IMDb > Western Union (1941)
Western Union
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Western Union (1941) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   1,304 votes »
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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Zane Grey (novel)
Robert Carson (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Western Union on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 February 1941 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(2 articles)
Viennale 2012. The Unseen Guerilla
 (From MUBI. 4 November 2012, 2:28 PM, PST)

Movie Posters of the Week: Fritz Lang in America
 (From MUBI. 6 February 2011, 11:27 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Colorful Western From Fritz lang. See more (27 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Young ... Richard Blake

Randolph Scott ... Vance Shaw

Dean Jagger ... Edward Creighton
Virginia Gilmore ... Sue Creighton

John Carradine ... Doc Murdoch

Slim Summerville ... Herman, called 'Cookie'

Chill Wills ... Homer Kettle

Barton MacLane ... Jack Slade
Russell Hicks ... Provisional Governor, Territory of Nebraska
Victor Kilian ... Charlie
Minor Watson ... Pat Grogan
George Chandler ... Herb

Chief John Big Tree ... Chief Spotted Horse (as Chief Big Tree)
Chief Thundercloud ... Indian Leader
Dick Rich ... Porky
Addison Richards ... Capt. Harlow
Irving Bacon ... Joe the Barber
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
C.E. Anderson ... Old Timer (uncredited)
Arthur Aylesworth ... Woody (uncredited)
Bill Beauman ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Hank Bell ... Telegraph Worker (uncredited)
Esther Brodelet ... Dancer (uncredited)
Paul E. Burns ... Stagecoach Depot Master (uncredited)
Clarence Chorre ... Indian (uncredited)
Sonny Chorre ... Indian (uncredited)
Bob Clark ... Telegraph Worker (uncredited)
Cliff Clark ... Sheriff (uncredited)
Russ Clark ... Businessman (uncredited)
Tommy Coats ... Henchman (uncredited)

Iron Eyes Cody ... Indian Who Drinks Chemical Solution (uncredited)
J.W. Cody ... Indian (uncredited)
Bahe Denetdeel ... Indian (uncredited)
Earl Dobbins ... Telegraph Worker (uncredited)
Larry Dods ... Posse Rider (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Work Seeker (uncredited)
Frank Ellis ... Camp Defender (uncredited)
John Epper ... Indian (uncredited)
James Flavin ... Deputy Sheriff (uncredited)
Francis Ford ... Eastbound Stagecoach Driver (uncredited)
Tom B. Forman ... Posse Rider (uncredited)
Jack Henry Fritz ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Boone Hazlett ... Indian (uncredited)
Reed Howes ... Slade Henchman #2 (uncredited)
Sid Jordan ... Posse Rider (uncredited)
Cecil Kellogg ... Henchman (uncredited)
Tom London ... Slade Henchman #3 (uncredited)
Harold A. Malendez ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Kermit Maynard ... Posse Rider (uncredited)
Frank McGrath ... Posse Rider (uncredited)

Charles Middleton ... Stagecoach Rider (uncredited)
Lucille Miller ... Dancer (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Work Seeker (uncredited)
Joe Molina ... Indian (uncredited)
Merlyn Nelson ... Posse Rider (uncredited)
Herman Nowlin ... Posse Rider (uncredited)
Steve O'Brien ... Office Boy (uncredited)
George Plues ... Stagecoach Driver (uncredited)
Clint Sharp ... Henchman (uncredited)

Jay Silverheels ... Indian (uncredited)
Joe P. Smith ... Indian (uncredited)
James P. Spencer ... Indian (uncredited)
Harry Strang ... Henchman (uncredited)
Tony Urchel ... Indian (uncredited)
Eddy Waller ... Stagecoach Driver #1 (uncredited)
Ed Warren ... Henchman (uncredited)
Blackie Whiteford ... Posse Rider (uncredited)
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Directed by
Fritz Lang 
 
Writing credits
Zane Grey (novel)

Robert Carson (screenplay)

Jack Andrews  contributor to dialogue (uncredited)
George Bruce  contributing writer (uncredited)
Horace McCoy  contributor to dialogue (uncredited)

Produced by
Harry Joe Brown .... associate producer
Darryl F. Zanuck .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
David Buttolph (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Edward Cronjager (director of photography)
Allen M. Davey (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Robert Bischoff 
Gene Fowler Jr. (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Richard Day 
Albert Hogsett 
 
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little 
 
Costume Design by
Travis Banton 
 
Makeup Department
Robert Cowan .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Buddy King .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Ray Lopez .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Ben Silvey .... unit manager
Jerry Bryan .... assistant unit manager (uncredited)
Fred Fox .... production manager (uncredited)
Robert E. Goux .... unit manager (uncredited)
William Koenig .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Otto Brower .... second unit director (uncredited)
Hal Herman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Lynn Shores .... second unit director (uncredited)
Henry Weinberger .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Saul Wurtzel .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
M. Goldman .... assistant props (uncredited)
Don B. Greenwood .... props (uncredited)
Charles King .... painter (uncredited)
Max Lauer .... landscape man (uncredited)
Roy Pierce .... carpenter (uncredited)
William Sittel .... assistant props (uncredited)
Lemuel Tribe .... assistant props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Bernard Freericks .... sound
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Carl Daniels .... cable person (uncredited)
Clarence Schiffer .... extra cable man (uncredited)
W.R. Snyder .... assistant sound mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
William F. Mittlestedt .... mechanical effects (uncredited)
Ben Southland .... mechanical effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Yakima Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Tommy Coats .... stunts (uncredited)
John Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Sid Jordan .... stunts (uncredited)
Kermit Maynard .... stunts (uncredited)
Frank McGrath .... stunts (uncredited)
Merlyn Nelson .... stunts (uncredited)
George Plues .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe P. Smith .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
William Cline .... camera loader (uncredited)
Nelson Cordez .... camera technician (uncredited)
Henry Cronjager Jr. .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Fred Hall .... gaffer (uncredited)
Bruce Hunsaker .... key grip (uncredited)
Harry Jackson .... process camera operator (uncredited)
Harry R. Jones .... grip (uncredited)
Joseph MacDonald .... camera operator (uncredited)
Roger Mace .... process technician (uncredited)
Joe Noecker .... camera maintenance (uncredited)
Frank Powolny .... still photographer (uncredited)
Herbert Romey .... grip (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera: Technicolor (uncredited)
Paul Uhl .... assistant camera technician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sam Benson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Steve Brandt .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Tommy Clark .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Robert Martien .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Marguerite Royce .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Music Department
David Buttolph .... musical director
R.H. Bassett .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Conrad Salinger .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Natalie Kalmus .... technicolor director
Morgan Padelford .... associate technicolor director
Harry Brand .... publicity director (uncredited)
Russel Crane .... animal wrangler (uncredited)
Henry Fonda .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Gordon Gordon .... publicist (uncredited)
Fay Hamblin .... riding instructor: Robert Young (uncredited)
Stanley Scheuer .... script clerk (uncredited)
Art Wright .... stageman (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
95 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:

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:
Continuity: 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:
Vance Shaw:I like being alone.
Edward Creighton:The best place to be alone sometimes is in a crowd.
Vance Shaw:That's the way I figured it... until I ran into you.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited into Buffalo Bill (1944)See more »
Soundtrack:
Gwine to Rune All NightSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
61 out of 63 people found the following review useful.
Colorful Western From Fritz lang., 24 April 2009
Author: jpdoherty from Ireland

"Western Union" is something of a forgotten classic western! Perhaps the reason for this lies in the fact of its unavailability on DVD in the United States. However, all is not lost as it has now appeared on Region 2 in England. This - being a blessing in some ways - is not only incongruous but totally ironic when one considers that a movie depicting the founding and establishment of such a uniquely American organization as The Western Union Telegraph Company is without a Region 1 release. It beggars belief! It simply doesn't make sense!

Produced by Fox in 1941 "Western Union" was directed by Fritz Lang. This was only the second occasion the great German director undertook to direct a western! He had done an excellent job the year before with Fox's "The Return Of Frank James" and would have only one more western outing in 1952 with the splendid "Rancho Notorious". Lang was no Ford or Hawks but with "Western Union" he turned in a fine solid western that holds up very well. Beautifully photographed in early three strip Technicolor by Edward Cronjager it boasted a good cast headed by Robert Young, Randolph Scott and Dean Jagger. The female lead is taken by Virginia Gilmore who really has little to do in the picture. An actress who never made anything of her career. Her presence here is merely cosmetic.

It is curious that Robert Young has top billing over Scott! It is clearly Scott's picture from the very beginning when we first see him in the film's terrific opening scene being chased by a posse across the plains. Young doesn't have much to do throughout the movie and seems out of place in a western. He just looks plain silly going up against Barton McLane in a gunfight! An actor who never really distinguished himself - except perhaps with "Crossfire" (1947)- Young appeared in a string of forgettable romantic comedies in the forties and fifties culminating with his greatest success when for seven years he was TV's "Marcus Welby MD" in the seventies. He died in 1998 at the age of 91.

"Western Union" recounts the connection by telegraph wire of Omaha and Salt Lake City. Scott plays a reformed outlaw hired by Western Union boss Dean Jagger to protect the line from marauding Sioux and to also take on McLane and his gang who are trying to destroy the line for their own devious ends. Robert Young is the young engineer from back east who joins the company and vies with Scott for the affections of Miss Gilmore. Some comic relief is provided by - and irritatingly so some would say - by Slim Summerville and John Carradine turns up in a meager role as the company doctor.

Altogether though a spanking good western, albeit on Region 2, but in sparkling good quality that fans will be delighted with. My only crib is that there are no extras, not even a trailer and that terrible cover with those dull graphics. UGH!

Footnote: Interestingly the associate producer on "Western Union" was Harry Joe Brown who later with Randolph Scott would create a partnership that would produce some of Scott's finest westerns in the fifties.

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