Hondo (1954)

80 or 83-84 mins | Western | 4 January 1954

Director:

John Farrow

Producer:

Robert Fellows

Cinematographers:

Robert Burks, Archie Stout

Editor:

Ralph Dawson

Production Designer:

Alfred Ybarra

Production Company:

Wayne-Fellows Productions, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

Louis L'Amour's short story was also published in a 1954 collection entitled Bar 3; Round-up of Best Western Stories . A novelization of the film, titled Hondo , was published in 1953 and released simultaneously with the picture. Information contained in the AMPAS Library file on the film indicates that the picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture Story, but that the nomination was disqualified by L'Amour, who asserted that his short story was not an original motion picture story. This picture marked the first starring role of Broadway actress Geraldine Page (1924--1987). Although reviews claim that Page made her motion picture debut in Hondo , she had appeared in small parts in two previous films. Warner Bros. publicity materials note that John Ford directed second unit battle scenes. According to the HR review, some filming took place in Camargo, Mexico.
       Although their appearance in the film has not been confirmed, HR news items add to the cast Martin Diaz, Jay Scott, and Margaret Fellows, who was the daughter of producer Robert Fellows. Modern sources add Chuck Roberson to the cast. Page was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress. Hondo was televised in 1989 on a syndicated network as part of a benefit honoring the National Easter Seal Society's 75th anniversary. The film was shown in 3-D, with money from the sale of special 3-D glasses donated to the Easter Seal Society. In 1991, a similar television airing of the film benefited the Leukemia Society of America. In 1967, M-G-M made a television pilot ... More Less

Louis L'Amour's short story was also published in a 1954 collection entitled Bar 3; Round-up of Best Western Stories . A novelization of the film, titled Hondo , was published in 1953 and released simultaneously with the picture. Information contained in the AMPAS Library file on the film indicates that the picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture Story, but that the nomination was disqualified by L'Amour, who asserted that his short story was not an original motion picture story. This picture marked the first starring role of Broadway actress Geraldine Page (1924--1987). Although reviews claim that Page made her motion picture debut in Hondo , she had appeared in small parts in two previous films. Warner Bros. publicity materials note that John Ford directed second unit battle scenes. According to the HR review, some filming took place in Camargo, Mexico.
       Although their appearance in the film has not been confirmed, HR news items add to the cast Martin Diaz, Jay Scott, and Margaret Fellows, who was the daughter of producer Robert Fellows. Modern sources add Chuck Roberson to the cast. Page was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress. Hondo was televised in 1989 on a syndicated network as part of a benefit honoring the National Easter Seal Society's 75th anniversary. The film was shown in 3-D, with money from the sale of special 3-D glasses donated to the Easter Seal Society. In 1991, a similar television airing of the film benefited the Leukemia Society of America. In 1967, M-G-M made a television pilot inspired by L'Amour's story, titled Hondo and the Apaches . The pilot, which was directed by Lee H. Katzin and starred Ralph Taeger and Kathie Browne, never aired on American television, but was released theatrically overseas. Taeger and Browne also starred in Hondo , a television series based on L'Amour's story, which ran from 8 Sep--29 Dec 1967 and aired on the ABC network. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
28 Nov 53
p. 34.
Box Office
5 Dec 1953.
---
Daily Variety
25 Nov 53
p. 3.
Daily Variety
2 Mar 1989.
---
Film Daily
27 Nov 53
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 1953
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
19 May 1953
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jun 53
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jun 1953
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 1953
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 1953
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 1953
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 53
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 1953.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Nov 1953
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Nov 53
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 1991.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
28 Nov 53
p. 2085.
Variety
25 Nov 53
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Photog
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Property man
COSTUMES
Tech cost dir
SOUND
Sd dial rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Gift of Cochise" by Louis L'Amour in Collier's (5 Jul 1952).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
4 January 1954
Premiere Information:
Houston opening: 25 Nov 1953; New York opening: week of 26 Nov 1953; Los Angeles opening: 25 Dec 1953
Production Date:
11 Jun--early Aug 1953
Copyright Claimant:
Wayne-Fellows Productions
Copyright Date:
4 February 1955
Copyright Number:
LP4424
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
WarnerColor
Widescreen/ratio
3-D
Duration(in mins):
80 or 83-84
Length(in feet):
7,532
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16575
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the rugged Southwest of 1874, U.S. Cavalry dispatch rider Hondo Lane seeks refuge for himself and his dog Sam at Angie Lowe's ranch, after losing his horse in a battle with Apache Indians. While offering Hondo her hospitality and a horse, Angie tells him that she and her young son Johnny are expecting her husband Ed to return home at any moment. However, Hondo sees through her lie, and she later admits that Ed deserted her in the aftermath of an Indian uprising. After telling Angie that Apache Chief Vittoro has called a war council, Hondo tries to persuade Angie to leave the ranch before the next raid, but she refuses, insisting that the Apaches are friendly. Shortly after Hondo leaves Angie, Apaches surround her ranch and menace her. When Johnny tries to protect his mother by firing a gun at one of the Indians, Vittoro commends the boy's bravery and makes him a blood brother. Before leaving, Vittoro promises Angie that no harm will come to her now that Johnny is his blood brother. Meanwhile at the frontier post, Hondo is challenged to a fistfight by a poker player, who he later learns is Ed Lowe. Vittoro, who believes that Angie's husband is dead, returns to the Lowe ranch and demands that Angie choose one of his braves to be her new husband. Angie protests Vittoro's order, but the chief is determined to see Angie marry an Apache if her husband does not turn up. While Hondo makes his way back to the Lowe ranch, he discovers that Ed is following him. Hondo later saves Ed's life when they come under attack ... +


In the rugged Southwest of 1874, U.S. Cavalry dispatch rider Hondo Lane seeks refuge for himself and his dog Sam at Angie Lowe's ranch, after losing his horse in a battle with Apache Indians. While offering Hondo her hospitality and a horse, Angie tells him that she and her young son Johnny are expecting her husband Ed to return home at any moment. However, Hondo sees through her lie, and she later admits that Ed deserted her in the aftermath of an Indian uprising. After telling Angie that Apache Chief Vittoro has called a war council, Hondo tries to persuade Angie to leave the ranch before the next raid, but she refuses, insisting that the Apaches are friendly. Shortly after Hondo leaves Angie, Apaches surround her ranch and menace her. When Johnny tries to protect his mother by firing a gun at one of the Indians, Vittoro commends the boy's bravery and makes him a blood brother. Before leaving, Vittoro promises Angie that no harm will come to her now that Johnny is his blood brother. Meanwhile at the frontier post, Hondo is challenged to a fistfight by a poker player, who he later learns is Ed Lowe. Vittoro, who believes that Angie's husband is dead, returns to the Lowe ranch and demands that Angie choose one of his braves to be her new husband. Angie protests Vittoro's order, but the chief is determined to see Angie marry an Apache if her husband does not turn up. While Hondo makes his way back to the Lowe ranch, he discovers that Ed is following him. Hondo later saves Ed's life when they come under attack by the brother of Indian sub-chief Silva. However, Hondo kills Ed when he tries to shoot him in the back. Hondo then resumes his journey, but not before taking a tintype of Johnny from the dead man. Back on the trail, Hondo is captured by the Indians, and is tortured by Silva. When Vittoro discovers the tintype, he believes that Hondo is Johnny's father and orders a halt to the torture. Before freeing Hondo, though, Vittoro orders that he engage Silva in a knife fight to give Silva the opportunity to avenge the killing of his brother. Hondo is injured in the fight, but is delivered to Angie, who tells the chief that he is her husband. Before leaving the Lowe ranch, Silva exacts his revenge on Hondo by killing Sam. When a Cavalry unit arrives at the Lowe ranch, Hondo keeps his promise to Vittoro and refuses to help the men save the remaining settlers. Vittoro is killed in a battle with the Cavalry, and afterward, Silva becomes the new Apache chief. After killing Silva, Hondo takes Angie and Johnny to his ranch in California to begin a new life. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.