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Rio Grande

Rio Grande(1950)

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The working titles of this film were Rio Bravo and Rio Grande Command. In the onscreen credits, technical advisor Maj. Philip J. Kieffer's name was credited as "Maj. Philip J. Kieffer USA." Rio Grande was the last film in John Ford's cavalry trilogy. (For additional information on the trilogy, see entry above for Fort Apache.) Rio Grande, which was Ford's first picture for Republic, was shot on location in Moab, Monument Valley and Mexican Hat, UT. According to a modern source, Rio Grande was made as part of a deal to secure financing for Ford's The Quiet Man, which Herbert Yates agreed to back on the condition that Ford, Wayne, O'Hara, Victor McLaglen and Barry Fitzgerald first make a western for him. In a December 17, 1995 Los Angeles Times article, O'Hara discussed the arrangement: "Yates read the script and said: 'This is a silly, little Irish story and it will never make a penny, but if the same director and the same producer [Merian C. Cooper] make me a film with the same actors-a western to make up the money you are going to lose on this story-I will finance it." According to a modern source, while on location in Moab, the crew "brought fifty Navajo up from the reservation to play Apache in the film, accompanied by Lee Bradley, who again served as translator. Billy Yellow, one of the Indians selected for closeups, stated forty years later that the Navajo weren't told that they were portraying Apache." Rio Grande was the first film in which Wayne acted with his son Patrick, and was also the first casting of Maureen O'Hara opposite Wayne. They went on to make four additional movies together. Modern sources add the following names to the crew credits: Assistant Editor Barbara Ford and 2nd Unit Director Cliff Lyons.