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 »
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>
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 »
Good accuracy on most of the equipment and clothing. The leading characters' make-up was almost clown-like and over-acting was running rampant, but that was the norm of the time and cannot really be criticized. What cannot be excused is the pathetically weak and insipid story line.
Jim Bridger's only surviving child, Virginia K. Bridger Wachsman Hahn, reacted violently after viewing Tully Marshall's portrayal of her father in the then newly-released `The Covered Wagon' in 1923. She instituted a $1,000,000 libel action against the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, charging that they wrongfully depicted her father as a drunkard and a man of questionable morals, defaming his character and casting a stain upon her birth.
Judge Albert L. Reeves, of the federal court at Kansas City, sustained a demurrer filed by the defendants on the grounds no one could recover damages for defamation of the character of an ancestor, setting the precendent for Hollywood's dismal record of accuracy in its portrayal of historic personages.
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