She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

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She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

Director John Ford's She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) is the first color feature film shot in Monument Valley, Arizona, and the second of three films Ford made about the 7th Cavalry—the other two are Fort Apache (1948) and Rio Grande (1950). Collectively these films are known as the "Cavalry Trilogy." Set in the American southwest in 1876, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon revolves around Captain Nathan Brittles (played by John Wayne), an aging officer leading a final patrol before retirement. Due to its gung ho glorification of the concept of Manifest Destiny, the film is best known as a reflection of mainstream America's post-World War II optimism.

—Robert C. Sickels

Further Reading:

Nolley, Ken. "Printing the Legend in the Age of MX: Reconsidering Ford's Military Trilogy." Film/Literature Quarterly. Vol. 14, No. 2, 1986, 82-88.

Place, J. A. The Western Films of John Ford. Secaucus, The Citadel Press, 1977.

Stowell, Peter. John Ford. Boston, Twayne Publishers, 1986.

Westbrook, Max. "The Night John Wayne Danced with Shirley Temple." Western American Literature. Vol. 25, No. 2, 1990, 157-167.