American History films

"In Pursuit of Honor" complete 1930s U.S. Army Cavalry TV-Movie

A made-for-cable HBO original movie which first aired on March 18, 1995.

It was directed by actor Ken Olin and stars Don Johnson, Craig Sheffer, Gabrielle Anwar, the
greats Bob Gunton and Rod Steiger.

The story centers on a United States Army Cavalry detachment in 1934 - refusing to slaughter hundreds of army horses after being ordered to do so by General Douglas MacArthur. The movie follows the plight of the officers as they disobey a direct order to escape with the horses and lead them to Canada - now pursued by the military, but now the bullets aren't just aimed at the horses.

As soldiers they were taught to fight for honor. As men they were willing to die for it in an attempt to save the animals that the Army no longer needs as it modernizes toward a mechanized military. The movie claims to be based on a true story but without firm evidence to support the claim. Perhaps, It was based on a story that was told by cowboys to writer Dennis Lynton Clark. The cowboys were working on his father's ranch in Montana during the 1940s.

Research conducted at the U.S. Army Center of Military History and the records at the MacArthur Memorial show no record of a slaughter of horses as alleged in the film, or any order or plan for such destruction.

Nonetheless, this is a very well made and surprisingly authentic TV-movie from the 1990s, and a great story - even if largely fiction.

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