Union Pacific (1939)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Western  |  5 May 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,610 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 11 critic

In 1862, Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads compete westward across the wilderness toward California.



(screen play), (screen play), 7 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Butler
Lynne Overman ...
Robert Barrat ...
Duke Ring
Stanley Ridges ...
General Casement
Henry Kolker ...
Asa M. Barrows
Francis McDonald ...
Willard Robertson ...
Oakes Ames
Harold Goodwin ...
Mrs. Calvin
Richard Lane ...
Sam Reed


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


"Union Pacific" is coming!


Drama | Western


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aliança de Aço  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Star Robert Preston, who played important roles in several DeMille productions, not only disliked the director personally but felt he was inept at directing actors. The scene where Preston, Stanwyck, and McCrea are trapped in the boxcar took two weeks to film and, according to Preston, DeMille had nothing but "Action," "Cut," and "Print" to say to the actors. He didn't seem to care about scenes that did not include action or spectacle. When Preston became a bigger star, he turned down offers to appear in other DeMille films and avoided any relationship or contact with him. See more »


After the train wreck, and during all the scenes that immediately follow, Barbara Stanwyck suddenly appears with a very stylish 1939 bobbed hairstyle which we had not seen before, and which, of course, is completely inappropriate to the time period during which the story is taking place. See more »


Jeff Butler: [informing Mollie that her husband Dick Allen is dead] He'll be waiting for us ... at end of track.
See more »


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


Turkey In The Straw
Played in the gambling tent
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Studio Style Film Making
8 March 2003 | by (Allegan MI) – See all my reviews

A fine example of studio-style film making. The script may not be history, but this is a movie, and not nearly as corny as most films by DeMille. The lead and supporting roles are all well cast and played. The effects are state of the art (for 1939). A film to relax by and get into.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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