6.2/10
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27 user 9 critic

Across the Wide Missouri (1951)

Approved | | Adventure, Romance, Western | 21 October 1951 (USA)
Trapper Flint Mitchell and other mountain men from the Rendezvous join forces to enter virgin trapping territory but must contend with a resentful Blackfoot chief.

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Cast

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Looking Glass
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Bear Ghost
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Gowie
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Dick Richardson
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Kamiah
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Storyline

In the 1830's beaver trapper Flint Mitchell and other white men hunt and trap in the then unnamed territories of Montana and Idaho. Flint marries a Blackfoot woman as a way to gain entrance into her people's rich lands, but finds she means more to him than a ticket to good beaver habitat. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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A year in the making ! Thousands in the cast !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

21 October 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Assim São os Fortes  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the "Native Americans" in this movie were portrayed by Hispanic or Caucasian actors, because there was a noticeable lack of Native American actors at MGM at the time this movie was made in 1950. See more »

Goofs

When the horse with Gable's son runs away. the child is originally on the right side of the horse. The succeeding shot shows him on the left side of the horse. Later shots show him back on the right side. The anomalous shot is shown again later with the baby now on the correct (right) side, indicating that the film had been flipped. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: My dad wasn't just one man named Flint Mitchell. He was a breed of men... mountain men who lived and died in America. He used to tell me about these men he knew. Men who walked the Indian trails and blazed new ones where no man had ever been before. Men who found lakes and rivers and meadows. Men who found paths to the west and the western sea; who roamed prairies and mountains and plateaus that are now states. Men who searched for beaver and found glory. Men who died unnamed and found ...
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Connections

Referenced in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Skip to my Lou
Traditional
Played on the jaw's harp by Mitchell and heard as a theme
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User Reviews

 
Trees lie where they fall, and men were buried where they died.
29 May 2010 | by See all my reviews

One of the most frustrating things in cinema is that of the interfering studio. Too many films, since cinema became the medium so massively loved by so many, have fallen victim to this most poisonous fly in the cinematic ointment. One such film to suffer greatly is the William A. Welman directed Western, Across The Wide Missouri. All the elements were in place, a fine story written by Talbot Jennings & Frank Cavett, which is worked from Bernard DeVoto's historical study of the American fur trade in the 1830s. Wellman (The Call Of The Wild/Beau Geste/Battleground) at the helm, Hollywood's golden boy Clark Gable in the lead, and a sumptuous location shoot around the San Juan Mountains to be photographed by William Mellor. With all the talk coming out of MGM that they wanted to make an "epic" picture, hopes were high for the early 1950s to have a Western classic on its hands. Enter studio boss Dore Schary who promptly cut the piece to ribbons. So much so that the film, where once it was epic, is now a choppy and episodic 78 minute experience. With a narration by Howard Keel tacked on by Schary just so we can try to make sense of what is (has) gone on. Wellman was rightly miffed and tried to get his name taken off the credits.

Amazingly, what remains is still a recommended piece of film for the discerning Western fan. The locations are just breath taking, expertly shot in Technicolor by Mellor, at times rugged and biting, at others simply looking like God's garden. This part of the world is the perfect back drop for the story as the white man's greed brings them into conflict with the Native Americans. The film also boasts an array of interesting characters, we got the Scots and the French represented alongside the usual suspects, while the tracking and fighting sequences are expertly filmed by the astute Wellman. It was a tough shoot all told as well. Ricardo Montalban {Blackfoot Indian Ironshirt} was involved in a horse riding accident, the consequence of which would severely affect him later in his life, while stunt man Fred Kennedy suffered a broken neck when his intentional fall from a horse did not go as planned. The horses too you can see really earned their oats, trekking up hill across sharp jagged rocks and ploughing through snow drifts, magnificent beasts they be. Joining Gable and Montalban in the cast are John Hodiak, James Whitmore, María Elena Marqués, Adolphe Menjou and Alan Napier. David Raskin provides a suitably at one with the atmosphere score. With Gable on form mixing with the high points that Schary left alone, Across The Wide Missouri is more than just a time filler. But the problems do exist and it's impossible not to be affected by the annoyance that comes with the old "what might have been" that gnaws away at the viewer at every other turn. 6/10


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