Early in 1947, John Ford described to Frank Nugent, former film critic for the New York Times and aspiring screenwriter, the subject he was considering for his next film: “The cavalry. In all westerns, the Cavalry rides in to the rescue of the beleaguered wagon train or whatever, and then it rides off again. I’ve been thinking about it — what it was like at a cavalry post, remote, people with their own personal problems, over everything the threat of Indians, of death” (qtd in McBride 446). At the director’s suggestion, Nugent went off to research the subject and a few weeks later, to the latter’s surprise and delight, Ford commissioned him to write the script. Shooting began soon after on what would turn out to be the first of eleven films on which Nugent would work with Ford over the next couple of decades, and the first installment of what subsequently came to be known as Ford’s “cavalry trilogy”: Fort Apache (1948), She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949), and Rio Grande (1950).
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Boyd, D. (2012). Trilogy as Triptych: John Ford’s Cavalry Films. In: Perkins, C., Verevis, C. (eds) Film Trilogies. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230371972_3
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