In Pursuit of Honor

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In Pursuit of Honor
In pursuit of honor.jpg
Directed by Ken Olin
Produced by Anne Hopkins
Written by Dennis Lynton Clark
Starring Don Johnson
Craig Sheffer
Gabrielle Anwar
Bob Gunton
Rod Steiger
Distributed by HBO Pictures
Release dates March 18, 1995
Running time 89 Mins (TV)
109 Mins (DVD)
Country U.S. U.S.
Language English
Budget $8.4 million[1]

In Pursuit of Honor is a 1995 made-for-cable movie directed by Ken Olin. Don Johnson stars as a member of a United States Cavalry detachment refusing to slaughter its horses after being ordered to do so by General Douglas MacArthur. The movie follows the plight of the officers as they attempt to save the animals that the Army no longer needs as it modernizes toward a mechanized military. The movie claims to be based on a true story but without firm evidence to support the claim.[2]

Plot[edit]

The movie opens in 1932 when World War I veterans are protesting and rallying in Washington D.C. for war bonuses they were promised but never received from the government, a true event known as the Bonus March. U.S. cavalry and infantry are present for crowd control. The mounted cavalry is ordered by Maj. John Hardesty (Bob Gunton), to present their sabers in order to hold back the protesters. First Sergeant John "Top" Libbey (Don Johnson), along with three fellow soldiers, refuse to raise their arms because the demonstrators were men they served with during the war. As a consequence, their military careers are tarnished and they are relegated to duty at a remote post in the American Southwest.

Two years later, Lt. Marshall Buxton (Craig Sheffer), arrives at his new post, where it is discovered during his interview with retiring Col. Stewart (Rod Steiger) that he was assigned because of a fight and that many of the others there are also due to insubordination. Lt. Buxton meets Sergeants Libbey, Quinlain (Neil Melville), Mulcahey (John Dennis Johnston), and Shattuck (Robert Coleby), who together manage the herd of remounts.

Col. Stewart is replaced as post commander by Hardesty, who has been promoted to colonel. Hardesty's mission is to aid in the transition to a mechanized army. To accomplish this, the horses at the outpost will have to be destroyed. Buxton is ordered to escort the animals to slaughter. While watching the horses being helplessly shot to death in a mass grave, Lt. Buxton decides, with the concurrence of Libbey and the others, to end the massacre and drive the remaining herd to safety.

A manhunt ensues that forces the renegade men and horses north. Along the way, the men get a little help from retired Col. Stewart in his standing with the U.S. War Department and the Colonel's daughter (Gabrielle Anwar), who is a journalist. Many of the horses are lost during the journey, due to exhaustion and injuries.

After reaching the Canadian border and making a final run with the horses, the men are granted a pardon by President Franklin D. Roosevelt while dodging a light artillery attack by Hardesty's men, who have followed the men since their insurrection. Buxton's men and the remaining horses are allowed safe passage across the border by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. While Lt. Buxton decides to return to the United States to face charges, the remainder of his group decide to stay in Canada.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was shot in Australia.[1] This film was shot in New Zealand

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p61
  2. ^ In Defense of Honor: General Douglas MacArthur and the Horse Cavalry of 1934

External links[edit]