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Wagon Train (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, History  |  4 October 1940 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 143 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

Pecos businessman Matt Gardner is buying up freighters, or wagon trains of food supplies, at cheap prices through intimidation, and charging high prices by deliberately causing phony food ... See full summary »

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Title: Wagon Train (1940)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Zack Sibley
Ray Whitley ...
Ned
Emmett Lynn ...
Whopper
Martha O'Driscoll ...
Helen Lee
Malcolm 'Bud' McTaggart ...
Coe Gardner (as Malcolm McTaggart)
Cliff Clark ...
Matt Gardner
Ellen Lowe ...
Amanthy
Wade Crosby ...
O'Follard
Ethan Laidlaw ...
Henchman Pat Hays
Monte Montague ...
Henchman Kurt
Carl Stockdale ...
Luke Wilkes
Bruce Dane ...
McKenzie
Glenn Strange ...
Stagecoach Driver
Edit

Storyline

Pecos businessman Matt Gardner is buying up freighters, or wagon trains of food supplies, at cheap prices through intimidation, and charging high prices by deliberately causing phony food shortages at his trading posts. The only one refusing to sell his supplies is Zack Sibley, who is dead set on maintaining his freighter business as well as tracking down his father's murderer, his ex-business partner. Gardner plans on eliminating any competition Sibley presents by sending his thugs to kill him and raid his wagon train. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A NEW HAND RIDES THE RANGE ! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dödspasset  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

British confectionery company Burtons Foods insist the movie inspired the 1948 creation of their "Wagon Wheel" - a chocolate biscuit [cookie] still in production to this day. See more »

Goofs

As Zack is chasing after the runaway wagon team through the canyon pass, the tire tracks of the camera truck can be clearly seen in the dirt. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "The middle of the last century witnessed small bands of courageous men leading their wagon trains across the Wilderness, carrying provisions to the people of the frontier. They died of hunger, thirst, heat and cold. Desert wastes, prairie fires, the attacks of road agents and Indians took their toll. But the freighters still rolled on - - the wheels of their wagons carving from the Trans-Missouri Wilderness a greater and stronger nation." See more »

Connections

Referenced in What to Do on a Date (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Wagon Train
(uncredited)
Written by Ray Whitley and Fred Rose
Played on guitar and sung by Ray Whitley and an offscreen chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
B Movie Western that Rehearses Some Significant Historical Themes
14 June 2014 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Other reviewers have rehearsed the plot of Edward Killy's RKO B-Movie from 1940, so there is no need to tread over familiar ground. What is perhaps more intriguing is the way the film rehearses several themes characteristic of the western, which might tell us something about the way America viewed itself at that time. The film is awash with movement: the wagon train traveling across the plains, accompanied by riders; the perpetual threat of the bad guys wanting to stop the train; coupled with the subplot about a community's livelihood being threatened should vital food supplies not arrive. This draws attention to the idea of the pioneer spirit; the fact that, as a young country, the United States is perpetually looking to expand itself; it is never satisfied with staying n one place. WAGON TRAIN also embodies racial attitudes characteristic of that time: all the characters are Euros, save for one Mexican (Julian Rivero) who assumes a peripheral role as he is s seen entering the general store trying to buy some beans for his family. He cannot afford the exorbitant price; and hence throws them back in the seller's face. Native Americans are represented as savage; they destroy one settlement; and it is only because of our hero Zack Sibley's (Tim Holt's) cleverness that they allow him and his followers to pass through their territory unscathed. By contrast the 'good' white Euros are represented as strong yet fair, believing in the importance of group identity as a means to survive in an inhospitable landscape. The film packs a lot into its sixty-minute running time; comedy, adventure, even two songs (with music by Paul Sawtell). Not particularly memorable, perhaps, but an interesting historical document.


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