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Escape from Fort Bravo (1953)

14 | | Western | 4 December 1953 (USA)
During the Civil War, a group of Confederates escapes from the Union POW camp at Fort Bravo but has to contend with the desert, the Mescalero Apaches and the pursuing Union troops.

Director:

John Sturges

Writers:

Frank Fenton (screenplay), Phillip Rock (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Holden ... Capt. Roper
Eleanor Parker ... Carla Forester
John Forsythe ... Capt. John Marsh
William Demarest ... Campbell
William Campbell ... Cabot Young
Polly Bergen ... Alice Owens
Richard Anderson ... Lt. Beecher
Carl Benton Reid ... Col. Owens
John Lupton ... Bailey
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Storyline

A ruthless Union captain is renowned throughout his prison fort as the toughest soldier in the business, capable of capturing every escaped convict under his supervision. However, when he falls in love with a visiting woman some of the prisoners seize the advantage and try to escape while he is in a more "mellow" mood. Written by Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

M.G.M.s Great Romance Excitingly photographed in Ansco Color.

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vlucht uit Fort Bravo See more »

Filming Locations:

Rattlesnake, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,520,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,450,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,158,000, 31 December 1953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Anscocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Holden did not shave his chest for his shirtless scene in this movie (as he did for most of his other "beefcake" scenes of the 1950s), thus giving audiences one of their best looks at his normally lush growth of chest hair. See more »

Goofs

The ladies' dresses had zippers, which were not invented until 1913. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Roper: When you're in the grave, Beecher, it doesn't matter too much how you got there.
Lt. Beecher: Well, I think it matters. I think it does.
Capt. Roper: Write the War Department.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Major Dundee (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Lorena
(uncredited)
Music by J.P. Webster
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worthy 1953 Western with William Holden & Eleanor Parker
29 April 2012 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

Released in 1953 and directed by John Sturges, "Escape from Fort Bravo" was always one of my top Westerns of the 1950s. It stars William Holden as Capt. Roper, who ruthlessly oversees a group of Confederate prisoners at a fort in the SW wilderness. John Forsythe plays Confederate prisoner Capt. Marsh and Eleanor Parker stars as Carla, a woman who visits the fort under the pretense of attending a wedding. As Roper falls for Carla, the Confederates take advantage of his love blinded-ness. When Roper goes after a group of escapees the soldiers have no recourse but to team up against a band of marauding Mescalero Indians.

William Holden was in his prime here, as was the breathtaking Eleanor Parker, both stunning examples of masculine strength and feminine charm respectively.

Although the soldiers rarely miss and the Natives rarely hit, the Indians are depicted in a realistic, respectable manner, showing ingenuity in their resolve to wipe out the pinned-down group of whites.

William Campbell, well-known for the lead Klingon in the original Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" and less-so as the alien Trelane in "The Squire of Gothos," has a formidable supporting role as one of the escaping Confederates. He was almost fifteen years younger and barely recognizable.

While the events take place in 1865 the song played at the fort dance, "Mountains of Mourne," was written by Percy French 31 years later. Someone must've come back from the future.

FINAL WORD: I realize a lot of pre-60's Westerns come off eye-rolling or artificial, but "Escape from Fort Bravo," doesn't fall into that category; that is, aside from the dated opening tune and the aforementioned song at the dance, as well as the parts that were obviously shot in the studio, which was typical in that era.

The film runs 99 minutes and was shot in desolate regions of California (Semi Valley) and New Mexico (Gallup), including Death Valley National Park.

GRADE: B+


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