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United States has just acquired Louisiana from France. An expedition led by Lewis and Clark is sent to survey the territory and go where no white man has gone before. Are they able to overcome the dangers with the help of Sacajawea? Written by
Timo Lamminjoki <email@example.com>
Sacajawea is given as a wife to Charbonneau. Charbonneau and Sacajawea were played by Alan Reed and Donna Reed, but of course they were not a married couple and their last name is a coincidence. See more »
When Clark launches his canoe on Yellowstone Lake he is in the very back, there is cargo in the middle and another paddler up front. For the next three shots of him watching Sacajawea running along side he is still at the back, but in the next wide-angle shot and subsequent shots he is alone in the middle of an empty canoe. Someone apparently realized that Sacajawea wouldn't be able to get into the original canoe, thus the change, and didn't feel it necessary to go back and re-film the launch scene. See more »
The Far Horizons marked Fred MacMurray's return to the Paramount lot where he started his career to co-star with up and coming Charlton Heston in a story of the Lewis&Clark expedition. A landmark event in American history, the story itself strangely has been ignored by Hollywood except for this version. And it doesn't do the journey justice.
But we have to remember that the film is based on a fictional historical novel Sacajawea of the Shoshonis. So the romance between Donna Reed as Sacajawea and Heston as Clark just never happened. In real life she was the wife of Charbonneau the French trapper played by Alan Reed who did not behave as despicably as portrayed here.
Merieweather Lewis was in fact Thomas Jefferson's secretary and Jefferson sending him west to head the expedition was no less than having Tom's eyes and ears right there on the trail. Lewis was a most intense fellow and he would be a suicide in 1809, Clark outlived him by many years. But one thing he did not have was any romantic rivalry with William Clark over the character that Barbara Hale plays, a Virginia planter's daughter and neighbor of Jefferson at Monticello.
As this film would have it, Lewis was mad because Clark had two girls and he had none. The two faced a lot of problems on the trip, but jealousy over romance wasn't one of them.
The film was produced by William Pine and William Thomas who co-produced a whole bunch of B films for Paramount. Bill Pine learned his trade being an associate producer with Cecil B. DeMille. The film was shot on location and bears no small resemblance to some DeMille productions and even more so to King Vidor's classic Northwest Passage.
Still though I wish we just had a straight account of the trip without the phony romance.
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