IMDb > The Covered Wagon (1923)
The Covered Wagon
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The Covered Wagon (1923) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Emerson Hough (novel)
Jack Cunningham (adaptation)
View company contact information for The Covered Wagon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 September 1924 (USA) See more »
Indian Attacks, Prairie Fires, Fording of Swollen Streams, a Great Buffalo Hunt, Dramatic Situations Galore---All Go to Make Up "The Covered Wagon" See more »
Two wagon caravans converge at what is now Kansas City, and combine for the westward push to Oregon... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins See more »
(10 articles)
User Reviews:
Circle the Wagons See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

J. Warren Kerrigan ... Will Banion

Lois Wilson ... Molly Wingate

Alan Hale ... Sam Woodhull

Ernest Torrence ... William Jackson

Tully Marshall ... Jim Bridger
Ethel Wales ... Mrs. Wingate

Charles Ogle ... Jesse Wingate
Guy Oliver ... Kit Carson
Johnny Fox ... Jed Wingate
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

James Cruze ... Indian (scenes deleted)

Frank Albertson ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Chief Thunderbird ... Indian (uncredited)
Constance Wilson ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Directed by
James Cruze 
Writing credits
Emerson Hough (novel)

Jack Cunningham (adaptation)

Produced by
Jesse L. Lasky .... producer
Original Music by
Manny Baer (uncredited)
Hugo Riesenfeld (uncredited)
J.S. Zamecnik (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Karl Brown 
Film Editing by
Dorothy Arzner 
Costume Design by
Howard Greer 
Art Department
Delmer Daves .... props
Jack Padjan .... stunt double: J. Warren Kerrigan (as Jack Padjeon)
Spike Spackman .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Edwin W. Willat .... still photographer
Irvin Willat .... assistant camera
Music Department
Hugo Riesenfeld .... music arranger
Other crew
Ennice G. Anderson .... historical advisor
Tim McCoy .... liaison: Indians
A.E. Sheldon .... historical advisor
Yakima Jim .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Ed Jones .... technical advisor (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
98 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Portugal:17 (director's cut)

Did You Know?

A recording of the music for this film was made using the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film process. Some sources say the entire film was scored and recorded in this process, but other sources say only a couple of reels were recorded as an experiment. See also Bella Donna (1923).See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in The Pie-Covered Wagon (1932)See more »


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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Circle the Wagons, 23 September 1999
Author: Brian J. Smith from Gloucester, Ontario, Canada

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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