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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.



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


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dal Slade
Henry Wells
Mrs. Pryor
Nicholas Pryor
Talbot Carter (as John Mack Brown)
James Oliver
Jack Clark ...
William Fargo
John Butterfield
Dan Trimball - Prospector
Bradford - Banker
Ingalls - Banker
Ward - Banker


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


History | Western


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

31 December 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An Empire Is Born  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (New York opening) (premiere)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Assistant propman Jack Leys accidentally shot himself when he reached into the prop chest for a gun. See more »


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


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

11 June 2012 | by See all my reviews

Fans of McCrea looking for a standard shoot-em-up should look elsewhere. That would be okay if the movie were as good as most McCrea westerns, but it's not. Too much time is spent trying to get Ramsay's (McCrea) love life straightened out. The trouble is this tends to crowd out the interesting other two themes— namely, opening highways to the West and action and adventure along the way.

Now, with so much going on, narrative transitions from one thread to the next become important. But, I agree with reviewer Maxwell-- this key element in the storyline is handled very clumsily. It's sometimes hard to follow developments because of muddy segues, plus a sloppy script that appears to want to do too much with too many marginal characters. On a different note, what's with IMDb listing Lloyd Nolan in the credits. If he's in the picture, I couldn't spot him, and he's not someone easy to miss. Maybe he got edited out.

On the plus side are actors McCrea, winsome wife Dee, and a fearsome Mary Nash, some good crowd scenes, and several edifying historical facts. Still, I too, was left wondering just what Wells-Fargo did as a day-to-day business, which seems an odd omission given the movie's title. Anyway, to me, the movie was a disappointment despite a bigger than average budget and an effort at historical sweep.

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