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Rio Grande Details


John Wayne stars as Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke, whose devotion to duty has cost him his marriage to his beloved Kathleen (Maureen O'Hara). Yorke gets word that his son, Jeff (Claude Jarman Jr.) -- whom he hasn't seen in 15 years -- has been dropped as a cadet from West Point, and that he lied about his age to enlist in the cavalry, in an effort to redeem himself. By chance, the boy is then assigned to his father's post. Once more, as a function of his duty as a cavalry officer, Yorke must sacrifice his love of family -- he cannot show any preferential treatment to the boy, or exhibit any sign of love and affection. But Jeff is too strong to be injured by his father's actions, and already enough of a man that he is befriended by two older recruits, troopers Tyree (Ben Johnson) and Boone (Harry Carey Jr.), who watch out for him while taking him in as a virtual equal. Yorke's resolve is further tested when his estranged wife, Kathleen, arrives at the post, the better to look after her son -- and possibly to buy back the boy's enlistment, which Yorke, as commanding officer in a remote post with a critical shortage of men, can't and won't permit. After an attack by the Apaches, Yorke orders the post's women and children to be moved to safety, and Jeff is assigned as part of the troop conducting the caravan, despite his wish to participate in the planned action against the Apaches. The caravan is attacked, and the wagon with the children is taken by the Apaches to their encampment in a deserted village across the Rio Grande in Mexico. Yorke has been given permission by General Sheridan (J. Carrol Naish) to take his men into Mexico in pursuit of the Apaches, but the punitive expedition is now a rescue mission, as the Indians' night-time vengeance dance is the prelude to certain slaughter of the children at daybreak. As part of the mission, it's up to Tyree, the slyest man in the troop, to infiltrate the enemy camp, and he chooses Jeff and Boone as the two men he wants with him on this dangerous mission. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

  • Release date:November 15, 1950


John Wayne
as Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke
Maureen O'Hara
as Mrs. Kathleen Yorke
Ben Johnson
as Trooper Tyree
Claude Jarman, Jr.
as Trooper Jeff Yorke
Harry Carey, Jr.
as Trooper Daniel "Sandy" Boone
Victor McLaglen
as Sgt. Maj. Quincannon
Chill Wills
as Dr. Wilkins
J. Carrol Naish
as Gen. Philip Sheridan
Grant Withers
as Deputy Marshal
Peter Ortiz
as Capt. St. Jacques
Karolyn Grimes
as Margaret Mary
Alberto Morin
as Lieutenant
Fred Kennedy
as Heinze
Jack Pennick
as Sergeant
Cliff Lyons
as Soldier
Chuck Roberson
as Officer
Sunset Carson
Ken Curtis
as Regimental singer
Shug Fisher
as Regimental singer
Patrick Wayne
as Boy
Lee Morgan


John Ford
John Ford
Merian C. Cooper
Archie J. Stout
Bert Glennon
Victor Young
Composer (Music Score)
Dale Evans
Tex Owens
Frank Hotaling
Art Director
John McCarthy
Set Designer
Adele Palmer
Costume Designer
Howard Lydecker
Special Effects
Theodore Lydecker
Special Effects