Having triumphed in the civil war, Union honcho Kirby Yorke (Wayne) turns his attentions to the native Apaches. His ex-wife (O'Hara) and his long-lost son (Jarman) get in the way of a fiersome battle, and Yorke's decision to stay and fight has him in line for a court martial, as well as endangering the two new loves of his life.
The sixth of John Fords many epics starring John Wayne, this is not among the very best but Wayne is very good as the hard cavalryman renewing ties with his wife and the newly posted son he scarcely knows while fighting the Indians on the magnificent Southwestern prairies. Fords appreciation of landscapes and men of honour has never been richer and despite this starting out as a Western quickie to satisfy studio bosses before he could make The Quiet Man, it still has all of Fords trademarks, all his class, if not all of his attention. Essential viewing for Ford and Wayne fans, which shouldnt leave too many viewers left over.
Sumptuous, skilful, but not as soulful as John Ford's classics, Rio Grande still soars above most Westerns.