Escape from Fort Bravo

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Escape from Fort Bravo
Escape from Fort Bravo - 1953 Poster.jpg
1953 Theatrical Poster
Directed by John Sturges
Produced by Nicholas Nayfack
Written by Michael Pate (story)
Phillip Rock (story)
Frank Fenton
Starring William Holden
Eleanor Parker
John Forsythe
Music by Jeff Alexander
Cinematography Robert L. Surtees
Edited by George Boemler
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s)
  • December 4, 1953 (1953-12-04)
Running time 97-99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,520,000[1][2]
Box office $3,158,000[1]

Escape from Fort Bravo is a 1953 Anscocolor western film set during the American Civil War. It stars William Holden, Eleanor Parker, and John Forsythe.

Plot[edit]

Fort Bravo is a Union prison camp run by a strict Captain Roper (William Holden). A pretty woman named Carla Forester (Eleanor Parker) shows up to help free the prisoners, especially Confederate Captain John Marsh (John Forsythe). Roper falls in love with her (and she with him), so he has an additional motive to recapture the escapees. He does just that, but on the way back to the fort, they are attacked by fierce Mescalero Indians who are hostile to both sides and trapped in a shallow exposed depression. Roper frees and arms his prisoners, but even then, it looks like the Indians will wipe them out. Bailey (John Lupton) escapes to call for help. One by one, they are killed, including Campbell (William Demarest), Young (William Campbell), and the American Indian guide. Marsh and Lieutenant Beecher (Richard Anderson) are wounded. The next morning, to try to save Carla, Roper makes it look like he is the only one left alive and walks out in plain view. He is wounded, but the cavalry comes to the rescue just in time. Roper thanks Bailey for coming with help, while Marsh dies after smiling at Bailey.

Cast[edit]

Production notes[edit]

The working titles of this film were Rope's End and Fort Bravo. Production dates: early April to late May 1953. Most of the film was shot on location in Gallup, NM and at Death Valley National Monument, CA.

Reception[edit]

At the time of the film's release, H.H.T. of The New York Times was unimpressed. While he found Sturges's direction full of "professional smoothness," he had many problems with Frank Fenton's "fuzzily defined" characters. The cast, he goes on, "seems confused throughout."[3] Leonard Maltin disagrees, calling the film "well-executed" and awarding it three stars.[4]

Box Office[edit]

According to MGM records the film earned $1,525,000 in the US and Canada and $1,633,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $104,000.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ Glenn Lovell, Escape Artist: The Life and Films of John Sturges, University of Wisconsin Press, 2008 p82
  3. ^ T., H.H. (1954-01-23). "' Escape From Fort Bravo,' Civil War Story Set in West, Opens at Mayfair". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  4. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2009), p. 420. Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide. ISBN 1-101-10660-3. Signet Books. Accessed May 7, 2012

External links[edit]