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Rough Riders is a 1997 film, directed by John Milius, recounting the story of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, better known as the Rough Riders, led by Theodore Roosevelt during the Spanish-American War in 1898. The film opens with the sinking of the USS Maine and the United States' resulting declaration of war against Spain. Roosevelt (played by Tom Berenger) views the war as an opportunity for him and his fellow cowboys and ranchers to prove their valor and defend their country. After being turned down by the War Department for his idea of forming a volunteer cavalry, Roosevelt seeks the help of his old friend General Leonard Wood (played by Sam Elliott), who agrees to help him recruit men for the unit.
Together, they assemble a ragtag group of men from all walks of life - cowboys, hunters, gamblers, and adventurers - who are eager to fight for their country. Among them are the infamous sharpshooter and showman Buffalo Bill Cody (played by Peter Coyote) and the eccentric, sharp-tongued politician and humorist William Randolph Hearst (played by Brian Keith).
Once they arrive in Cuba, the Rough Riders face numerous challenges, from lack of supplies and equipment to harsh weather and hostile terrain. Along the way, they encounter dangerous enemies, including the fierce Spanish troops led by General Arsenio Linares (played by Eduardo Noriega) and the ruthless Cuban guerrilla leader Calixto Garcia (played by Gary Busey).
Despite these obstacles, the Rough Riders prove their worth in battle, earning the respect of their fellow soldiers and the admiration of the American people back home. Roosevelt emerges as a brave and inspiring leader, willing to lead his men into battle and share their hardships on the front lines.
The film captures the spirit of the times, portraying the Rough Riders as a symbol of American courage, daring, and patriotism. It also offers a glimpse into the personality of Theodore Roosevelt, one of the most dynamic and influential figures in American history.
Overall, Rough Riders is a thrilling and historically accurate account of a pivotal moment in American military history. With an outstanding cast, breathtaking cinematography, and stirring action sequences, it captures the grit, determination, and heroism of the Rough Riders and their impact on the world stage.
Rough Riders is a 1997 drama. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3.