Tom Brown shows up at Harvard, confident and a bit arrogant. He becomes a rival of Bob McAndrew, not only in football and rowing crew, but also for the affections of Mary Abbott, a ... See full summary »
John Drury saves Duke, a wild horse accused of murder, and trains him. When he discovers that the real murderer, a bad guy known as The Hawk, is the town's leading citizen, Drury arrested on a fraudulent charge.
Pecos Grant rides into a strange town only to find that everyone recognizes him, not as Pecos Grant, but as a presumed-dead man named Rawlins. Even Rawlins' wife thinks her husband has come back. Pecos sets out to solve the mystery.
Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros.
Texas cattle baron Stiles killed John Clayborn's parents ten years earlier. Now a lawyer, Clayborn tries legally to break up Stiles' water monopoly and rustling operation. When that fails he must use force.
Cullen has hired Tom to try and stop the robberies on his railroad. Knowing Cullen's secretary Holt is tipping off the gang, Tom works undercover by posing as a highwayman. To help him ... See full summary »
Architect Gordon Wales finds fellow apartmenthouse resident Joan Marsh locked out and flirts with her. When she is murdered evidence points to him. He and Joan's roommate Noreen become ... See full summary »
Breck leads a wagon train of pioneers through Indian attack, storms, deserts, swollen rivers, down cliffs and so on while looking for the murder of a trapper and falling in love with Ruth. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Incredibly, six different versions of this film were shot simultaneously. (1) a 70mm version in the Grandeur process for exhibition in the biggest movie palaces; (2) a standard 35mm version for general release; (3) a 35mm alternate French language version La piste des géants (1931)' (4) a 35 mm alternate Spanish language version La gran jornada (1931),(5) a 35 mm alternate German language version Die große Fahrt (1931)and (6) a 35mm alternate Italian language version Il grande sentiero (1931). The four alternate language versions were shot with (mostly) different casts. See more »
In the last scene where Breck and Ruth are reunited, Breck comes up the trail and is seen by Ruth. A close up of Breck shows him carrying his rifle in his right hand. Breck starts to run to meet Ruth.
The shot shifts to a distant shot as we watch Ruth and Breck running to each other. Breck's rifle is now slung over his shoulder. See more »
The last outpost, the turning back place for the weak; the starting place for the strong.
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Critics generally pan this flick, probably because of its crudeness, clichés and caricatures. The critics are wrong. What we are watching in "The Big Trail" is the closest to the history of the American west that we will ever see, outside the silent classics of William S. Hart.
Early movies could use or consult people WHO HAD BEEN THERE. Of course, USC quarterback John Wayne, or even Irish thespian Tyrone Power, Sr. (who tried farming and hated it) are exceptions, but there is a ring of authenticity with "The Big Trail" which you can't get second hand. And if those aren't real plains Indians by the hundreds, I'll eat my breech clout!
And the scenery! Unfortunately, cinematographers hadn't mastered filters, so the sky is always washed out, and dust and haze obscure the deep focus. But even these limitations paradoxically serve to provide a feel of endless horizons. And the locations are spectacular, especially the Indian village, which is so enormous that at first I thought half of it was backdrop. Then, there is the spectacular rope drop of animals and equipment down an escarpment that could have inspired Herzog's "Fizcarraldo".
Of course, the acting is hammy and dialog corny, but remember, The Big Trail is from 1930 and that early sound movies had yet to evolve fully from silent film technique, which called for pantomime, with its exaggerated facial expression and movement. Also bear in mind that the style of reading lines came directly from the theater stage from which lines, lacking voice amplification, were delivered as oratory to be heard in the back rows.
Robert Flaherty in his landmark documentary "Nanuk of the North" actually set up his scenes dramatically. He was by no means a fly on the wall. If Flaherty could have made a documentary about the epic journey of a pioneer wagon train through the great Western prairies, I doubt if he could have achieved much greater impact than "The Big Trail".
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