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Wagon Master (1950)

Approved | | Adventure, Western | 19 April 1950 (USA)
Two young drifters guide a Mormon wagon train to the San Juan Valley and encounter cutthroats, Indians, geography, and moral challenges on the journey.



(as Frank Nugent),

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Travis / Travis Blue
Wiggs / Elder Wiggs
Uncle Shiloh Clegg
Dr. A. Locksley Hall
Sister Ledyard
Fleuretty Phyffe
Adam Perkins
Kathleen O'Malley ...
Prudence Perkins
Floyd Clegg
Mr. Peachtree
Fred Libby ...
Reese Clegg
Navajo Indian
Mickey Simpson ...
Jesse Clegg


As Mormon settlers head to the promised land at the San Juan river in Utah, they hire horse traders Travis Blue and Sandy as wagon masters. They have to forge a trail across unknown territory and face many hardships along the way. They quickly come across some stranded travelers, a medicine show run by Dr. A. Locksley Hall which includes the attractive Denver. Along the way however, they are also joined by Shiloh Clegg and his murderous clan of robbers and thieves. An encounter with the Navajo leads to an invitation to their camp but after one of the Clegg boys gets a whipping for attacking one of the Navajo women, Uncle Shiloh plans his revenge. It's left to Sandy and Travis to protect the travelers and get them to their destination. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


John Ford's lusty successor to "Fort Apache" and "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"


Adventure | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

19 April 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wagonmaster  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$999,370 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ward Bond would go on to play wagon master Major Seth Adams on Wagon Train (1957) from 1957-1961 (his death- even though he passed away in November 1960, some episodes did not air until 1961). See more »


During the dance, when done going around in a circle, Travis has his hand on Denver's waist, in the next shot it is on her shoulder. See more »


Travis Blue: [of the indians] Near as I can figure out, he don't seem to like white men.
Sandy: Yeah, he say's we're all thieves.
Elder Wiggs: Smarter then he looks!
[Sandy speaks Navajo, evidently translating what Elder Wiggs had just said]
Elder Wiggs: Don't tell him that, you fool! Tell him we're Mormans!
[the Navajos speak in their native touge, mutterring "Mormany" repeatedly]
Elder Wiggs: What'd he say?
Sandy: Say's the Mormans are his brothers. Say's they ain't big thieves like most white men. Just little thieves.
Elder Wiggs: Right complementery, ain't he?
See more »


Words and Music by Stan Jones
Recorded by Sons of the Pioneers (as The Sons of the Pioneers)
Sung in part by Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr. (uncredited)
Also sung by the Sons of the Pioneers (uncredited)
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User Reviews

The covered wagons, their people and their music
29 November 2005 | by (S. Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

It takes a while to get adjusted to the sound of Sons of The Pioneers , but then you thoroughly enjoy it. If the soundtrack would be played by an orchestra like Max Steiner or Dmitri Tiomkin it would lose its folkloric character. The music conducts the film, everything seems to follow its rhythm. The whole cast is excellent. Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr. are the young men guiding the caravan. Ward Bond is the Mormon leader and Joanne Dru is a flirting actress. Ford was able to make of what would be an ordinary western, something totally different and original showing us the music, the dances, and most of all, the people.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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