Union Pacific (1939)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Western  |  5 May 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,611 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
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Lucius Beebe's book "Union Pacific" the gold spike was not "driven" in. Since a spike made from gold would be much too soft to drive into a railroad tie the spike was "driven" into a hole drilled in a specially prepared tie. This was done both in reality and for the movie. Following the ceremony the spike was pulled out (by hand)and a new tie was put down and an iron spike was driven in. See more »


Position of Mollie's left arm when Jeff starts to read his letter on the handcar. See more »


Mollie Monahan: Did you never know that flirting gets into a woman's blood like fighting gets into a man's? Now, a girl begins coquetting to discover if she has the power. Then she goes looking, like a fighter after a bully, for the hardest man to conquer. But 'tis never the man she wants, 'tis the pleasure of bringing him to her feet.
Jeff Butler: Till the right man comes along and gives her the spanking she deserves.
Mollie Monahan: Ah, that's the man she dreams of.
See more »


Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet
(1909) (uncredited)
Music by Percy Wenrich
Played offscreen on piano in the St. Louis saloon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

romance, the undiscovered country
11 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You always know what you're going to get with Demille movies: brute action, razzle dazzle, and more background actors than can plausibly fit on a billion movie screens. I love McCrea and Stanwyck as a couple here and elsewhere: the quips fly at you two at a time, and there's no shortage of begrudging chemistry. The effects and action sequences in this flick are impressive -- just about the only time you're taken out of a well-hewn west is when the Union Pacific plunges off an icy clime. It looks like a Lionel. Other than that, this movie isn't child's play, and though it doesn't paint a wholly accurate picture of the frontier, it at least tries to in places...

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