6.7/10
291
7 user 5 critic

Wells Fargo (1937)

Passed | | History, Western | 31 December 1937 (USA)
The life and career of a Wells Fargo official frames this fictionalized account of the express company's formation.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ramsay MacKay
...
Hank York - a Wanderer
...
Justine Pryor
...
Dal Slade
...
Henry Wells
...
Mrs. Pryor
...
Nicholas Pryor
...
Talbot Carter (as John Mack Brown)
...
James Oliver
Jack Clark ...
William Fargo
Clarence Kolb ...
John Butterfield
...
Dan Trimball - Prospector
...
Bradford - Banker
...
Ingalls - Banker
Frank Conroy ...
Ward - Banker
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Storyline

The life and career of a Wells Fargo official frames this fictionalized account of the express company's formation.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

TOGETHER THEY BUILD A CONTINENT! He lives the magnificent adventure that saves a country and she shares the adventures of the man she loves!

Genres:

History | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 December 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An Empire Is Born  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (New York opening) (premiere)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

Quotes

Hank York - a Wanderer: I've had no more luck than a duck with a doorknob.
See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 9 in E Minor: Fourth Movement
(1893) (uncredited)
Music by Antonín Dvorák
Heard when the Civil War ends
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lovely reproduction of 19th century cities in energetic film
1 May 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Wells Fargo" (1937) is not your standard western or drama. The story does not hit the usual western themes or shootouts, and the dramatic conflicts that pervade a drama are mostly absent here. Instead, we have the story of a company's rise over decades as personified mostly by its agent, Joel McCrea, who marries Francis Dee along the way. The beauty of this film is in the recreation of the 19th century cities, towns, way stations, railroads, ships, steamers, streets and costumes. The art design is really neat. In some places, as in St. Louis when it shows the docks and cargo being unloaded, it reminds one of a George Caleb Bingham painting.

The story rapidly covers many years. Each episode presents McCrea with some obstacles to overcome to make the business grow and serve people. In several places, the company competes with the U.S. Postal Service and it is made very clear that it outcompetes them, sort of an early version of Federal Express and UPS. It also integrates banking with transportation by moving gold to nearby cities and using bills of exchange to effect payment in gold at a far away depository owned by the company.

The picture is energetic and boisterous. I thought it overused Bob Burns for comic relief and that he wasn't that terrific. Lloyd Nolan came and went in the blink of an eye as a villain. That's because the 97-minute version has been edited down from the original 115 minutes. Overall, a good picture that's finely available in a decent print.


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