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How the West Was Won 

The Macahans, a family from Virginia, headed by Zeb Macahan, travel across the country to pioneer a new land and a new home in the American West.

Creators:

Jim Byrnes, Al Ruddy
Reviews
Popularity
1,078 ( 131)

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



3   2   1  
1979   1978   1977   1976  
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
James Arness ...  Zeb Macahan / ... 26 episodes, 1976-1979
Bruce Boxleitner ...  Luke Macahan / ... 26 episodes, 1976-1979
Kathryn Holcomb Kathryn Holcomb ...  Laura Macahan / ... 26 episodes, 1976-1979
William Kirby Cullen William Kirby Cullen ...  Josh Macahan / ... 26 episodes, 1976-1979
Vicki Schreck Vicki Schreck ...  Jessie Macahan / ... 26 episodes, 1976-1979
Fionnula Flanagan ...  Molly Culhane 22 episodes, 1978-1979
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Storyline

Episodes revolving around the Macahan family as they try to fulfill their dream of going to Oregon. They run into many setbacks along the way and are forced to delay their move many times as a result. Common wild west themes and characters abound, such as Native Americans and crazy mountain men. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 January 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Macahans See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

MGM Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Russian hunting expedition that served as the basis for conflict with the Sioux tribes of the Dakotas in this mini-series, was based on an actual highly publicized state visit to the U.S. by Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia in 1871 to 1872. This mini-series fictionalized the historic meeting amongst the Sioux, the visiting Russians, and their U.S. Army hosts into fabricated subplots of hostility and violence that devolved into a melodramatic tale of poaching, kidnapping, murder, political crisis, warfare, and genocide before the absurdity reaches its climax with a ritual suicide. Thankfully, history records a far more benign encounter with the Sioux during the Grand Duke's visit. U.S. Army preparations for the hunt were conducted well in advance of the Russian hunting expedition. The assistance of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody was employed in negotiations with the Sioux. Rather than being itinerant poachers on Sioux lands, as utilized in this mini-series, the U.S. government provided the Sioux tribes under Chief Spotted Tail with a wagon train containing tons of coffee, sugar, tobacco, and other provisions in exchange for the use of the Sioux hunting grounds. Chief Spotted Tail and hundreds of warriors greeted the expedition at its camp, and received the Grand Duke and his party as guests of the Sioux nation. Not only did the Sioux approve of the hunt, they participated in it, being eager to demonstrate their style of horsemanship and marksmanship to the "great white chief from across the water." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rederiet: Wild Wild East (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
How The West Was Won is one of the best westerns ever made; Jim Arness' best work.
23 July 2006 | by slfreedjafreedSee all my reviews

Few shows (mini-series) except for "Centennial" have depicted the gritty realism of the west as well as How The West Was Won. Jim Arness brought the character of Zeb Macahan to life / bigger, rougher and tougher than Matt Dillon could have ever hoped to be. I have the entire multi-season mini series, including the premiere movie, on 15 year old VHS tapes that are losing their quality. I wish the series would be released on DVD in a boxed set. Gunsmoke has been released, and considering some of the awful shows that HAVE been released I don't know why they don't. Does anyone know the status of this situation? I would like to find out who produced the series and perhaps recommend that there is a large audience out there for this kind of DVD release. Perhaps Jim Arness' website could help.


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