In John Ford’s sombre exploration mythologising of American heroes, he slowly reveals the character of Owen Thursday, who sees his new posting to the desolate Fort Apache as a chance to claim the military honour which he believes is rightfully his. Arrogant, obsessed with military form and ultimately self-destructive, Thursday attempts to destroy the Apache chief Cochise after luring him across the border from Mexico, against the advice of his subordinates.
Ex-Confederate Bedloe Mason and his four sons ride into a small Western town with robbery in mind. Hearing a suspicious “click,” Wes Mason whirls and shoots dead a boy playing with a cap pistol. The Mason clan then flees but Gray Mason, feeling remorse, decides to return to the town. He winds up at the home of John and Nora Willoughby who, unknown to him, are parents of the dead boy. Nora recognizes him as one of the Confederates but keeps quiet, wishing to avoid more violence. However, when John learns of Gray’s true identity, he determines to avenge his son’s death.
Ring Hassard and father Jeff, wild horse breakers, live in a hidden mountain eyrie because Jeff is wanted for a murder he didn’t commit. But things change when they take in a lost young lady, Riley Martin, who finds that Ring has “never seen a woman close up.” Jeff is injured, Ring runs afoul of horse thieves and the law, and Riley (who turns out to be a lawyer) labors to clear the Hassards; but others would prefer them dead.
Taw Jackson returns from prison having survived being shot, to the ranch and gold that Frank Pierce stole from him. Jackson makes a deal with Lomax, the man who shot him 5 years ago to join forces against Pierce and steal a large gold shipment. The shipments are transported in the War Wagon, an armored stage coach that is heavily guarded. The two of them become the key players in the caper to separate Pierce from Jackson’s gold.
A rabbi from Poland goes to America to lead a Jewish community. When he arrives in America he is hijacked and has to work his way across the country. On the way he meets up with a bank robber and they form a friendship, have many (mis)adventures including being captured by Indians.
Wise-guy carnival barker Windy bilks a group of cowboys out of their money, gets caught and is forced into working off the debt on their ranch. He falls in love with Molly, the pretty owner of the ranch, but runs afoul of foreman Steve, who also loves Molly.
Walk the Proud Land (1956) Jesse Hibbs, Audie Murphy, Anne Bancroft, Pat Crowley, Biography, Western
Indian Agent sent to try new approach to peace with Apaches based on respect for automomy rather than submission to Army. Wins over reservation chiefs and the Indian widow (Bancroft) given to him as housekeeper. Through use of diplomacy and demonstrations of faith in Apache leaders, reservation is put on the road to automomy. Conflicts arise between Apache widow and Eastern wife but latter has a lot to learn.
Two Virginians are heading for a new life in Texas when they witness a stagecoach being held up. They decide to rob the robbers and make off with the loot. To escape a posse, they split up and don’t see each other again for a long time. When they do meet up again, they find themselves on different sides of the law. This leads to the increasing estrangement of the two men, who once thought of themselves as brothers.