7.2/10
1,650
27 user 11 critic

Union Pacific (1939)

Not Rated | | Drama, Western | 5 May 1939 (USA)
In 1862, Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads compete westward across the wilderness toward California.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Golden Boy (1939)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Despite his musical talent, Joe Bonaparte wants to be a boxer.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, William Holden
Cleopatra (1934)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The man-hungry Queen of Egypt leads Julius Caesar and Marc Antony astray, amid scenes of DeMillean splendor.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Henry Wilcoxon
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Roman soldier becomes torn between his love for a Christian woman and his loyalty to Emperor Nero.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Fredric March, Claudette Colbert, Elissa Landi
Jesse James (1939)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings
Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly
The Plainsman (1936)
Biography | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Wild Bill Hickok attempts to stop an Indian uprising that was started by white gun-runners.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, James Ellison
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Four passengers escape their bubonic plague-infested ship and land on the coast of a wild jungle. In order to reach safety they have to trek through the jungle, facing wild animals and attacks by primitive tribesmen.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Herbert Marshall, Mary Boland
Drama | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A 100-year-old pioneer woman tells her story in flashbacks.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Brian Donlevy
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In Colorado territory, outlaw Wes McQueen escapes jail to pull a railroad robbery but, upon meeting pretty settler Julie Ann, he wonders about going straight.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Joel McCrea, Virginia Mayo, Dorothy Malone
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutinary War begins.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1885, a Texas Ranger travels to Canada to arrest a trapper who's wanted for murder and who's stirring up the Natives in a rebellion against the Canadian government.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll, Paulette Goddard
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Cowboy Ross McEwen arrives in town. He asks the banker for a loan of $2000. When the banker asks about securing a loan that large, McEwen shows him his six-gun collateral. The banker hands ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Joel McCrea, Frances Dee, Charles Bickford
Saddle Tramp (1950)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Carefree Chuck Connor is on his way west and stops off to see an old friend and his four lads. When his host is killed in a riding accident Chuck realises he must take care of the family. ... See full summary »

Director: Hugo Fregonese
Stars: Joel McCrea, Wanda Hendrix, John Russell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jeff Butler
...
...
Lynne Overman ...
...
...
Duke Ring
...
Cordray
Stanley Ridges ...
General Casement
Henry Kolker ...
Asa M. Barrows
Francis McDonald ...
Willard Robertson ...
Oakes Ames
Harold Goodwin ...
Calvin
...
Mrs. Calvin
Richard Lane ...
Sam Reed
Edit

Storyline

One of the last bills signed by President Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad across the wilderness to California. But financial opportunist Asa Barrows hopes to profit from obstructing it. Chief troubleshooter Jeff Butler has his hands full fighting Barrows' agent, gambler Sid Campeau; Campeau's partner Dick Allen is Jeff's war buddy and rival suitor for engineer's daughter Molly Monahan. Who will survive the effort to push the railroad through at any cost? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Union Pacific" is coming!

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aliança de Aço  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The company had rented many local pinto horses for the filming of the Indian attack on the train. During filming, however, local cowboys had to be hired to round up the horses, as they would scatter and sometimes stampede because of the noise and confusion of these scenes--all the shooting, yelling, and yards of unfamiliar cloth on the horses, along with kettles and other implements tied to their manes and tails, made them extremely nervous and uncomfortable, and it didn't require much to make them bolt. See more »

Goofs

The chase sequence after the train robbery is shown in mountainous terrain. The robbery supposedly takes place between Cheyenne and Pine Bluffs Wyoming (from geographic references to the train's location in the telegrapher's office). There are no mountains in this area. See more »

Quotes

Leach Overmile: Don't reach for your handkerchief, Brett. Just use your sleeve if you want to wipe your mouth.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Been Working on the Railroad
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played during the opening credits and as background music often
Sung by the railroad men
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
There's nothing like hearing an engine whistle in the still night.
16 June 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Union Pacific is directed by Cecil B. DeMille (aided by others due to illness) and based upon the novel Trouble Shooter, written by Ernest Haycox. It stars Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Robert Preston, Brian Donlevy, Akim Tamiroff and Lynne Overman. Story is a fictionalised account of the building of the railroad across the American West, encompassing the trials, tribulations and rivalries that formed as history was being made.

"The legend of Union Pacific is the drama of a nation, young, tough, prodigal and invincible, conquering with an iron highroad the endless reaches of the West. For the West is America's Empire, and only yesterday Union Pacific was the West".

A big production that went down a storm at the box office on release, Union Pacific, in spite of its overt patriotic bluster, is an entertaining and important part of the Western movie story. Alongside John Ford's Stagecoach, which was released a couple of months previously, DeMille's movie helped take the Western to a new, more adult, level. It wouldn't be until the 50's that the Western truly found its mojo, but the influence of both Stagecoach and Union Pacific was firmly felt thru each passing decade. Film manages to be literate whilst puncturing the plot with doses of action, while the story is underpinned by a love triangle between McCrea, Stanwyck and Preston. The former as the stoic troubleshooter brought in to keep order, the latter as the charming villain with a heart. Cast all work well with the material to hand, and if one is not bothered by the historical tampering involved in the story? Then it's an easy film to recommend to Western movie seekers. 7/10


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD Frankfdlov
Riding on cowcatcher? EvelynHolley
were all the posts brittany-beasley
Discuss Union Pacific (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?