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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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Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   12,157 votes »
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Down 37% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
A Great Epic... and I Generally Detest Westerns See more (137 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)
Frank Baker ... Auction Spectator (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)
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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


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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 | Chile:TE | Finland:K-16 | France:U | New Zealand:PG | Norway:12 | Portugal:M/6 (Qualidade) | Spain:7 | Sweden:11 | 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:
Raymond Massey made a career out of portraying Abraham Lincoln, having played him on stage, on TV ("Ford Star Jubilee: The Day Lincoln Was Shot (#1.6)" (1956)) and on film (Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)). This film marks the final time he played the President.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: During the final scene of the movie when the camera is looking down at a modern freeway cloverleaf, the helicopter landing struts can be seen on the extreme left and right sides of the screen.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:
Entr'acteSee more »

FAQ

How can I see How The West Was Won in CINERAMA?
George Peppard---How Many Dye Jobs Did He Have?
See more »
26 out of 44 people found the following review useful.
A Great Epic... and I Generally Detest Westerns, 28 January 2001
Author: Jon Kolenchak from Pittsburgh, PA USA

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
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