Cavalry in popular culture, such as movies and TV shows.
The Cavalry in pop culture.
Cavalry has been a part of human warfare for centuries, and its impact can be seen in various forms of popular culture, including movies and TV shows. In this blog post, we will explore the role of cavalry in popular culture and how it has been depicted in various media.
The Cavalry in Movies
The U.S. Cavalry has played a significant role in American military history, and its impact can be seen in various forms of popular culture, including movies. From classic Westerns to modern war films, the cavalry has been a popular theme in movies for decades. Let’s explore the role of the U.S. Cavalry in movies and how it has been depicted in various films.
In the movie "Dances With Wolves," the role of the cavalry is significant and central to the story. Set during the American Civil War era, the cavalry represents the military presence and authority of the United States government on the western frontier.
The protagonist, Lieutenant John J. Dunbar (played by Kevin Costner), is a Union Army officer who is assigned to a remote outpost on the Great Plains. Initially, he anticipates a hostile Native American presence but instead encounters the Sioux tribe. Dunbar develops a deep appreciation for their culture, forms a bond with them, and eventually assimilates into their community, taking on the name "Dances With Wolves."
Another classic Western movie that features the U.S. Cavalry is "The Searchers" (1956), also directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne. The movie tells the story of a Civil War veteran who embarks on a quest to rescue his niece from a Comanche tribe. The U.S. Cavalry plays a supporting role in the movie, but their presence highlights the conflict between the Native Americans and the white settlers and their efforts to establish dominance in the West.
In more recent years, the U.S. Cavalry has been featured in modern war movies, such as "We Were Soldiers" (2002). The movie is based on the true story of the Battle of Ia Drang during the Vietnam War and features the U.S. Cavalry as one of the main forces involved in the battle. The movie depicts the U.S. Cavalry as a modern and highly skilled force, using helicopters and advanced weaponry to fight the enemy.
In the movie "Apocalypse Now," the cavalry, specifically the U.S. Army's Air Cavalry, plays a central and symbolic role. The film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is a Vietnam War epic that explores the dark and chaotic nature of war.
The Air Cavalry, represented by the 1st Cavalry Division, is depicted as a powerful and dominant force within the conflict. They are known for their use of helicopters and aerial tactics, highlighting the modern warfare strategies employed during the Vietnam War.
The main character, Captain Benjamin L. Willard (played by Martin Sheen), is assigned a top-secret mission to locate and assassinate Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (played by Marlon Brando), a decorated officer who has gone rogue deep in the Cambodian jungle. The mission takes Willard and his crew on a dangerous journey up the Nung River.
Another modern war movie that features the U.S. Cavalry is "12 Strong" (2018), which tells the story of the first U.S. soldiers who were sent to Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks. The movie follows a group of U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers, including members of the U.S. Cavalry, as they work with local Afghan forces to defeat the Taliban. The movie portrays the U.S. Cavalry as a highly skilled and dedicated force, willing to risk their lives to protect their country and its interests.
The Cavalry in TV shows
The U.S. Cavalry has also played a prominent role in various TV shows, from classic Westerns to modern dramas. The cavalry has been depicted in various ways, from a heroic and noble force to a flawed and sometimes corrupt institution. We will explore the role of the U.S. Cavalry in TV shows and how it has been depicted over the years.
One of the most iconic TV shows that featured the U.S. Cavalry is "The Lone Ranger" (1949-1957). The show told the story of a masked lawman and his Native American companion, who travel through the Wild West fighting injustice and corruption. The U.S. Cavalry plays a supporting role in the show, often appearing as a force for good, dedicated to protecting American citizens from bandits and other threats.
Another classic Western TV show that featured the U.S. Cavalry is "Gunsmoke" (1955-1975). The show tells the story of a U.S. Marshal, Matt Dillon, and his efforts to maintain law and order in the Wild West. The U.S. Cavalry appears in several episodes, often depicted as a noble and heroic force, dedicated to protecting American citizens from danger and maintaining peace on the frontier.
In more recent years, the U.S. Cavalry has been featured in modern Western TV shows, such as "Hell on Wheels" (2011-2016). The show tells the story of the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1860s and the conflicts that arise between the workers, the Native American tribes, and the U.S. Cavalry. The U.S. Cavalry is depicted as a complex and sometimes flawed institution, torn between its duty to protect American citizens and its responsibility to uphold the law and treat Native Americans fairly.
Another modern TV show that features the U.S. Cavalry is "Westworld" (2016-2020). The show is set in a futuristic theme park where guests can interact with lifelike robots that are programmed to play out various Western scenarios. The U.S. Cavalry appears in several episodes, often depicted as a violent and oppressive force, intent on maintaining control over the park and its inhabitants.
The Cavalry in Video Games
The U.S. Cavalry has also made appearances in video games, often serving as a key element in games set in the Wild West or in military-themed games. Keep reading to explore how the U.S. Cavalry has been portrayed in video games and its role in gameplay.
One of the most iconic video games featuring the U.S. Cavalry is "Red Dead Redemption" (2010), an open-world game set in the early 20th century. Players take on the role of John Marston, a former outlaw who is forced to work for the government to bring his former gang members to justice. The U.S. Cavalry plays a significant role in the game, appearing as a powerful and intimidating force, often in opposition to the player. Players may encounter U.S. Cavalry soldiers while engaging in missions, and they may choose to either fight them or surrender.
Another video game that features the U.S. Cavalry is "Call of Duty: Black Ops" (2010), a first-person shooter game set during the Cold War. The game's multiplayer mode features a game type called "Wager Match," where players can bet their in-game currency on their performance. One of the Wager Match modes, called "One in the Chamber," pits players against each other armed only with a single-shot pistol and a knife. When a player is killed, they respawn with a single bullet in their pistol. However, if they manage to kill an opponent, they can take that opponent's bullet. One of the skins available in this mode is a U.S. Cavalry uniform.
In the "Assassin's Creed" franchise, which is set in various historical periods, the U.S. Cavalry appears in "Assassin's Creed III" (2012), set during the American Revolution. The U.S. Cavalry appears in several missions, often depicted as a powerful and intimidating force, and players may choose to either fight them or avoid them.
The U.S. Cavalry has also been featured in more strategy-oriented games, such as "Age of Empires III" (2005). The game is set during the colonization of the Americas, and players can choose to play as the U.S. Cavalry, which is depicted as a powerful military force that can help players conquer territory and defeat enemies.
The Cavalry in music
Throughout history, the cavalry has been a symbol of strength and power. It's no surprise that this image has made its way into music, with numerous songs dedicated to the men and horses of the cavalry. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the most popular songs featuring the cavalry.
One of the most iconic songs about the cavalry is "Garryowen," a traditional Irish tune that was adopted by the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army as its official song. The melody is upbeat and energetic, and it has been used in numerous films and TV shows to evoke a sense of adventure and excitement. The song's name comes from the Irish word "Gaelic," meaning "white boy," and it was popularized during the American Indian Wars of the late 19th century.
Another classic song featuring the cavalry is "The Cavalry Song," also known as "Sabre and Spurs." The song was composed by John Philip Sousa, the famous composer of patriotic marches, and it was first performed in 1928. The song's lyrics describe the bravery and skill of the cavalry soldiers, and the stirring melody has made it a popular choice for military ceremonies and parades.
In the country music genre, there are several songs that pay tribute to the cavalry, including "Ghost Riders in the Sky" by Johnny Cash and "The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde" by Merle Haggard. "Ghost Riders in the Sky" tells the story of a cowboy who sees a herd of cattle being chased by ghostly riders, and he realizes that he is witnessing a battle between good and evil. The song's chorus, "Yippie-yi-yay, ghost riders in the sky," has become a popular catchphrase.
"The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde" tells the story of the infamous outlaw couple and their run-ins with the law, including a shootout with the Texas Rangers. The song's lyrics include the line, "With his Winchester rifle and his old slouch hat, he led the Texas Rangers on." The song's catchy melody and vivid storytelling have made it a beloved classic in the country music canon.
In the rock genre, there are also songs featuring the cavalry, such as "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden. The song tells the story of a cavalry soldier charging into battle, and the galloping rhythm and driving guitar riffs create a sense of urgency and excitement. The song's chorus, "You'll take my life but I'll take yours too, you'll fire your musket but I'll run you through," captures the bravery and tenacity of the cavalry soldier.
The cavalry has inspired countless songs in a variety of genres, from traditional Irish tunes to country ballads to heavy metal anthems. These songs capture the spirit of adventure, bravery, and patriotism associated with the cavalry, and they continue to be popular with audiences around the world. Whether you're a fan of traditional folk music or hard-hitting rock, there's a cavalry song out there for everyone.
In conclusion, the role of the cavalry in popular culture has been significant, with movies, TV shows, and video games depicting cavalry charges as epic and heroic events. From the Wild West to ancient battlefields, to current military service, cavalry units have played a crucial role in warfare. Their bravery, their tenacity, and role in our history solidifies the cavalry’s continued place in American popular culture.