7.1/10
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91 user 57 critic

Hondo (1953)

Army dispatch rider Hondo Lane discovers a woman and young son living in the midst of warring Apaches and becomes their protector.

Director:

John Farrow

Writers:

James Edward Grant (screenplay), Louis L'Amour (story)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Hondo Lane
Geraldine Page ... Angie Lowe
Ward Bond ... Buffalo Baker
Michael Pate ... Vittorio
James Arness ... Lennie
Rodolfo Acosta ... Silva
Leo Gordon ... Ed Lowe
Tom Irish ... Lt. McKay
Lee Aaker ... Johnny Lowe
Paul Fix ... Maj. Sherry
Rayford Barnes ... Pete - Card Player in Saloon
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Storyline

Army scout Hondo Lane (played by John Wayne) stumbles across an isolated homestead in the middle of Apache territory. The inhabitants - a woman and her son - believe they are safe, as there is a treaty with the Apaches. Lane knows better though, as the Army has just broken the treaty, causing the Apache to seek revenge on settlers. Despite being a scout for the US Army, Lane has sympathies for the Apaches, having been married to a native American woman and living with her people for five years. With divided loyalties he now has to tread a fine line. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

First she was afraid he'd stay---then she was afraid he wouldn't. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for western violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

27 November 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

They Called Him Hondo See more »

Filming Locations:

Patagonia, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne attributed the film's moderate performance at the box-office to its similarity to Shane (1953). See more »

Goofs

The sound of sharpening continues after Hondo has lifted the ax from the grind stone. See more »

Quotes

Hondo Lane: That dog don't take to pettin', son.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dan Rowan as one of the soldiers underneath a wagon shot during the final attack. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1991 cable channel TNT showed a special 3-D version of the film. Grocery stores gave away John Wayne 3D glasses for the promotion. See more »

Connections

Referenced in NCIS: Ignition (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

This film is the most faithful to the book of any I have ever seen.
27 September 2003 | by gsmith404See all my reviews

This film was the most faithful, to the book, of any I have ever seen. It is based on one of Louis L'amour's early western novels, and the first to be made into a film. Aside from Vittorio wearing war paint all the time, the only part which was not really faithful to the book was the final battle where the stereotypical Hollywood Indian battle was substituted for the manner in which Apaches actually fought.

Louis L'amour was the most successful western novelist in history, having sold more than a quarter of a billion books before his death in 1988. Reading the book, Hondo, I often suspected it had been written with John Wayne in mind as Hondo Lane. I cannot picture Glenn Ford as Hondo, as was originally planed.

Much of the dialog was taken directly from the book although much was omitted, and every significant character made it from the book to the film. The only significant negatives were: 1) the fact that the story was condensed into 83 minutes instead of the 100 to 120 minutes, which would have permitted development of some of the minor characters; and 2) the apparent absence of a competent director. Think how much better it might have been if John Ford had directed it. Actually, both my complaints probably boil down to the same thing.


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