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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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Writers:

(novel), (screen play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Governor
Victor Kilian ...
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Pat Grogan
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Herb
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Chief Spotted Horse (as Chief Big Tree)
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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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

When Creighton leaves on the stage after his accident, his left ankle is bandaged and he is favoring his left foot. When we later see him walk with a cane, he is favoring his right foot. 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.
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Connections

Edited into Buffalo Bill (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Gwine to Rune All Night
("De Camptown Races") (1850) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Played as background music for the first scene in Omaha, Nebraska
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User Reviews

 
At the very top of my favorite westerns.

I first saw this film in the theater way back in the 40s when I was a kid and always remembered the ending. There is nothing like the first impression but some movies are always a treat each time they are viewed. Something just resonates with them. This is one of those films and I agree with another reviewer who said Fritz Lang should have directed more westerns. To add to it I have always liked Randolph Scott and Robert Young. In fact, Robert Young stars in what I consider my favorite movie if I have to name just one, not an easy thing to do. That film is Northwest Passage. It led me to the superb historical novels of Kenneth Roberts. Western Union likewise led me to reading Zane Grey's novel which, in this case turned out to be one of those rare cases where I like the movie better than the novel. Not that Grey's novel is a bad one; I just like the movie story better. The movie in no way resembles the novel. It is a completely different tale, one of the biggest departures from a book I have seen.

I can't add much to the other reviews except to say I agree with many of them. I, too, wish it would be released on DVD. "Whatever happened to Randolph Scott happened to the best of me."


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