Rough Riders (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rough Riders
Rough Riders (film).jpg
Directed by John Milius
Written by John Milius
Hugh Wilson
Starring Tom Berenger
Sam Elliott
Gary Busey
Music by Peter Bernstein
Budget $19 million
Country USA
Language English

Rough Riders is a 1997 television miniseries directed and co-written by John Milius about future President Theodore Roosevelt and the regiment (the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry; aka the Rough Riders). The series prominently shows the bravery of the volunteers at the Battle of San Juan Hill, part of the Spanish–American War of 1898. It was released on DVD in 2006. The series originally aired on TNT with a four-hour running time, including commercials.


The movie differs from actual history on the following counts: 1) Bucky O'Neil was buried in Arlington National cemetery and 2) he, along with the contingent of Arizona Rough Rider volunteers marched to the Prescott train station from the Yavapai County Courthouse where well-wishers cheered them.


In 1898 the US government decided to intervene on the side of the Cuban rebels in their struggle against Spanish rule. Assistant Navy Secretary Theodore Roosevelt decides to experience the war first hand by promoting and joining a volunteer cavalry regiment. The regiment, later known as the Rough Riders, brings together volunteers from all corners of the nation and all walks of life. When Roosevelt and his men finally land on Cuba, they face ambush, intense enemy fire, and a desperate, outnumbered charge up a defended hill.



A script had been written and was offered to John Milius to direct. He agreed provided he could rewrite the script.

It was filmed in Texas over 48 days on a budget of $19 million.[1]

Milius considers the film one of his best:

They had a lot of controls on me, at Turner, and I just ran over them... They hated me, but I got the film made, didn't I?... That's what you have to do. You have to be true to the vision that you start out to do, otherwise what are you even there for?[2]


Critical Response[edit]


  1. ^ 'In TNT's 'Rough Riders,' John Milius presents the Spanish–American War as a great way to build character.: For Teddy, War Was Heaven', By JAMES STERNGOLDLOS ANGELES. New York Times (1923–Current file) [New York, N.Y] 13 July 1997: H33
  2. ^ "An Interview with John Milius", IGN, 7 May 2003 accessed 5 January 2013

External links[edit]