7.2/10
1,881
30 user 17 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... 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Brian Donlevy
The Westerner (1940)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Judge Roy Bean, a self-appointed hanging judge in Vinegarroon, Texas, befriends saddle tramp Cole Harden, who opposes Bean's policy against homesteaders.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Doris Davenport
California (1947)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Epic account of how California became a state, featuring a wagon train, the Gold Rush, a wicked saloon queen, and an evil profiteer.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ray Milland, Barry Fitzgerald
The Crusades (1935)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

King Richard and the Third Crusade (1190-1192) are given the DeMille treatment with more spectacle than history.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Loretta Young, Henry Wilcoxon, Ian Keith
The Plainsman (1936)
Biography | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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
Union Pacific (TV Series 1958)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Bart McClelland supervises rail construction for Union Pacific west of Omaha dealing with everything from marauders to land issues. He's aided by surveyor Billy Kincaid and Georgia who runs the mobile Golden Nugget saloon.

Stars: Jeff Morrow, Judson Pratt, Susan Cummings
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 1868 Oregon, when the Army violates the treaty by building a road across the reservation, several tribal chiefs decide to unite their forces against the trespassing whites.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Jeff Chandler, Dorothy Malone, Ward Bond
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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
Warlock (1959)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A famous gunman becomes the marshal of Warlock to end a gang's rampages, but is met with some opposition by a former gang member turned deputy sheriff who wants to follow only legal methods.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn
The Ride Back (1957)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A troubled sheriff, a failure at everything in his life, tries to redeem himself by extraditing a popular gunfighter from Mexico to stand trial for murder.

Directors: Allen H. Miner, Oscar Rudolph
Stars: Anthony Quinn, William Conrad, Lita Milan
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a handful of settlers survive an Apache attack on their wagon train they must put their lives into the hands of Comanche Todd, a white man who has lived with the Comanches most of his ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Richard Widmark, Felicia Farr, Susan Kohner
Rawhide (1951)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A stagecoach stop employee and a stranded woman traveler find themselves at the mercy of four desperate outlaws intent on robbing the next day's gold shipment.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, Hugh Marlowe
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jeff Butler
...
...
...
...
...
Duke Ring
...
Cordray
...
General Casement
...
Asa M. Barrows
...
...
Oakes Ames
...
Calvin
...
Mrs. Calvin
...
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

Lon Chaney Jr and Joel McCrea attended the same high school. See more »

Goofs

When Jeff meets Dick at his hiding place and asks for a light, the match Dick hands him is unlit, then suddenly flaming. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Oh! Susanna
(1846) (uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Background music at the start of the golden spike ceremony
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


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?