Escape from Fort Bravo (1953)

Escape from Fort Bravo (1953), directed by John Sturges.

In 1863 the Union is -- for some reason -- keeping Confederate prisoners at a remote fort in the southwest. Dour William Holden specializes in bringing back escapees, while the army already has its hands full with marauding Mescaleros. Fiery Eleanor Parker arrives for a wedding and makes eyes at the cavalry captain, and we begin to suspect all is not as it appears...

This is a sturdy, well-made western/civil war/romance picture with better than usual adult plot development. Union and Confederates are treated equally well, though the rebel prisoners are, of course, a bit more rebellious. Some fine camera work: Sturges was better than your average action director.

Holden is always thinking, always reserved in a manly way. Parker gets a break from her usual terrified or distraught female roles and is clever, strong and decisive.

Misc notes:

Photographed by Robert Surtees.

The DVD image is often soft, but the color rather fine. Filmed in "Anscocolor", which I don't remember seeing in credits before. Also known as "Agfacolor".