Two wagon caravans converge at what is now Kansas City, and combine for the westward push to Oregon. On their quest the pilgrims will experience desert heat, mountain snow, hunger, and ... See full summary »
The first part tells the story of Moses leading the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land, his receipt of the tablets and the worship of the golden calf. The second part shows the efficacy ... See full summary »
Cecil B. DeMille
Charles de Rochefort,
A young man is elected by a small village to be its parson. As part of his duties, he is required to marry the widow of the parson before him. This poses two problems--first, the widow is ... See full summary »
As Alice and Cora Munro attempt to find their father, a British officer in the French and Indian War, they are set upon by French soldiers and their cohorts, Huron tribesmen led by the evil... See full summary »
Michael "Beau" Geste leaves England in disgrace and joins the infamous French Foreign Legion. He is reunited with his two brothers in North Africa, where they face greater danger from their... See full summary »
Two wagon caravans converge at what is now Kansas City, and combine for the westward push to Oregon. On their quest the pilgrims will experience desert heat, mountain snow, hunger, and indian attack. To complicate matters further, a love triangle develops, as pretty Molly must chose between Sam, a brute, and Will, the dashing captain of the other caravan. Can Will overcome the skeleton in his closet and win Molly's heart? Written by
Thomas McWilliams <email@example.com>
Although there are scenes that show huge buffalo herds with what looks like thousands of animals, large buffalo herds didn't exist at the time this film was made (1923). The buffalo had been hunted almost to extinction during the late 19th century, with millions of them being slaughtered, and its numbers hadn't yet increased enough to comprise large herds. Cameraman Karl Brown used small lead castings of various sizes of buffalo, placed the larger ones toward the camera and used diminishing sizes in the background for depth. All the castings were mounted on a series of moving chains, those in the rear moving very slowly while the rows of chains moved increasingly faster as they neared the foreground. The castings were hinged so that they moved with an undulating motion, which made them appear to be actual buffalo running. The chains were placed out of view and the mechanical buffalo were placed in front of a painted background containing distant buffalo. The result was a scene of "thousands" of buffalo, when in reality most of them were basically statues. See more »
The first great western epic, The Covered Wagon established many of the cliches that appear in many subsequent westerns, both "A" and "B" features alike.
Here for the first time, we have the wagon train of eastern settlers trekking west in search of a new land and a new start. We have the circling of the wagons in preparation for the Indian attack, the attack itself and the ride to the rescue of the besieged wagons.
Cruze captures the feel of what a real wagon train journey must have been like. The long lines of slow moving covered wagons, the dusty trails, life and death situations on the prairie, as well as the celebrations around the campfire.
The sub-plot of boy-girl-villain is "B" western calibre, however, the players carry it of admirably. J. Warren Kerrigan as the hero is adequate but not memorable. The lovely Lois Wilson as the heroine and a young Alan Hale as the villain are much better. It is curious that the Cruze portrayed legendary mountain man Jim Bridger (Tully Marshall) as an absent-minded, liquor swilling comedy relief.
The ending is strictly Hollywood. Boy gets girl of course and the villain is defeated, but I thought that the final shoot-out left a little to be desired.
Despite its apparent faults, The Covered Wagon remains today as powerful a film as it must have been in 1923.
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