MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 819 this week

How the West Was Won (1962)

7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 11,723 users  
Reviews: 134 user | 31 critic

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century--including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 02 Dec 2010
 
a list of 25 titles
created 01 Feb 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 2 months ago
 
a list of 47 titles
created 1 week ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: How the West Was Won (1962)

How the West Was Won (1962) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of How the West Was Won.

User Polls

Won 3 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bronco Billy (1980)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An idealistic, modern-day cowboy struggles to keep his Wild West show afloat in the face of hard luck and waning interest.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An ex-lawman is hired to transport gold from a mining community through dangerous territory. But what he doesn't realize is that his partner and old friend is plotting to double-cross him.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Joel McCrea, Randolph Scott, Mariette Hartley
Far and Away (1992)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young man (Cruise) leaves Ireland with his landlord's daughter (Kidman) after some trouble with her father, and they dream of owning land at the big giveaway in Oklahoma ca. 1893. When ... See full summary »

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Thomas Gibson
Rio Bravo (1959)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An oppressed Mexican peasant village assembles seven gunfighters to help defend their homes.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson
The Searchers (1956)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles
Open Range (2003)
Action | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A former gunslinger is forced to take up arms again when he and his cattle crew are threatened by a corrupt lawman.

Director: Kevin Costner
Stars: Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Diego Luna
Wagon Master (1950)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two young drifters guide a Mormon wagon train to the San Juan Valley and encounter cutthroats, Indians, geography, and moral challenges on the journey.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, Harry Carey Jr.
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Lt. John Dunbar, exiled to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director: Kevin Costner
Stars: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene
Broken Arrow (1950)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tom Jeffords tries to make peace between settlers and Apaches.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: James Stewart, Jeff Chandler, Debra Paget
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sharpshooter Matt Quigley is hired from Montana by an Australian rancher paying a very high price. But when Quigley arrives Down Under, all is not as it seems.

Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Tom Selleck, Laura San Giacomo, Alan Rickman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Eve Prescott
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Brigid Bazlen ...
...
Edit

Storyline

Sprawling epic which follows the Prescotts, an emigrant family through four generations, from the Erie Canal in the 1830's to their settled home in the West a half a century later. On the way they encounter river pirates, and escape with the help of fur trapper Linus Rawlings, who subsequently marries one of their daughters, Eve. The parents are drowned on a foundering raft, and the other daughter Lilith becomes a riverboat singer and catches the eye of a genteel adventurer Cleve Van Valen. They cross the plains together in a wagon train and make and lose a fortune in California; meanwhile Linus has turned farmer and, comes the Civil War, joins the Union Army and is killed at the Battle of Shiloh. One of his sons Zeb also joins the army and stays after the war as a cavalry officer and is sent to Colorado to help guard the pioneering railroad against the Indians, whose land they are crossing. By this time Lilith is the elderly lady of the family, having survived long enough to see the ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The epic journey of four generations of Americans who carved a country with their bare hands See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 February 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

How the West Was Won  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$12,150,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.89 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Since the three lenses of the Cinerama camera sat at angles to each other on the camera itself, it was very problematic for actors to film a scene as they would in front of a single-lensed camera. When their images were projected onto the three panels of the Cinerama screen, it would appear as though the actors were looking either slightly up-screen or slightly down-screen, and not directly at their fellow actors. This is very evident in a few scenes in the previous Cinerama film, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962). However, by the time this film went into production, this problem was solved somewhat. In order to compensate for the lens angles, actors would have to look one-third of the way in and toward the camera, and pretend that they were looking at their fellow actors. Hence, when their images were projected onto the Cinerama screen, it would appear as though they were looking at each other. It was a very difficult process for actors, which is one of the reasons that three-panel Cinerama was abandoned for narrative films after this film was released. See more »

Goofs

The scene in which Linus Rawlings (James Stewart) arrives to the Prescott camp it is supposedly at night. However, the illumination and environment shows as if it was daylight. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: [as the camera pans over the Rocky Mountains] This land has a name today, and is marked on maps. But, the names and the marks and the maps all had to be won, won from nature and from primitive man.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shanghai Noon (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Miss Bailey's Ghost
(uncredited)
Music by Alfred Newman
Performed by Imogene Clark and Carl Fortina
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Great Epic... and I Generally Detest Westerns
28 January 2001 | by (Pittsburgh, PA USA) – See all my reviews

I have not been fortunate to view this film in its original Cinerama format, but I have seen various prints of it over the years, and have recently watched the newly released DVD version.

Even in DVD's digital format, I can see how the color in some sections of the film has faded -- a pity, for there are vistas of incredible beauty in this film.

There are several reasons why this film works. The photography is simply breathtaking. The story is epic in proportions, yet as simple as the pioneers. Alfred Newman's score is lovely; This is the best film music that he had written since The Song of Bernadette. Ken Darby's vocal arrangements add just the right feel of authenticity to the sonic scheme. And, the actors are truly actors, not just "personalities". I absolutely fell in love with Thelma Ritter, Agnes Moorehead, Karl Malden, and Walter Brennan. These were just the "supporting" members of the cast. Debbie Reynolds and Gregory Peck made a great duo, James Stewart was independent, strong, yet vulnerable, and Carol Baker was sweet, if just a little conniving.

I was surprised how many times while watching the film I was moved to tears -- and not always during the sad scenes. (The scene at her father's grave when Carol Baker sends her son off to war, long after her husband has also gone, is very moving.) What was it that made me so misty-eyed? I found myself getting caught up in the lives of these pioneers, with their hopes, dreams, and disappointments, and all too human frailties.

Now for the flip side -- I must admit that I cringed when I heard Spencer Tracey's narration stating that "the west had to be won...from primitive man." It made me think about how one-sided this presentation was with regards to our treatment of Native Americans. George Peppard's character is an ally of the Native Americans, but this plot development occurs far too late to provide any kind of real balance to the story.

In the final analysis, we have a film that is not very politically correct, but is a tale told well, filmed beautifully, about people who sacrificed everything they had to pursue their dream.


25 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
No negros? ninglish69
Most disturbing scene ... RenlyStannis
How much $ to make this in 2008?? madmadrid
Was that Forrest Tucker? michael-palazzo
Discuss How the West Was Won (1962) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?