Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History
An army major, himself guilty of cowardice, is asked to recommend soldiers for the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Mexican Border Incursion of 1916.
Although Gary Cooper was 57, his character Major Thorn was supposed to be in his thirties. Early in the film it is mentioned that Thorn's father had recently been killed while still on active service.
Heroes? Saints living in the desert? My God, they tried to rape me! And blackmail you! It's a wonder they haven't shot you already! No, Thorne, they're only men - and damned poor specimens at that!
Major Thomas Thorn: I have less right than any man on earth to judge ...
Major Thorn improperly salutes Colonel DeRose in the opening scene when he is dismissed. He should have saluted and held his salute until it was acknowledged. Instead, he lowers his arm even before Colonel Rose acknowledges it.
Opening credits prologue:
On the night of March 8th, 1916, a large mounted force of Mexican rebels under Pancho Villa crossed the American Border and attacked the town of Columbus, New Mexico, killing and wounding both American civilians and soldiers.
As a result of this action,the United States Army sent an expedition into Mexico with orders to capture Villa and disperse his forces.
It was during this campaign that one man, an United States Army officer,was forced to come face to face with two of the great fundamental questions that affect mankind:
What Is Courage? What Is Cowardice?
This is the story of his search for an answer.