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How the West Was Won
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How the West Was Won (1962) More at IMDbPro »

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How the West Was Won -- Academy Award-winning epic follows the trials and tribulations of three generations of a frontier family as they embark to tame the wild American West.

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   13,198 votes »
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Writer:
James R. Webb (written by) (suggested by the series "How the West Was Won" which appeared in LIFE magazine)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for How the West Was Won on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 February 1963 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A FABULOUS ROMANTIC ADVENTURE See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 3 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"I Am Bound For The Promised Land." See more (138 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Carroll Baker ... Eve Prescott

Lee J. Cobb ... Marshal Lou Ramsey

Henry Fonda ... Jethro Stuart

Carolyn Jones ... Julie Rawlings

Karl Malden ... Zebulon Prescott

Gregory Peck ... Cleve Van Valen

George Peppard ... Zeb Rawlings

Robert Preston ... Roger Morgan

Debbie Reynolds ... Lilith Prescott

James Stewart ... Linus Rawlings

Eli Wallach ... Charlie Gant

John Wayne ... Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman

Richard Widmark ... Mike King
Brigid Bazlen ... Dora Hawkins

Walter Brennan ... Col. Jeb Hawkins
David Brian ... Lilith's Attorney

Andy Devine ... Cpl. Peterson

Raymond Massey ... Abraham Lincoln

Agnes Moorehead ... Rebecca Prescott

Harry Morgan ... Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (as Henry 'Harry' Morgan)

Thelma Ritter ... Agatha Clegg
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Deputy Stover

Russ Tamblyn ... Confederate deserter

Spencer Tracy ... Narrated By (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rodolfo Acosta ... Gant Gang Member (uncredited)
Mark Allen ... Colin Harvey (uncredited)
Beulah Archuletta ... Arapaho Woman (uncredited)
Robert Banas ... Dance Hall Dancer (uncredited)

Willis Bouchey ... Surgeon (uncredited)
John Breen ... Waiter (uncredited)
Charlie Briggs ... Flying Arrow Barker (uncredited)
Paul Bryar ... Auctioneer's Assistant (uncredited)
Walter Burke ... Wagon Poker Player (uncredited)
Polly Burson ... Stock Player (uncredited)
Kim Charney ... Sam Prescott (uncredited)

Ken Curtis ... Cpl. Ben (uncredited)
John Damler ... Lawyer (uncredited)
Christopher Dark ... Poker Player with Cleve (uncredited)
Kem Dibbs ... Blacksmith (uncredited)
Craig Duncan ... James Marshall (uncredited)
Ben Black Elk Sr. ... Arapaho Chief (uncredited)

Jay C. Flippen ... Huggins (uncredited)
Sol Gorss ... River Pirate (uncredited)
Tom Greenway ... (uncredited)

James Griffith ... Poker Player with Cleve (uncredited)
Barry Harvey ... Angus Harvey (uncredited)
William Henry ... Staff Officer (uncredited)
Jerry Holmes ... Railroad Clerk (uncredited)

Roy Jenson ... Henchman (uncredited)
Claude Johnson ... Jeremiah Rawlings (uncredited)
Jack Lambert ... Gant Henchman (uncredited)
John Larch ... Grimes (uncredited)

Stanley Livingston ... Prescott Rawlings (uncredited)
J. Edward McKinley ... Auctioneer (uncredited)
Harry Monty ... River Pirate (uncredited)
Bob Morgan ... Member of Train Robbery Gang (uncredited)
Boyd 'Red' Morgan ... River Pirate (uncredited)
Robert Nash ... Lawyer (uncredited)

Cliff Osmond ... Bartender (uncredited)
Tudor Owen ... Parson Alec Harvey (uncredited)
Harvey Parry ... Henchman (uncredited)
Jack Pennick ... Cpl. Murphy (uncredited)
Gil Perkins ... Henchman (uncredited)
Red Perkins ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
Buddy Red Bow ... Arapaho Man (uncredited)
Walter Reed ... River Pirate (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson ... Officer (uncredited)
Victor Romito ... Henchman (uncredited)
Jamie Ross ... Bruce Harvey (uncredited)
Gene Roth ... Riverboat Poker Player (uncredited)
Bryan Russell ... Zeke Prescott (uncredited)
Danny Sands ... Trapeze Man (uncredited)
Joe Sawyer ... Riverboat Officer (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Auction Spectator (uncredited)
Phil Schumacher ... Bartender (uncredited)
Chief Sky Eagle ... Arapajo Chief (uncredited)

Harry Dean Stanton ... Gant Henchman (uncredited)
Clinton Sundberg ... Hylan Seabury (uncredited)

Karl Swenson ... Train Conductor (uncredited)
Ken Terrell ... River Pirate (uncredited)
Jack Tornek ... Barfly (uncredited)

Lee Van Cleef ... River Pirate (uncredited)
William Wellman Jr. ... Officer #2 (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Cattleman at Barricade (uncredited)
Carleton Young ... Poker Player with Cleve (uncredited)

Directed by
John Ford (segment "The Civil War")
Henry Hathaway (segments "The Rivers", "The Plains", "The Outlaws")
George Marshall (segment "The Railroad")
Richard Thorpe (uncredited) (transitional historical sequences)
 
Writing credits
James R. Webb (written by) (suggested by the series "How the West Was Won" which appeared in LIFE magazine)

John Gay  uncredited

Produced by
Bernard Smith .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alfred Newman 
 
Cinematography by
William H. Daniels (director of photography)
Milton R. Krasner (director of photography) (as Milton Krasner)
Charles Lang (director of photography) (as Charles Lang Jr.)
Joseph LaShelle (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Harold F. Kress (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
George W. Davis 
William Ferrari 
Addison Hehr 
 
Set Decoration by
Henry Grace 
Don Greenwood Jr. 
Jack Mills 
 
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett (costumes by)
Ron Talsky (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup creator
Jay Sebring .... hair designer: Henry Fonda/George Peppard (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Thomas Conroy .... production supervisor: for Cinerama
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
George Marshall Jr. .... assistant director
William McGarry .... assistant director
Robert Saunders .... assistant director
William Shanks .... assistant director
Wingate Smith .... assistant director
Richard Talmadge .... second unit director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Matty Azzarone .... leadman (uncredited)
Frank Wesselhoff .... painter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Franklin Milton .... recording supervisor
Van Allen James .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Bob Overbeck .... special effects crew (uncredited)
Lester Swartz .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
A. Arnold Gillespie .... special visual effects
Robert R. Hoag .... special visual effects
 
Stunts
Rick Arnold .... stunts (uncredited)
May Boss .... stunts (uncredited)
Polly Burson .... stunts (uncredited)
Frank Cordell .... stunts (uncredited)
Everett Creach .... stunts (uncredited)
John Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Richard Farnsworth .... stunts (uncredited)
Sol Gorss .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Graham .... stunts (uncredited)
Donna Hall .... stunt double: Debbie Reynolds (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
Charles Horvath .... stunts (uncredited)
Loren Janes .... stunt double: Debbie Reynolds (uncredited)
Loren Janes .... stunts (uncredited)
Roy Jenson .... stunts (uncredited)
Leroy Johnson .... stunts (uncredited)
Eddie Juaregui .... stunts (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
Ted Mapes .... stunts (uncredited)
Troy Melton .... stunts (uncredited)
Louise Montana .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
Boyd 'Red' Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
Hal Needham .... stunts (uncredited)
Harvey Parry .... stunts (uncredited)
Gil Perkins .... stunts (uncredited)
Carl Pitti .... stunts (uncredited)
Rusty Richards .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunt double: John Wayne (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
Victor Romito .... stunts (uncredited)
Ronnie Rondell Jr. .... stunts (uncredited)
Danny Sands .... stunts (uncredited)
Dean Smith .... stunts (uncredited)
Richard Talmadge .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Bob Terhune .... stunts (uncredited)
Ken Terrell .... stunts (uncredited)
Autry Ward .... stunts (uncredited)
Troy Ward .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
Henry Wills .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack N. Young .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Yrigoyen .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Harold E. Wellman .... second unit photography
Bill Johnson .... camera operator (uncredited)
James V. King .... camera operator: second unit (uncredited)
Owen Marsh .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Owen Marsh .... video technician (uncredited)
Pete G. Papanickolas .... grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Robert Fuca .... assistant set costumer (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Charles K. Hagedon .... color consultant
Mike Henry .... negative cutter (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Ken Darby .... music associate
Robert Emmett Dolan .... music co-ordinator
Dave Guard .... folk singer
The Whiskeyhill Singers .... folk singer
Robert Armbruster .... associate conductor (uncredited)
Robert Bain .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Ken Darby .... choir (uncredited)
Robert Emmett Dolan .... associate conductor (uncredited)
Carl Fortina .... musician: concertina (uncredited)
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Tommy Morgan .... musician: harmonica (uncredited)
Alfred Newman .... conductor (uncredited)
Uan Rasey .... musician: trumpet soloist (uncredited)
Paul Salamunovich .... choral singer (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
164 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor) (uncredited)
Aspect Ratio:
2.89 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (35 mm prints) | Cinerama 7-Track (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Australia:PG (DVD rating) | Canada:G | Finland:K-16 | France:U | New Zealand:PG | Norway:12 | Portugal:M/6 (Qualidade) | Spain:7 | Sweden:11 (cut) | UK:U (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video re-rating) (1995) (2008) (uncut) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (cut: by 2 secs) | USA:TV-G | USA:Approved (certificate #20143) | USA:G (re-rating) (1970) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Stuntman Bob Morgan was seriously injured, and almost died, while performing a stunt in this picture. Toward the end of the film, there is a gunfight on a moving train between the sheriff and a gang of train robbers. Morgan was one of the stuntmen playing a robber and was crouched next to a pile of logs on a flatcar. The chains holding the logs together snapped, and Morgan was crushed by the falling logs. He was so badly hurt it took him five years to recover to the point where he was able to move by himself and walk unaided.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Zeb rides up to the Arapaho and they fire at him, he races back to the train camp, gets off his horse and hits it on the rump. It races off, but after the buffalo go through the camp and Zeb is ready to leave, his horse is neatly tied to the fence.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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Battle Hymn of the RepublicSee more »

FAQ

How can I see How The West Was Won in CINERAMA?
George Peppard---How Many Dye Jobs Did He Have?
See more »
30 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
"I Am Bound For The Promised Land.", 21 November 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

I still remember seeing How the West Was Won in Cinerama when it made it into general release back in 1962. A motion picture theater equipped for Cinerama is the only way this one should be seen. The formatted VHS copy I watched tonight can't come close to doing it justice.

James R. Webb's original screenplay for the screen won an Oscar in 1962 and it involves an episodic account of the Presscott family and their contribution to settling the American west in the 19th century. We first meet the Presscotts, Karl Malden and Agnes Moorehead going west on the Erie Canal and later by flatboat on the Ohio River. They have two daughters, dreamy romantic Carroll Baker and feisty Debbie Reynolds. The girls meet and marry mountain man James Stewart and gambler Gregory Peck eventually and their adventures and those of their children are what make up the plot of How the West Was Won.

Three of Hollywood's top directors did parts of this film although the lion's share by all accounts was done by Henry Hathaway. John Ford did the Civil War sequence and George Marshall the sequence about the railroad.

The Civil War piece featured John Wayne and Harry Morgan in a moment of reflection at the battlefield of Shiloh. Morgan did a first rate job as Grant in his brief cameo and Wayne was playing Sherman for the second time in his career. He'd previously played Sherman in an unbilled cameo on his friend Ward Bond's Wagon Train series. I'm surprised Wayne never did Sherman in a biographical film, he would have been good casting.

If any of the stars could be said to be THE star of the film it would have to be Debbie Reynolds. She's in the film almost through out and in the last sequence where as a widow she goes to live with her nephew George Peppard and his family she's made up as a gray haired old woman and does very well with the aging. Debbie also gets to do a couple of musical numbers, A Home in the Meadow and Raise A Ruckus both blend in well in the story. Debbie's performance in How the West Was Won must have been the reason she was cast in The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Cinerama was rarely as effectively employed as in How the West Was Won. I well remember feeling like you were right on the flatboat that the Presscott family was on as they got caught in the Ohio River rapids. The Indian attack and the buffalo stampede were also well done. But the climax involving that running gun battle between peace officers George Peppard and Lee J. Cobb with outlaw Eli Wallach and his gang on a moving train even on a formatted VHS is beyond thrilling.

There is a sequence that was removed and it had to do with Peppard going to live with buffalo hunter Henry Fonda and marrying Hope Lange who was Fonda's daughter. She dies and Peppard leaves the mountains and then marries Carolyn Jones. Lange's part was completely left on the cutting room floor. Hopefully there will be a restored version of How the West Was Won, we'll see Hope Lange and more of Henry Fonda.

And it should be restored. All those Hollywood legends in one exciting film. They really don't make them like this any more.

Was the above review useful to you?
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