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Fort Apache Details


The first of John Ford's "Cavalry Trilogy", Fort Apache stars John Wayne as captain Kirby York and Henry Fonda as Custer clone Lt. Col. Owen Thursday. Resentful of his loss in rank and transfer to the West after serving gallantly in the Civil War, the vainglorious Thursday insists upon imposing rigid authority on rough-and-tumble Fort Apache. He is particularly anxious to do battle with the local Indians, despite York's admonitions that the trouble around the fort is being fomented not by the so-called savages but by corrupt white Indian agents. Thursday nonetheless ends up in a climactic set-to with Indian chief Cochise. He and his men are needlessly slaughtered, but the Eastern press builds "Thursday's Charge" into an incident of conspicuous valor--and York, ever loyal to the cavalry, is not about to tell the whole truth. The bare bones of Fort Apache's plotline are fleshed out with several subplots, including the romance between Thursday's daughter Philadelphia (Shirley Temple) and Lt. Mickey O'Rourke (John Agar), the son of Fort Apache veteran Sgt. Michael O'Rourke (Ward Bond). There's also plenty of time for the expected drunken-brawl humor of Victor McLaglen. Not in the least politically correct, Fort Apache is a classic of its kind, and together with Rio Grande (1950) the best of the John Ford/John Wayne Cavalry films. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:March 9, 1948


John Wayne
as Capt. Kirby York
Henry Fonda
as Lt. Col. Owen Thursday
Ward Bond
as Sgt. Major O'Rourke
Shirley Temple
as Philadelphia Thursday
John Agar
as Lt. Michael "Mickey" O'Rourke
Dick Foran
as Sgt. Quincannon
Pedro Armendáriz
as Sgt. Beaufort
Miguel Inclan
as Cochise
Victor McLaglen
as Sgt. Festus Mulcahy
Guy Kibbee
as Dr. Wilkens
Anna Lee
as Mrs. Emily Collingwood
George O'Brien
as Capt. Sam Collingwood
Jack Pennick
as Sgt. Schattuck
Irene Rich
as Mrs. Mary O'Rourke
Grant Withers
as Silas Meacham
Ray Hyke
as Capt. Gates
Fred Graham
as Cavalryman
Cliff Clark
as Stage Driver
William Forrest
as Reporter
Francis Ford
as Fen, the Stage Guard
Harry Tenbrook
as Courier
Ben Johnson
as Stunt rider
Mae Marsh
as Mrs. Martha Gates
Frank Ferguson
as Newspaperman
Mary Gordon
as Ma, the Barmaid
Hank Worden
as Bald-Headed Southern Recruit
Mickey Simpson
as NCO
Frank Baker
as Stunt rider
Archie Twitchell
as Reporter


John Ford
John Ford
Merian C. Cooper
Archie J. Stout
Richard Hageman
Composer (Music Score)
James Basevi
Art Director
Joe Kish
Set Designer
David Koehler
Special Effects
Jack Pennick
First Assistant Director
Kenny Williams
Bernard McEveety
Production Manager
Emile LaVigne