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Union Pacific (1939)

Passed  -  Drama | Western  -  5 May 1939 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,434 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 11 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play), 7 more credits »
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Title: Union Pacific (1939)

Union Pacific (1939) on IMDb 7.2/10

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jeff Butler
...
...
Lynne Overman ...
...
Robert Barrat ...
Duke Ring
...
Cordray
Stanley Ridges ...
General Casement
Henry Kolker ...
Asa M. Barrows
Francis McDonald ...
General Dodge
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:

Passed | 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

For the Indian attack on the train, Paramount hired 100 Navajo Indian extras. See more »

Goofs

The golden spike ceremony shown in the movie is not true. The golden spike was lowered into an auger hole not driven. Gold is a soft metal and striking it as they did in the movie would have severely damaged it. The original golden spike now at Stanford University shows no mallet marks on the head. See more »

Quotes

Monahan: That Jeff Butler doesn't have all his brains in his holster.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Buffalo Gals (Won't You Come Out Tonight)
(1844) (uncredited)
Music by William Cool White
Played in the gambling tent
Reprised as background music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Another reason why 1939 is the #1 Hollywood Production Year!
5 October 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Amidst the glamour of "Gone With the Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz", this b&w Cecil B. DeMille Historical Fiction Classic received its share of eager 1939 movie theatre audiences. Starring a wholesome Irish immigrant Barbara Stanwyck, a noble law man Joel McCrae and a dashing dare devil Robert Preston, "Union Pacific" delivers a love-triangle centered around the historic 1869 joining of rail road tracks to connect the Western and Eastern borders of the United States. The love story is "formula", but delivers several "moments" where many viewers will fumble for their Kleenex. The climactic final scene showing the pay-off for all of the material and human sacrifices is priceless!

The very last of DeMille's b&w ventures, Union Pacific is one of those gems that endured the test of time, endearing the "glorious black and white" to generations of viewers. I first saw this classic as a child; I loved it then, as I still do today. Of all of the Hollywood movies ever produced, no single year of film-making has ever stood out from the rest like 1939. "Union Pacific" helped solidify this status. A true Hollywood Classic!


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