Search Museum of the Moving Image

Loading Events


Sergeant Rutledge

Friday, Feb 11 at 7:00 pm

Location: Redstone Theater

Dir. John Ford. 1960, 111 mins. 35mm. With Woody Strode, Jeffrey Hunter, Constance Towers.  Though he wasn’t given top billing, Strode stands at the center of John Ford’s 19th-century courtroom drama—belatedly, the first Hollywood Western to feature a Black hero. When an officer is murdered and his daughter beaten and raped in a U.S. Army fort, African-American sergeant Braxton Rutledge (Strode) stands accused. Army attorney Tom Cantrell (Hunter) comes to his defense. Ford insisted on casting the largely unknown actor in the role, resulting in a friendship that continued in three subsequent films and lasted through the director’s final days. “That old man not only directed me, he split my personality. I almost had a nervous breakdown doing Sergeant Rutledge, but it helped me become an actor,” Strode wrote in his memoir, Goal Dust. “He put me in the saddle. We became the closest friends because I was honest, strong, and crude. I reminded him of an earlier time in history, a time he was in love with. I became one of the few men that could call John Ford Papa.”

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.