Western Union (1941)

Approved  |   |  History, Western  |  21 February 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,574 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 26 critic

When Edward Creighton leads the construction of the Western Union to unite East with West, he hires a Western reformed outlaw and a tenderfoot Eastern surveyor.



(novel), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Blake
Vance Shaw
Edward Creighton
Virginia Gilmore ...
Sue Creighton
Doc Murdoch
Jack Slade
Russell Hicks ...
Victor Kilian ...
Minor Watson ...
Pat Grogan
George Chandler ...
Chief Spotted Horse (as Chief Big Tree)
Indian Leader
Dick Rich ...


Vance Shaw gives up outlawing and goes to work for the telegraph company; his brother Jack Slade leads outlaws trying to prevent the company connecting the line between Omaha and Salt Lake City. Lots of Indian fighting and gunplay. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


History | Western


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

21 February 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Conquistadores  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally, Laird Cregar was cast in this film in an undetermined role (possibly that of Doc Murdoch), but was unable to do the film due to an unfinished other project. He was replaced by George 'Gabby' Hayes, but Hayes then became ill and was himself replaced. See more »


During the speeches before they start stringing the telegraph wires, all the flags are 48-star flags. There were only 35 states in the Union in 1861. See more »


Doc Murdoch: Can you cook lamb?
Cookie: There are nine different ways to cook mutton. And I know them all!
Homer Kettle: Never mind that! Do you cook it with the hair on?
Cookie: I should say not!
Crowd: Hurray!
Homer Kettle: Then you're hired!
See more »


Edited into Buffalo Bill (1944) See more »


The Little Brown Jug
(1869) (uncredited)
Written by Joseph Winner
Played in a saloon
See more »

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User Reviews

Western Union And Great Director = Western Poetry
18 September 2000 | by (London K) – See all my reviews

No one ever really believed that Randolf Scott was a gun toter; he seemed too gentle for that. But the veneer of respectability he gave to his roles helped reinforce the western morality of good superceding evil. Nowhere is this poetry more evident as in Western Union [1941], directed by one of film noir's most gifted geniuses Fritz Lang, here working equally adeptly in colour. The shot of unfinished telegraph lines snaking away into twilight oblivion leaves lasting impressions.

This western prophecies the long professional relationship between producer Nat Holt and Randolf Scott which ran from 1946 and turned out cliché-westerns which weren't cliches at the time, and which, with practice improved till there was a kind of visual poetry about them. This isn't the history of Western Union, the way the western isn't the history of the old west. But it seems to relate a kind of truth, and that's what matters.

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