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Western Union (1941)

Approved | | History, Western | 21 February 1941 (USA)
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.

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(novel), (screen play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard Blake
...
Vance Shaw
...
Edward Creighton
Virginia Gilmore ...
Sue Creighton
...
Doc Murdoch
...
Herman
...
Homer
...
Jack Slade
Russell Hicks ...
Governor
Victor Kilian ...
Charlie
Minor Watson ...
Pat Grogan
George Chandler ...
Herb
...
Chief Spotted Horse (as Chief Big Tree)
...
Indian Leader
Dick Rich ...
Porky
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A 20th Century-Fox Encore Hit !

Genres:

History | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

21 February 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zane Grey's Western Union  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Studio publicity noted that Fox contract star Henry Fonda had served as technical adviser on the film, due to his experience as a young man working as a lineman. Fonda's "technical advisory" capacity was most certainly a publicity fiction, and in any event Fonda was not credited on the film itself. See more »

Goofs

At one point, Creighton says "...we'll be hitting the hills" as the telegraph crew heads west from what was then called Omaha City. This is incorrect. Omaha was notorious for being hilly (in the late 19th Century and early 20th, the city went to great efforts to level many of the hills), but as you move west, away from the Missouri River, near what is now about 84th Street in Omaha, the land begins to flatten out dramatically. See more »

Quotes

Edward Creighton: The last leg of your trip must have been rather lonesome.
Richard Blake: Well I didn't mind that as much as I did the dust. I could do with a bath.
Homer Kettle: A *bath*...?
Richard Blake: Yes, don't you approve of them?
Homer Kettle: Well if the weather's hot and you're near a river, I ain't got a thing agin 'em.
[spits tobacco at Blake's feet]
See more »

Connections

Edited into Buffalo Bill (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Gwine to Rune All Night
("De Camptown Races") (1850) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Foster
Played as background music for the first scene in Omaha, Nebraska
See more »

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User Reviews

The telegraph, the tenderfoot and the man of the west
4 July 2006 | by (S. Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Now we use the internet and cell phones, but in 1941 when this film was released people still depended on the telegraph. Western Union tells the story of the people who were bringing the telegraph to the west. They all knew the Morse Code and we even learn that the word O.K. originated from them. Robert Young is the tenderfoot and Randolph Scott the tough man of the west. They both fall in love with Virginia Gilmore, the sister of the boss, Dean Jaggger. Scott is a former outlaw who is working for the company and has an inner conflict between his friendship to his old pals and his loyalty to Jagger. The same plot showed up in another Scott movie, Santa Fe. Fritz Lang did two unconventional westerns "The Return of Frank James" and "Rancho Notorious" but this western which can be considered conventional is the best of the three. The first scene, with Scott running away from a posse and passing through a herd of buffaloes is spectacular. The shootout at the end is very impressive. This film did not age, specially if you compare it with other westerns Scott made in those years.


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