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The Big Trail (1930)

Passed  -  Adventure | Western | Romance  -  1 November 1930 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,133 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 32 critic

Breck Coleman leads hundreds of settlers in covered wagons from the Mississippi River to their destiny out West.

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, (uncredited)

Writer:

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Title: The Big Trail (1930)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Marguerite Churchill ...
Ruth Cameron
El Brendel ...
Gus
Tully Marshall ...
Zeke
Tyrone Power Sr. ...
Red Flack (as Tyrone Power)
David Rollins ...
Dave Cameron
Frederick Burton ...
Pa Bascom
Ian Keith ...
Bill Thorpe
Charles Stevens ...
Lopez
Louise Carver ...
Gus's mother-in-law
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Important Picture Ever Produced


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Raoul Walsh's The Big Trail  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(35 mm) | (70 mm) | (FMC Library Print) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne's first movie role. Raoul Walsh was having trouble casting the movie when he saw Wayne taking furniture off a truck. Wayne worked for the studio in the prop department. See more »

Quotes

Red Flack, Wagon Boss: Well, if it ain't Bill Thorpe, hey? I always thought you was hung and planted, I expect.
Bill Thorpe: No, my time ain't arrived yet.
Red Flack, Wagon Boss: But it looks as though it might be drawing close.
Bill Thorpe: Well, I've been promised a hanging bee if I don't get out on the Penzy Belle, and the Captain promised me a necktie party if I set foot on the boat. It's a case of nowhere to go.
Red Flack, Wagon Boss: It appears to me you do your shooting by daylight with too many people looking on, hey?
See more »

Connections

Edited into New Frontier (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of the Big Trail
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by James F. Hanley
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Big, gritty and ... wide screen in 1930?
14 August 2001 | by (Severna Park, MD) – See all my reviews

John Wayne's first starring role just blew me away. Televised letterbox style on AMC, I had to check and make sure I had the right date. Sure enough, this 1930 film was made using a 55 mm wide-screen process. Aside from that, it features some of the grittiest, most realistic footage of the trek west I've seen. Wagons, men and animals are really lowered down a cliff face by rope. Trees are chopped by burly men -- and burly women -- so the train can move another 10 feet. The Indians are not the "pretty boy" city slickers who portrayed them later; they're the real deal. A river crossing in a driving rain storm is so realistic, it has to be real (In fact, I understand that director Raoul Walsh nearly lost the entire cast during this sequence). I could smell the wet canvas. Each day is an agony. The various sub-plots are forgettable but the film as a whole is not. I can't think of another title that can beat The Big Trail in evoking a sense of living history on the trail to Oregon. Bravo.


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