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The Way West (1967)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Western | 24 May 1967 (USA)
In 1843, a former U.S. Senator leads a wagon train of settlers to Oregon, but his megalomania leads to growing dissatisfaction with his leadership.

Director:

Andrew V. McLaglen

Writers:

Ben Maddow (screenplay), Mitch Lindemann (screenplay) (as Mitchell Lindemann) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Douglas ... Senator William J. Tadlock
Robert Mitchum ... Dick Summers
Richard Widmark ... Lije Evans
Lola Albright ... Rebecca 'Becky' Evans
Jack Elam ... Preacher Weatherby
Stubby Kaye ... Sam Fairman
Michael McGreevey ... Brownie Evans
Harry Carey Jr. ... Mr. McBee (as Harry Carey)
Connie Sawyer ... Mrs. McBee
Michael Witney Michael Witney ... Johnnie Mack
William Lundigan ... Michael Moynihan
Elisabeth Fraser ... Mrs. Fairman (as Elizabeth Fraser)
John Mitchum ... Little Henry
Patric Knowles ... Captain Grant
Hal Lynch Hal Lynch ... Big Henry
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Storyline

In the mid nineteenth century, Senator William J. Tadlock leads a group of settlers overland in a quest to start a new settlement in the Western U.S. Tadlock is a highly principled and demanding taskmaster who is as hard on himself as he is on those who have joined his wagon train. He clashes with one of the new settlers, Lije Evans, who doesn't quite appreciate Tadlock's ways. Along the way, the families must face death and heartbreak and a sampling of frontier justice when one of them accidentally kills a young Indian boy. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hang them for MURDER! Hang them for taking the WOMAN! But HANG them--or the SIOUX nation will BURY you! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 May 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Harold Hecht's The Way West See more »

Filming Locations:

Tucson, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Sally Field. See more »

Goofs

When the party reaches the river and the obviously parched settlers fall into the water to take a drink, the horses and other livestock seem to be curiously disinterested in doing so. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Mercy flirts silently with Brownie]
Lije Evans: Best not be lookin', Brownie.
Brownie Evans: I ain't lookin'... as hard as I can.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Introducing Sally Field as "Mercy" and introducing Katherine Justice. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Callan: Nice People Die at Home (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

The Way West (Finale)
Composed by Bronislau Kaper
Performed by The Serendipity Singers
Conducted by André Previn
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Considering the considerable cast, I expected more...though it's not bad.
30 December 2011 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This western is very unusual in that it features three top leading men--Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum and Richard Widmark. Now you'd think with all this high-octane masculinity and acting that this would be a terrific film, well, you'd be wrong. While it isn't a bad film, it does suffer from a thoroughly adequate script--one that never seems to deliver the goods.

Douglas plays an ex-senator bent on starting the first white colony in Oregon in 1848. The problem is that he's not exactly 'Mr. Personality'--and his abrasive and autocratic ways rub everyone in the wagon train wrong. Can he get them all to his promised land or will the folks ditch him and make for California? Tune in and see.

For the most part, this is a pretty ordinary drama about settling the West. As for Douglas, he overacts more than usual (and what's with that whipping scene?!?!). Widmark's character is inconsistent and underwritten. The only lead who comes off well is Mitchum--as a weary Kit Carson-type. Aside from being pretty ordinary and predictable, the film did have a few pluses. There was nice cinematography and as a history teacher, I appreciated how they showed lots of mules, oxen and cows pulling the wagons--whereas most films only show horses (a mistake). But this isn't enough to raise it above mediocrity.


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