SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON REVIEWED
“She Wore A Yellow Ribbon” is one of the best films about retirement. That sounds pretty odd for a Western, huh? John Ford and John Wayne were on the same page for this 1948 visual feast, as Wayne plays a much older character being forced to retire from the U.S. Calvary. Wayne is taking two relatives to a fort to wait out his retirement. Unfortunately, the fort has been burned to the ground by some Indians. I’d call them Native Americans for clarification, but this isn’t that kind of movie.
While serving as part of the larger Calvary trilogy, this film step back to examine Wayne more than the Indian threat. He could easily sit out this last Indian encounter and stay with his wife and niece. But, he knows that if he forces the Indians into an armed conflict, he won’t have to retire for another year. His men are a little shaky, as they pick up on the fact that their commander is leading them into battle to prolong his career. There’s never a detailed sense of mutiny, but you have the sense that they could easily take him out and leave him for dead. Sometimes, I wonder what would’ve happened if we got that movie.
Calvary soldiers fragging their John Wayne style commander in order to save their lives. All they’d have to do is lie to Wayne’s relatives and then everyone moves back to civilization. But, that would make this a revisionist Western and not something that hit theaters in 1948. That’s the odd thing about John Ford movies. It’s so easy to project different scenarios into these lush landscapes and world building efforts. Amazing work.
- John Ford Home Movies
- 1.37:1 standard definition transfer
- DTS-HD 2.0 mono