7.6/10
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44 user 25 critic

Westward the Women (1951)

Not Rated | | Drama, Western | 31 December 1951 (USA)
A trail guide escorts a group of women from Chicago to California to marry men that have recently began settling there.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Charles Schnee (screenplay), Frank Capra (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Taylor ... Buck Wyatt
Denise Darcel ... Fifi Danon
Hope Emerson ... Patience Hawley
John McIntire ... Roy Whitman
Julie Bishop ... Laurie Smith
Lenore Lonergan Lenore Lonergan ... Maggie O'Malley
Henry Nakamura ... Ito Kentaro
Marilyn Erskine ... Jean Johnson
Beverly Dennis Beverly Dennis ... Rose Meyers
Renata Vanni Renata Vanni ... Mrs. Moroni
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Storyline

In a time when "The West" pretty much ends in Texas and only California is slowly being populated by the white men, there's a severe lack of women among the workers on Roy Whitman's farm in the California Valley. So he goes back east to Chicago to recruit 150 women willing to become wives for his employees. From the candidates he selects 138 who seem able to survive a months long journey across "The Great American Desert" and the Rocky Mountains. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The BIG M-G-M Spectacle!

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

31 December 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pioneer Women See more »

Filming Locations:

Death Valley, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,203,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to his autobiography, Frank Capra had planned to direct the film himself and cast Gary Cooper in the lead, but later sold his story to his neighbor, director William A. Wellman. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, which was supposed to be set in 1851, Buck is using, what appears to be, a Colt 45 Peacemaker. Only problem is, this type of revolver was not invented until the 1870's. See more »

Quotes

Roy E. Whitman: One man's eye for beauty is another man's eyesore!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The MGM lion, instead of roaring, is frozen in place. See more »

Alternate Versions

Avalable in a colorized version on home video from Turner/MGM Home Video. Like many colorized versions of films, it was not authorized nor approved by anyone who worked on the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Paul Aguirre (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

To The West! To The West!
By Henry Russell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of my all-time favorites
14 June 2008 | by MartianOctocretr5See all my reviews

A brilliant slice of pioneer-era Americana. In no other movie that comes to mind was there such a realistic portrayal of the Old West and its numerous perils than in this faithfully told story of pioneer women crossing the harsh western U.S. wilderness of 1850 from Missouri to California.

The ladies are responding to an ad placed by a leader (on behalf of several other men) in a pioneer settlement out in California for wives. These tenderfoot ladies may be looking for husbands, but there's nothing "weak" about them at all. They not only bravely face the hardships, dangers, and tragedies of the journey, but they soon learn how to handle their own with toughness and grit.

The story unfolds clearly due to a finely structured and developed script. The intertwining stories are well told and well acted. The mostly female cast are all strong, and Robert Taylor as "Buck," the guide and leader of the wagon train seems to enjoy the task of having dozens of female leads surrounding him. John McIntyre as the patriarchal Mr. Whitman (who hires Buck) is good, while Buck's friend, confidant, and comic-relief guy Ito is also a well-rounded character.

The ending is one of the most heartwarming ever in a western; this is the kind of movie that can be watched over and over again.


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