The second act of yesterday morning's AMC Cowboy was the John Ford directed film The Horse Soldiers starring a very gruff John Wayne and William Holden. I had no idea just how much smaller Holden is to Wayne but when they went toe to toe after a verbal spat that has Holden flipping a cup of coffee in Wayne's face, it was obvious that Holden was David to Wayne's Goliath. What a nice film. Not actually a western per say, but a war film set during the Civil War to be exact. I enjoyed both Wayne and Holden in this. Both are so manly and take no sh*t from anyone. Playing Union soldiers sent behind Confederate lines to break up their rail system. Along the way they pick up a southern belle who is held by the company for her southern sympathies. True to form though the cutie eventually falls for both Wayne and Holden. Wayne sure tussles her around some throughout though. A man's man for sure. Holden actually plays the company doctor and many of his procedures on the injured involve learned practices of the Native Americans and such. It must have been rough to endure injury during that war! No morphine or even a damned Percocet! Even John Wayne has to slug on a bottle to get through having a bullet plucked from his calf. He grits his teeth through it though and is back on his horse for the final charge! A man's man. I loved the scene were the young confederate school cadets who had to be pre-teens led a charge against Wayne's troops. All they could do was retreat since, who could kill a child? Having seen John Ford's The Quiet Man starring Wayne back in film class at B.Y.U. with my college sweetheart I knew he was renowned as a director. It shows even in this rather light weight war film. The cinematography captured rural south locales vividly. Many traditional musical pieces were thrown in as well. I am a novice with older western films and Wayne in general. Sure I have seen some of his films but for some reason I have never been a huge fan. Probably for the plain reason that his films never really dug deep into the actual depiction of violence and aftermath of. Rather innocent actually. I think now though I can finally find some real enjoyment in these wonderfully wholesome films Wayne made back then without any bias. A sign of age and a need for calm. Anyone seen this film and care to comment. God bless AMC!