Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - June, 2011


"The Horse Soldiers" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton



A Union Cavalry outfit is sent behind confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail/supply centre. Along with them is sent a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the commander. The secret plan for the mission is overheard by a southern belle who must be taken along to assure her silence. The Union officers each have different reasons for wanting to be on the mission. Based on actual events from the Civil War, this John Ford tale offers action, honor, passion and a nostalgic look at past glories.


  • MGM
  • Color, Not Rated, 2 Hr 26 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Codec: V1
  • 1080p
  • English 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers
  • Directed by John Ford
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No


This is a retelling of a true-life episode from the Civil War. In 1863 a Union colonel named Grierson (Marlowe in the film led his cavalry several hundred miles behind Confederate lines to cut the railroad between Newton Station and soon-to-be-embattled Vicksburg. Grierson's Raid was as successful as it was daring, and remarkably bloodless. Holden plays a wonderful foil to Wayne, as the doctor. Constance Towers does her part as the Southern Belle in distress and has good chemistry with Wayne. In spite of the raid being “bloodless”, there is enough action to keep things moving right along. All-in-all, a great cavalry flick.


Picture quality is good, but not outstanding. Due to the wonders of HD, you can actually see some power lines overhead in one shot and some jet contrails in the sky. Most scenes are in sharp focus, but some of the long shots are a bit soft. Occasionally the picture is marred with some specks and white spots, but they are not too distracting. Not a lot of work went into restoring this classic, but it does look about as good as it ever will. Sound is clear with well anchored dialog, with the sound stage being decidedly front heavy mono. Skin tones and outdoor scenes look lush and natural. Contrast, even in dimly lit scenes, is generally good. Grain is present and adds to the vintage look of this film.


SD trailer. That's all folks.