Film Reviews, Short Review

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)


Though it is as handsome and intoxicating to look at as any John Ford Western ever was, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon falls far short of the great director’s best work. His first Western in colour and the middle film of the ‘Cavalry’ trilogy (the other two being the Fort Apache and Rio Grande), it is also the worst of the three as well. John Wayne plays a Cavalry officer nearing retirement who is tasked with taking two women away from the Indian-threatened West. Though he is as strong a presence onscreen as ever, the film lacks the sort of thematic depth and subtlety – particularly regarding its portrayal of Natives (Ford was usually the most respectful of the old Hollywood directors in regards to their onscreen representation) – to make it a true Ford/Wayne Western classic.


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