This listing is for John Wayne The Horse Soldiers VHS.
Actors: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers, Judson Pratt, Hoot Gibson
Directors: John Ford
Writers: John Lee Mahin, Martin Rackin, Harold Sinclair
Producers: John Lee Mahin, Martin Rackin
Run Time: 120 minutes
This John Ford-directed Civil War flick is actually based on a real cavalry raid led by Col Benjamin Grierson and is adapted from a novel of the same name by Harold Sinclair. John Wayne plays the Grierson character, named Col. John Marlowe in the movie, and while he has the lead, he shares billing w/co-star William Holden, who plays the regimental surgeon. Wayne and Holden in this film are an oil-and-water combination, with one being antagonistic to the other for most of its duration. The purpose of Grierson's Raid, and the raid portrayed in this film, was to capture the town of Newton's Station (the primary supply depot for Vicksburg, MS) and to disrupt railroad transportation between the town and Vicksburg. This raid was critical to the Union victory at Vicksburg which put all of the Mississippi in federal hands and cut the Confederacy in half.
As portrayed in the film, the raid was remarkably successful and bloodless. In addition to Wayne and Holden, both of whom perform exceptionally well, look for a fine performance from Constance Towers, who becomes a captive of the hated Yankees...but mellows in her opinion, both of the Yankees and Col Marlowe toward the end. Also look for excellent performances from Ken Curtis and several other of Ford's stock players, such as Hank Worden, Hoot Gibson, Judson Pratt. Althea Gibson, the tennis player who broke the color barrier in womens' professional tennis also has a featured role. In summary, this is a fine fictionalized portrayal of Grierson's Raid...excellent entertainment and a pretty fair history lesson. Highly recommended.
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