6 user 4 critic

The Oregon Trail (1959)

In 1846, a reporter for the New York Herald joins a wagon train bound for the Oregon Territory. He hopes to confirm a rumor that President Polk is sending in soldiers disguised as settlers ... See full summary »



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After claiming his daughter's childhood-sweetheart killed the marshal, one man finds himself in conflict with his daughter, his fiancée and many of the townsfolk.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Margaret Hayes, Robert Vaughn
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Judge Jim Scott must contend with the vicious relatives of a murderer he's about to sentence...and his unfaithful fiancee.

Director: Harry Keller
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Joan Weldon, John Ericson
At Gunpoint (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The peace-loving owner of a general store, who became a town hero when he luckily killed the leader of a gang of bank robbers, is deserted by the townspeople who fear the threatened return of the vengeful bandits.

Director: Alfred L. Werker
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Dorothy Malone, Walter Brennan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After the death of a rancher his three sons run the ranch but one of them is seen as a coward because of his reluctance to gunfight.

Director: Abner Biberman
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Jeffrey Hunter, Janice Rule
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A robber in custody, becomes wanted for murder when his younger brother kills a deputy sheriff to help him escape.

Director: Paul Wendkos
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Lin McCarthy, Dorothy Green
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Captain John Smith overcomes the treachery of some of his men and resentment of the local Native Americans to establish the colony of Jamestown.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Anthony Dexter, Jody Lawrance, Alan Hale Jr.
The Furies (1950)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A firebrand heiress clashes with her tyrannical father, a cattle rancher who fancies himself a Napoleon; but their relationship turns ugly only when he finds himself a new woman.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Wendell Corey, Walter Huston
Blue Denim (1959)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Arthur Bartley and Janet Willard are fairly typical 1950s teenagers. Their lives are turned upside down however when Janet becomes pregnant. Desperate to tell his parents of the predicament... See full summary »

Director: Philip Dunne
Stars: Carol Lynley, Brandon De Wilde, Macdonald Carey
Oregon Trail (1945)
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Escaping the law, Jim Parker arrives in a town that is controlled by Higgins and his crony Judge. When he stands up to Higgins he is made Sheriff only to be shot in the back, After ... See full summary »

Director: Thomas Carr
Stars: Sunset Carson, Peggy Stewart, Frank Jaquet

U.S. Army Captain John Delmont takes a leave of absence to find out what happened to his missing father. Later he leads a wagon train to California and goes after the bad guys involved in his father's disappearance.

Director: Scott Pembroke
Stars: John Wayne, Ann Rutherford, Joseph W. Girard
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A tenderfoot becomes a bounty hunter in the hopes of making a better future for himself and his new love.

Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet
Stars: Dan Duryea, Rod Cameron, Audrey Dalton
Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In 1883, an American merchant ship's captain is searching for a treasure in diamonds from a sunken Dutch ship in the vicinity of a volcanic island in the Dutch East Indies.

Director: Joseph Kane
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Vera Ralston, Robert Douglas


Cast overview, first billed only:
Neal Harris
Capt. George Wayne
Nina Shipman ...
Prudence Cooper
Shona Hastings
George Seton
Zachariah Garrison
John Dierkes ...
Gabe Hastings
Roxene Wells ...
Flossie Shoemaker
Maria Cooper
Gene N. Fowler ...
Richard Cooper
Jeremiah Cooper
John Slosser ...
John Decker
Sherry Spalding ...
Tex Terry ...


In 1846, a reporter for the New York Herald joins a wagon train bound for the Oregon Territory. He hopes to confirm a rumor that President Polk is sending in soldiers disguised as settlers in order to strengthen American claims to the Territory. Written by dinky-4 of Minneapolis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




See all certifications »




Release Date:

September 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mit Büchse und Colt  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This wasn't Fred MacMurray's first trip to Oregon; four years earlier, he played Merriweather Lewis in The Far Horizons (1955) opposite Charlton Heston as William Clarke. See more »


In scenes at the White House, President James K. Polk stands in front of a US map, but the map shows the US following the Compromise of 1850. The film is set in 1846, before the Texas border was changed, before the Mexican Cession resulted in the admission of California and the organization of the Territories of Utah and New Mexico, all of which are clearly seen on that map. See more »


Neal Harris: Mr. Wayne, I was looking at Mr. Ellis' gun. I noticed it has "B Company" stamped on it. That would mean its government property - or am I mistaken?
Capt. George Wayne: Your mistake could be in asking.
See more »


Ballad of the Oregon Trail
Lyrics by Charles Devlan
Music by Paul Dunlap
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Well-worn ruts on this "Trail"
7 August 2005 | by (Minneapolis) – See all my reviews

By 1959, TV westerns had begun to replace the Hollywood B-western so there's the distinct feeling that "The Oregon Trail" -- despite its color and widescreen -- really isn't needed. Certainly there's no passion or style apparent in the film's making. It's more a case of everyone just going through the motions and collecting a paycheck.

Things begin unpromisingly with a scene involving President Polk in Washington D.C. This scene tries to give the story a historical context but it's on the dull and talky side. This is followed by another lax scene in which dapper, man-about-town reporter, Fred MacMurray, is assigned to go west on a wagon train and write a story for his newspaper. Finally, as MacMurray arrives in Westport, Missouri -- the eastern start of the Oregon Trail -- things begin rolling. They do so in a conventional way, however, and the entire trek west is filled with the usual situations: troubling encounters with Indians, dry water holes, tensions among the folk on the wagon train, an unexpected rain storm, a funeral service by the side of the trail, a settler protecting his apple-tree seedlings, etc. The use of stock shots and indoor sets hamper the effects of many of these scenes and there's no real villain to conflict with Fred MacMurray. There's also no tension about his mission since he makes no effort to hide it and the possible romantic- triangle involving him and William Bishop and Nina Shipman never takes form. Instead, MacMurray is implausibly paired with Gloria Talbott who appears fairly late in the proceedings.

Action builds toward a last-reel Indian attack which now seems quite "politically incorrect." (The "half-breed" Indian girl implausibly says: "It is because of this, I renounce my people.") Perhaps the only notable thing about "The Oregon Trail" is the scene in which Indians capture Fred MacMurray, strip off his shirt, and stake him out to die. (For a man in his early 50s, MacMurray looks pretty good bare-chested!) While TV westerns often staged these stake-outs, they're not all that common in the movies, and who'd believe one of them would "star" an actor about to get a career boost by playing in Disney comedies?!

21 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Oregon Trail (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: