John Farrow directs John “The Duke” Wayne as Hondo, an anti-social half-breed who splits his time between the white man and the Apache. Preferring the company of Indians, Hondo develops an unlikely friendship with a New Mexico farm wife (Geraldine Page), who, thanks to a gallivanting husband, spends most of her time alone. Page’s performance — her first film role — was good enough to earn her an Oscar nomination.
“Hondo” includes some fine performances by John “Duke” Wayne and Geraldine Page as the woman whose husband has left her, and who could be happy with Hondo if her husband is truly gone. Hondo suspects the Apaches might have gotten to him. Although a bit violent for its time, “Hondo” does not become gratuitous nor graphic (except for a speared dog scene) but it does include several scenes of fighting or shooting. A young boy also takes a liking to Hondo, who is concerned about the woman and boy living near the Apaches but far from town.
The movie incorporates good themes like being responsible and treating others well. It has enough action to keep even modern day audiences interested, and we are happy to award it our Dove Seal.