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      Cheyenne Autumn

      Released Oct 3, 1964 2h 39m Western List
      60% Tomatometer 15 Reviews 44% Audience Score 500+ Ratings Large-scale frontier epic telling the true story of a band of Cheyenne Indians who, starved nearly to extinction on an inhospitable reservation, embark on the long trek back to their distant ancestral homelands in Wyoming, despite opposition from the US Army. Their journey revives old hatreds - and the threat of war. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (15) Critics Reviews
      Kate Cameron New York Daily News James R. Webb's screenplay, Ford's direction and the splendid acting of the cast make this an impressive film. Rated: 3.5/4 Dec 2, 2020 Full Review Richard Brody New Yorker A sort of frontier Exodus that's filmed with a majestic passion for the wild lands and for its indigenous dwellers. Dec 17, 2012 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Somewhere in the telling, the original premise of the Mari Sandoz novel is lost sight of in a wholesale insertion of extraneous incidents which bear little or no relation to the subject. Sep 4, 2007 Full Review Joan Didion Vogue A melancholy epic which [John Ford] seems to have directed under the misapprehension that it was an action comedy. Mar 16, 2020 Full Review Wendy Michener Maclean's Magazine Cheyenne Autumn is a blockbuster of a Western-but unfortunately also a bust. Jul 16, 2019 Full Review Isabel Quigly The Spectator It is one of those incredible, intensely cinematic journeys, where everything from panoramic to infinitesimal, from fording a river to creeping thorough undergrowth is visually exciting and where excitement and sympathy go together. Jul 19, 2018 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (57) audience reviews
      Alec B "Noble failure" isn't an entirely accurate description but it also isn't far off either. The problem here is the screenplay that oversimplifies a lot of history but even with that Ford stages some scenes beautifully (i.e. the battle at the fort and its aftermath) so I don't think its worth completely disregarding. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/20/24 Full Review Blu B What a mess...there is glimpses here of the Ford we know but that's it. The acting is ok but also all over the place. Widmark is probably the best thing in this and isn't bad. Stewart as Earp is just bizarre and doesn't fit at all. Everyone else is just boring, forgettable, or doesn't really get much development. The Indians aren't bad either though but once again it's crazy how a movie about Indians majority doesn't focus on them. Same with the cinematography which is a mess overall too. There are beautiful shots in this that rival Ford's best work and some decent scenes with interesting ideas and character interactions but they never amount to anything because of how unfocused this is. The battles aren't bad either but they aren't anything special. The msuic is probably the best thing in this and is half decent but isn't really that catchy and can be forgettable at times. The editing isn't good and the pacing is bad. This is easily the worst part of this. The first 30-40 minutes feel so dragged out but beautiful to look at. It feels like Ford is getting too self indulgent with the production and forgetting to tell a story. The Wyatt Earp 20 minute comedy sketch really is where this nose dives and never fully recovers. It feels like a completely different movie and could've been cut completely. It doesn't fit at all and feels like a bad comedy break. This also never fully focuses on the Cheyenne either only maybe 40% of the time. Besides Baker and the Chief we really don't get to know any of these Indians on a personal level to develop a deep connection with them. Than other times it feels like were watching a History Channel documentary about the events of the exodus rather than the characters involved which is how this starts out. The whole romance wih Baker and Widmark feels completely forgotten about. I truly can't tell you who the main character is in this also because of how unfocused it is. sometimes it's Widmark, sometimes it's the Cheyenne, Stewart, Baker, the soldiers of the calvary, or sometimes it feels like there is no main character. And again it drags terribly at times and didn't need the epic film treatment either. I know people have problems with how this portrays Indians as well but there are so many other issues here that get in the way beyond that on a fundamental level. And honestly, it's a admirable attempt at trying to tell the Indian side of the story. It's just not told well at all. Skip This completely. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/25/24 Full Review Audience Member Really good cowboy in the ocean/army movie will recommend it James Welch, Henderson, Arkansas September 23, 2023 Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 09/23/23 Full Review j f Otherwise somber picture, except for mid-reel left-field comedic interlude featuring James Stewart's hilarious portrayal of Wyatt Earp. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 06/27/23 Full Review Nawt W At the end of his career, baby boomers finally got to Ford. This movie hardly passes as a half-assed apology to the natives. It is, however, weird to even imagine this director filming a script like this one. Naive, preaching and full of bizarre allusions, like, for example, a German captain willing to starve off Indians because he is "just following orders". The movie has a lot of exposition scenes. Trying to explain the political background of the issue at hand. Notably, going off on a strange detour with James Stewart. In what can hardly be considered a subplot, just two long scenes about Boulder City and people being stupid and overreacting to the Cheyenne flight, are tied to actual historical events that make no sense in the context of the film. Regardless, it's a very fun part of the movie and probably would've been better if this was the actual movie. Visually, the entire affair looks great. There is a lot of good cavalry action and fairly good shootouts. The Cheyenne themselves have barely any personality, and the two main characters are played by Spanish actors role-playing some weird blood feud over a woman from time to time, but I guess the joke's on Ford because the actual natives in the movie apparently say exclusively nonsense or make obscene comments when they are speaking their native language because no one cared enough to verify the dialogue. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 09/18/22 Full Review james g I love westerns. This one's a blockbuster of mess. Great cast though. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Cheyenne Autumn

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Large-scale frontier epic telling the true story of a band of Cheyenne Indians who, starved nearly to extinction on an inhospitable reservation, embark on the long trek back to their distant ancestral homelands in Wyoming, despite opposition from the US Army. Their journey revives old hatreds - and the threat of war.
      John Ford
      Bernard Smith, John Ford
      James R. Webb
      Warner Bros. Pictures
      Production Co
      Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Oct 3, 1964, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      May 23, 2016
      2h 39m
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