The Horse Soldiers (1959) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Horse Soldiers1959

The Horse Soldiers (1959)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

John Ford's Civil War-era docudrama stars John Wayne as John Marlowe, a Union colonel spearheading a group of saboteurs on a mission to destroy a Confederate railroad.

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William Holden
as Maj. Henry Kendall, Major Henry Kendall
John Wayne
as Col. John Marlowe
Constance Towers
as Miss Hannah Hunter of Greenbriar
Anna Lee
as Mrs. Buford
Stan Jones
as Gen. U.S. Grant
Carleton Young
as Col. Jonathan Miles
Basil Ruysdael
as Boys School Commandant
Ken Curtis
as Wilkie
O.Z. Whitehead
as Hoppy Hopkins
Judson Pratt
as Sgt. Maj. Kirby
Denver Pyle
as Jagger Jo
Walter Reed
as Union officer
Jack Pennick
as Sgt. Maj. Mitchell
Fred Graham
as Union Scout
Chuck Hayward
as Capt. Woodward
Charles Steel
as Newton Station Bartender
Stuart Holmes
as Train Passenger
Sam Harris
as Confederate Major
Richard Cutting
as Gen. Sherman
Charles Seel
as Newton Station commander
William Forrest
as Gen. Steve Hurburt
Fred Kennedy
as Cavalryman
William Henry
as Confederate Lieutenant
William Leslie
as Maj. Richard Gray, Major Richard Gray
Richard H. Cutting
as Gen. Sherman
Donald Foster
as Dr. Marvin
Cliff Lyons
as Sergeant
Jan Stine
as Dying Man
Dan Borzage
as Old Soldier in Line (uncredited)
Willis Bouchey
as Col. Phil Secord
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Critic Reviews for The Horse Soldiers

All Critics (13)

The Horse Soldiers is the disaster of the month, an uneventful canter in which Ford, without any plot to speak of, falls back on boyish Irish playfulness to fill a several-million-dollar investment.

September 14, 2021 | Full Review…

Ford once again gets the most out of the cast, his fine instinct giving form to the maturing experiences of a couple of soldiers who, then as now, are obliged to come to terms with a world they never made.

June 23, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

'The Horse Soldiers' is full of marvelous frames, of a subtle lyricism, not as evident as other times, of great hard moments of life, after all. [Full Review in Spanish]

April 10, 2020 | Full Review…

An attractive musical score is a further asset.

October 18, 2019 | Full Review…

Ford makes no explicitly anti-war points, yet his battle scenes-particularly the futile, heroic charges-don't come across as exciting, simply as absurd, wasteful, pathetic, and in all senses, bloody.

July 13, 2018 | Full Review…

Lively Western full of events and imagery.

April 1, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Horse Soldiers

Not one of the essential Ford/Wayne westerns but nevertheless a strong film. Wayne and Holden are great and Ford's vivid visual style is striking.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer


Another fantastic Wayne/Ford classic. The Searchers seems to have a lot in common with this film as far as themes and actors, so it tends to remind me of it a lot at times.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer


This John Ford's frontier actioner packed with laughter, romance and thrills. Based on a true incident during the Civil War, this is a minor, but enjoyable. John Wayne and William Holden play well-matched adversaries.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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