Called "an impressive and important film" by Variety, They Came To Cordura was hailed by critics as "the most disturbing war picture since The Bridge on the River Kwai." A timeless story of courage and cowardice set against the backdrop of the 1916 war against Pancho Villa. The film stars Gary Cooper as Thomas Thorn, a career Army officer given the humiliating task of leading five Medal of Honor candidates to the military base of Cordura, Texas. Branded a coward during the battle, Thorn hopes to learn what these men, each of whom performed heroically under fire, possess which he lacks. But as the grueling journey through the desert progresses, the "heroes" panic, attempting murder, mutiny and rape as the quest for survival reveals their true characters. Rita Hayworth, in a dramatic departure from her glamour-girl roles, co-stars as the seventh member of the group, an American expatriate accused of aiding the Mexicans. At first contemptuous of Thorn, she gradually comes to appreciate his quiet integrity as he leads his mutinous charges through a desperate, action-packed odyssey. Filled with both exciting battle scenes and finely-tuned drama, their treacherous trek to the town of Cordura (which is also the Spanish word for courage) is a rugged and riveting tale of bravery far more enduring than the fleeting heroics of battle.
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