Forts in Westerns

Nicholas Chennault ~ August 20, 2014

Forts in Westerns


Forts are the natural settings for cavalry movies, and the movie title often contains the name of a fort to convey that it is a cavalry movie.  As the popularity of cavalry movies waned in the late 1960s, these “fort” names for movies disappeared.

Fort Apache (1948)
Fort Defiance (1951)
Fort Osage (1951)
Fort Worth (1951)
Fort Vengeance (1953)
Escape from Fort Bravo (1953)
Fort Yuma (1955)
Revolt at Fort Laramie (1957)
Fort Bowie (1957)
Guns of Fort Petticoat (1957)
Fort Dobbs (1958)
Fort Massacre (1959)
Fort Courageous (1965)
Fort Utah (1967)


Fictional Forts in Movies

Most stories for movies are fictional, although some, like Broken Arrow or Geronimo:  An American Legend, are based on fact.  Many westerns, especially cavalry westerns, used the names of actual historical military installations in the American west, but many of the names of forts were fictional as well.  The following is a partial list of fictional forts used in westerns.

Fort Apache (Fort Apache)
Fort Stark (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon)
Fort Gamble and Fort Craig (Ambush)
Fort Thorne, a real fort in New Mexico, but it was abandoned in 1859, before the Civil War (Two Flags West)
Fort Bravo (Escape From Fort Bravo)
Fort McCullough (They Rode West)
Fort Vengeance (Fort Vengeance)
Fort Crane (Fort Massacre)
Fort Dobbs (Fort Dobbs)
Fort Shallan and Fort Medford (The Last Frontier)

Fort Jefflin (The Wonderful Country)
Fort Canby (A Thunder of Drums). The real Fort Canby was in Washington state, named for a general killed in the Modoc War.
Fort Delivery (A Distant Trumpet)
Fort Benlin (Major Dundee)
Fort Creel and Fort Concho (there was a real Fort Concho in Texas, but not in Arizona) (Duel at Diablo)
Fort Clendennon (Chuka)

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