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 ...
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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,
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Sisif, a railwayman, and his son Elie fall in love with the beautiful Norma (who Sisif rescued from a train crash when a baby and raised as his daughter), with tragic results. Originally ... See full summary »
Gabriel de Gravone
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 »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lois Wilson was extremely impressed by the Native Americans who were hired as extras. "You never had to re-take an Indian shot" she said of how authentic they were. See more »
Jim Bridger is presented in this film as being a bigamist with two Indian wives. Bridger actually married three times, all to Indian women, but the first died before he married the second and the second died before he married the third. See more »
Unfortunately time has not been particularly kind to this slow moving curiosity piece about a wagon train of pioneers headed to Oregon. The story is ordinary, the characters, not surprisingly, strictly archetypes, from the noble but modest hero (the incredibly dull J. Warren Kerrigan), to the wide eyed heroine (pretty but bland Lois Wilson), who never can seem to make up her mind who she prefers, Noble Hero (who has a rumored tarnished past) or conniving bad guy fiancée (Alan Hale, yes, I said Alan Hale, without a sign of a smile on his face). The audience is way ahead of the double minded lady as to whom she will finally choose.
James Cruze directed the production and failed to enliven or distinguish any of the much needed action sequences, whether it be a big scene, an Indian attack on the wagon train, or a smaller one (a fist fight between Kerrigan and Hale).
The film is noteworthy, however, for its photography, and in showing the far flung vistas on the horizon, does convey a sense of bigness. Also enlivening the film to a degree are the performances of Tully Marshall as a fur trapper and, in particular, Ernest Torrence as a grizzled wagon scout, stereotypes as they may be. Torrence and Marshall are entertaining enough that eight years later they would be reunited for essentially the same roles in a 1931 wagon train tale of negligible entertainment value, Fighting Caravans.
The Covered Wagon might have been considered to be a big deal for the film world in 1923 but today this trip put west is, I'm sorry to say, is just not a standout. Maybe I just expected more because Paramount silent are so hard to find and, many times, they really are standouts.
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