MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,561 this week

The Big Trail (1930)

Passed  -  Adventure | Western | Romance  -  1 November 1930 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,151 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 32 critic

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

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writer:

(story)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Related News

Our Daily Bread #6
| MUBI
New DVD Blu-Ray: 'Brave,' 'The Watch'
| Moviefone

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 04 Mar 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 08 Jul 2011
 
a list of 29 titles
created 11 Sep 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 13 Oct 2012
 
list image
a list of 42 titles
created 13 Nov 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "The Big Trail" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Big Trail (1930)

The Big Trail (1930) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Big Trail.
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Phil and Pete compete for Mary's love and also in a contest for best song written by a college student.

Director: James Tinling
Stars: Lois Moran, David Percy, Helen Twelvetrees
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The Wrecker wrecks trains on the L & R Railroad. One of his victims is Larry Baker's father. Baker wants to find the evildoer, among a host of suspects, but it will be difficult since the ... See full summary »

Directors: J.P. McGowan, Armand Schaefer
Stars: Tully Marshall, Conway Tearle, John Wayne
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The Eagle uses sky writing to make threats against a corporation. Nathan Gregory owns a traveling fairground and is thought to be the Eagle. Craig McCoy is a pilot who goes looking for the Eagle when Gregory turns up missing.

Directors: Ford Beebe, B. Reeves Eason
Stars: John Wayne, Dorothy Gulliver, Walter Miller
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After Rob Russell steals Tim Clark's ranch, Clark starts prospecting for silver.

Director: D. Ross Lederman
Stars: Tim McCoy, Alice Day, Wheeler Oakman
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Deputy Sheriff John Steele recruits bandit Sonora Joe to help him find out who's been bumping off all the local lawmen and rustling the cattle.

Director: Tenny Wright
Stars: John Wayne, Noah Beery, Paul Hurst
Certificate: Passed Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

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.

Director: Fred Allen
Stars: John Wayne, Duke, Ruth Hall
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: William Haines, Jack Pickford, Mary Brian
Texas Cyclone (1932)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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.

Director: D. Ross Lederman
Stars: Tim McCoy, Shirley Grey, Wheeler Oakman
Dark Command (1940)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When transplanted Texan Bob Seton arrives in Lawrence, Kansas he finds much to like about the place, especially Mary McCloud, daughter of the local banker. Politics is in the air however. ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Claire Trevor, John Wayne, Walter Pidgeon
Arizona (1931)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

While at West Point Denton rebuffs Evelyn Palmer who shows up later as the wife of his commanding officer in Arizona. When he takes a shine to her sister Bonita, Evelyn accuses him to ... See full summary »

Director: George B. Seitz
Stars: Laura La Plante, John Wayne, June Clyde
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: Sidney Lanfield
Stars: Loretta Young, Lew Cody, John Wayne
The Deceiver (1931)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Actor Reginald Thorpe is found dead in his dressing room, stabbed in the back. Suspects abound. John Wayne's only contribution was as a stand-in for the corpse.

Director: Louis King
Stars: Lloyd Hughes, Dorothy Sebastian, Ian Keith
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Marguerite Churchill ...
Ruth Cameron
El Brendel ...
Gus
...
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
Edit

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  »
Edit

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

Caption: Prairie schooners rolling west, praying for peace - but ready for battle.
See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of Die große Fahrt (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

When It's Harvest Time in Peaceful Valley
(1930) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Robert Martin and Raymond McKee
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Trailblazing,.....sort of
18 June 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

John Wayne is one of the few players in film history to have failed at his first big break and then succeed on the second time around. Of course everyone knows the second time was the classic Stagecoach with John Ford directing.

But we're here to talk about The Big Trail. John Ford's fellow director Raoul Walsh spotted this tall kid on the set of one of Ford's films and thought he had potential. He wanted to make him the lead in a big budget western that Fox was planning to do. The film as planned would be an homage to the famous classic silent western The Covered Wagon.

In watching The Big Trail I was struck by how similar Wayne's character of Breck Coleman here is to the Ringo Kid in Stagecoach. Both characters were likable young cowpokes, but both were also on a mission of vengeance. And of course both films were done on location and show the expense in making them. No studio product here with a backlot western set.

I also don't think that it was an accident that Wayne got this break at the beginning of the sound era. Raoul Walsh, I'm guessing looked around Hollywood and probably didn't think a whole lot of movie cowboys would have staying power in sound. That's something else Walsh spotted in Wayne.

According to what I've read The Big Trail flopped because after spending all that money to make the film in an early wide screen process, some genius at Fox realized that their theaters weren't equipped with the wide screen to show it. And when the Great Depression hit there would be no money to widen those screens at Fox movie houses. So The Big Trail got a limited release, even in what we would call a formatted version, and lost money big for Fox films.

Marguerite Churchill is fine as the crinoline heroine who Duke wins, loses and wins again from Ian Keith. Keith, Charles Stevens and F. Tyrone Power are the trio of villains Wayne has to deal with.

F. Tyrone Power is the father of the famous movie legend Tyrone Power. He was a big burly man with a grand background in classic roles on screen and on stage. I wouldn't be surprised if his son who would have been 15 at the time might not have been hanging around the set.

Also look for Ward Bond though you might have trouble spotting him under a big bushy beard.

Watching The Big Trail now it is interesting to speculate where John Wayne's career might have gone if The Big Trail had been a big hit.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Top billing orionstarman
DVD origional version release? Billy-Bud
Yosemite Sam Bluefort
Other movies in 70 MM? tomrnr57
I bought this DVD today chrisforliberty
Running time tentender
Discuss The Big Trail (1930) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?