MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 576 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 2,241 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 33 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

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

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 44 titles
created 23 Jun 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 01 Sep 2013
 
a list of 43 titles
created 02 Dec 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 03 Mar 2014
 
list image
a list of 22 titles
created 1 month ago
 

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 5.1/10 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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 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
Certificate: Passed Mystery | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Clint Turner is arrested for the murder of his girlfriend Judy's father, a rival rancher who was an enemy of his own father.

Director: D. Ross Lederman
Stars: Buck Jones, John Wayne, Susan Fleming
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 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
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A mysterious stranger arrives in the Missouri hills and befriends a young backwoods girl. Much to the dislike of her moonshiner fiancé who has vowed to find and kill his own father.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Betty Field, Harry Carey
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After the Civil War, ex-Union Colonel John Henry Thomas and ex-Confederate Colonel James Langdon are leading two disparate groups of people through strife-torn Mexico. John Henry and ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Antonio Aguilar
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Peter Brooks is a hard-working, hard-up college student whose dislike of women attending college weakens under the amorous advances of spoiled socialite coed Joan Madison.

Director: Seymour Felix
Stars: Virginia Cherrill, John Wayne, Marguerite Churchill
Mystery | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a stranger arrives in a western town he finds that the rancher who sent for him has been murdered. Further, most of the townsfolk seem to be at each other's throats, and the newcomer ... See full summary »

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: John Wayne, Ella Raines, Ward Bond
Action | Western | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin
The Spoilers (1942)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In Nome, Alaska, miner Roy Glennister and his partner Dextry, financed by saloon entertainer Cherry Malotte, fight to save their gold claim from crooked commissioner Alexander McNamara.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Randolph Scott, John Wayne
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

German-language version of John Wayne film The Big Trail. Bill Coleman (named Breck Coleman in the U.S. version) leads settlers in covered wagons Westward, across the prairie and mountains.

Directors: Lewis Seiler, Raoul Walsh
Stars: Theo Shall, Marion Lessing, Ullrich Haupt
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Marguerite Churchill ...
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

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Ruth Cameron: Zack, you're not really leaving us?
Zeke: Yeah, gal, I'm pullin' out. You're all nice and settled now and this here valley is getting altogether too civilized for me. Whenever I get more than three or four families within a hundred miles of me, I begin to feel kind of crowded.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Grandeur Version vs. Standard Version: They are not the same.
6 June 2004 | by (Walnut Creek, California) – See all my reviews

Contrary to the comment posted directly below, The Big Trail (1930) was not filmed in a three-camera process "much like the later Cinerama." That was the finale to Napoleon (1927), a different film entirely! The Big Trail was simultaneously shot in both 35mm and 70mm (Grandeur) versions, and both versions are shown on Fox Movie Channel from time to time, so it's easy to compare one with the other. The Grandeur version (broadcast in letterbox @ approximately its original 2-1 ratio) is more impressive cinematically with its wide angle panoramas, but suffers from the same problem that beset early CinemaScopes, a lack of close-ups forced upon director Raoul Walsh because of focus problems. Scenes involving individuals rather than crowds or long shots are much more effective in the standard version because the camera can move closer to the players thereby achieving a greater sense of involvement for the viewer. Watching the two versions simultaneously, one gets an accurate idea of which shots Walsh chose to shoot close-up, in the standard version, but could not, in the Grandeur version. There are also a couple sequences involving El Brendel: a shell game with Ian Keith, and some business with his wife & a jackass, which are in the Grandeur version, but missing from the standard version.

For the record, The Big Trail is the only one of three Fox Grandeur films which has survived in its original wide screen format. (The other two are Fox Movietone Follies of 1929, completely lost, and Happy Days, which survives only in standard format.) Other studios also experimented with wide film at this time, but the only other one still known to exist in both formats is The Bat Whispers, filmed in both 65mm and 35mm, and released by United Artists. Other wide films were MGM's Billy the Kid (1930) and The Great Meadow (1931), RKO's Danger Lights (1930), and WB's The Lash (1930), all of which can be seen in their standard format versions on Turner Classic Movies. WB's Kismet (1930) was also filmed both wide and standard, but seems to have completely disappeared; it is rumored to be lost.

Why did wide film fail in 1930? Theaters were reeling (pun intended) under the impact of the stock market crash of October 1929, and the spiraling costs of installing sound equipment, and so were adverse to taking on the added expense of installing additional new projection equipment and new wider screens to accommodate just a handful of films, photographed in a variety of different systems that were not even always compatible with each other. It would not be until 1953 when Fox, now Twentieth Century-Fox, would try again, and this time succeed, with the introduction of wide screen CinemaScope.


59 of 65 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:
?