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Rewind, Review, and Re-Rate: ‘She Wore a Yellow Ribbon‘: Earnest Cavalry Western Salutes Camaraderie

Passed | 1h 44min | Western | 22 October 1949 (USA) “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” (1949) marks legendary director John Ford’s second film in his Cavalry Trilogy—nestled smack dab in between “Fort Apache” (1948), and “Rio Grande” (1950). After the crushing defeat of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and his 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment at Little Big Horn (in Montana Territory) in 1876 by a coalition of Native American tribes, the U.S. Army braces for further hostilities and bloodshed. The film is centered on a small outpost in Texas called Fort Starke. Stationed there is a small U.S. Cavalry detachment including Capt. Nathan Brittles (John Wayne) and his direct superior, Maj. Mac Allshard (George O’Brien). It opens in an unexpectedly humorous way. The fort’s senior enlisted soldier and Brittles’s right-hand man, Irishman Top Sgt. Quincannon (Victor McLaglen), apprises Brittles of the past weekend’s report. While Brittles is putting on …