and Arapaho following the defeat of George Armstrong Custer. His task is complicated by being forced at the same time to deliver his commanding officer’s wife and niece, Abby Allshard (Mildred Natwick) and Olivia Dandridge (Joanne Dru)), to an east-bound stage, and by the need to avoid a new Indian war. His troop officers, 1st Lt. Cohill (John Agar) and 2nd Lt. Pennell (Harry Carey, Jr.) meanwhile vie for the affections of Miss Dandridge while uneasily anticipating the retirement of their captain and mentor. Rounding out the cast are Capt. Brittles’ chief scout, Sgt. Tyree (Ben Johnson), a one-time Confederate cavalry officer; his First Sergeant, Quincannon (Victor McLaglen); and Major Allshard (George O’Brien), long-time friend and C.O.

After apparently failing in both missions, Capt. Brittles returns with the troop to Fort Starke to retire. His lieutenants continue the mission in the field, joined by Capt. Brittles after “quitting the post and the Army”. Unwilling to see more lives needlessly taken, Capt. Brittles takes it upon himself to try to make peace with Chief Pony That Walks (Chief John Big Tree). When that too fails, he devises a risky stratagem to avoid a bloody war.

The Wild Bunch

  • Directors: Sam Peckinpah
  • Producers: Phil Feldman
  • Writers: Story, Walon Green, Roy N Sickner, Screenplay, Sam Peckinpah, Walon Green
  • Genres: Action, Western
  • Actors: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O Brien, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson

Pike Bishop (William Holden), the leader of a gang of aging outlaws, is seeking an elusive retirement with one final score, beginning with the robbery of a bank containing a payload of silver. The group is then ambushed by Deke Thornton (Robert Ryan) — Pike’s former partner — and a posse of deputized bounty hunters hired out by a railroad company, resulting in a bloody shootout that kills off several of the gang; Pike, Dutch Engstrom (Ernest Borgnine), brothers Lyle (Warren Oates) and Tector Gorch (Ben Johnson), and Angel (Jaime SГЎnchez) emerge as the only survivors. With the loot turning out to be fake, they reunite with another remaining gang member, Freddie Sykes (Edmond O’Brien), and head for Mexico. Thorton, who was freed from prison to track down Pike, pursues them for the promise of his freedom.

The gang takes refuge in Angel’s old village, where the Mexican Revolution has evidently taken its toll on the people; a corrupt warlord named Mapache (Emilio FernГЎndez), a General serving under the Mexican Federal Army, had been stealing food from numerous villages to feed his troops. They eventually head to Mapache’s base town — a den of senseless debauchery — to trade horses, but once Angel spots his former girlfriend in the arms of Mapache, he shoots and kills her. To defuse the situation, Pike offers to work for Mapache, who hires him and his men for $10,000 in gold to steal an arms shipment from a U.S. Army train running near the border; he seeks to resupply his army and appease his German military advisers, who wish to attain some samples of American weaponry to bring home. Angel is eager to send some of the guns to his own village, and convinces Pike to let him smuggle some for his share of the gold. The heist goes as planned, but Deke and his posse are waiting for them in the train and give chase, only to be foiled again after falling into an explosives trap that sends the posse down a river. Deke, nonetheless, continues the pursuit.

Deke finally catches up to Pike, only to find his bullet-riddled corpse; he allows the remaining posse to take the bodies back and collect the reward, while electing to stay behind and watch Mapache’s base town being abandoned. Sykes later arrives with several rebel partisans from Angel’s village (who had apparently killed off the posse along the way), and asks Deke to fight in the revolution. Laughing, Deke and Sykes ride off together.