Springfield, Illinois. Brandon, a surveyor, dreams of building a railway to the west, but Marsh, a contractor, is sceptical. Abraham Lincoln looks on as their children, Davy Brandon and ... See full summary »
Ellen McHugh, a poor Irish immigrant to America, finds work in a carnival and is thus able to send her son Brian to a fine school. But when her position is found out, the school expels ... See full summary »
Philippe De Lacy,
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 »
Springfield, Illinois. Brandon, a surveyor, dreams of building a railway to the west, but Marsh, a contractor, is sceptical. Abraham Lincoln looks on as their children, Davy Brandon and Miriam Marsh, play together. Brandon sets off with Davy to survey a route. They discover a new pass which will shave 200 miles off the expected distance, but they are set upon by a party of Cheyenne. One of them, a white renegade with only two fingers on his right hand, kills Brandon and scalps him. Davy buries his father... Years pass. It is 1862 and Lincoln signs the bill authorizing construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways. Marsh is principal contractor and Miriam is engaged to Jesson, the chief engineer... Crews of Chinese, Italians, and Irish work to build the railway while resisting Indian attack. When the pay train is delayed by Indian ambush, the Italians go on strike. Miriam persuades them to return to work... Marsh needs to find a shortcut through the Black Hills. To ... Written by
During the title sequence before the film starts, a dedication is given to George Stephenson the father of the railway locomotive. Unfortunately it describes Stephenson as Scottish, when in fact he is an Englishman, born in Wylam Northumberland in 1781. See more »
The Union Pacific steam engine at the Golden Spike ceremony was the UP119, not the UP116. See more »
Since I live in Cheyenne, WY this type of movie really appeals to me. As all historians know, various towns along the route of this railroad (which coincides quite closely to interstate 80 in Wyoming) were made during its construction. Cheyenne and Rock Springs (because of its coal mining) were especially notable.
I had seen this movie several years ago and was delighted to see it being broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies channel. Perhaps they will re-broadcast it again in the future.
This movie, while not completely accurate historically, certainly gives an idea of the magnitude of the endeavor being undertaken. And it does feature a real locomotive which operated on the railroad during the period portrayed. Historical buffs definitely should not be swayed from enjoying this title simply because it may not strictly conform to history.
I won't go into the story except to say that the various sub-plots keep the viewer very entertained. This was a very well-done movie in my opinion. Acting was very good. And the cinematography was very impressive.
Fans of either westerns or silent-era films certainly should not miss this one.
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