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The Hallelujah Trail (1965)

Approved | | Comedy, Western | 23 June 1965 (USA)
A wagon train heads for Denver with a cargo of whisky for the miners. Chaos ensues as the Temperance League, the US cavalry, the miners and the local Indians all try to take control of the ... See full summary »

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(novel) (as Bill Gulick), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sgt. Buell
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Kevin O'Flaherty
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Chief Five Barrels
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Clayton Howell
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Hobbs
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Henrietta
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Denver bartender
Noam Pitlik ...
Interpreter
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Storyline

A wagon train heads for Denver with a cargo of whisky for the miners. Chaos ensues as the Temperance League, the US cavalry, the miners and the local Indians all try to take control of the valuable cargo. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

See How The West Was Fun! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 June 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Sturges' The Hallelujah Trail  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print) | (Cinemax) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During location shooting in New Mexico the crew was confronted with the heaviest rainfalls in that region in 50 years. It washed away the tents as well as the set and props. See more »

Goofs

When Col. Gearhart comes back to his shave after confronting Cora in her bath the trooper acting as barber puts shaving soap in selected spots on his face. When they go to a full face shot of the Col. his chin is fully lathered and then the lather is only in selected spots again as they cut back to the side view. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Paul Slater: Protect both rears simultaneously!
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Soundtracks

We Will Save
Written by Elmer Bernstein and Ernie Sheldon
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User Reviews

 
Sprightly, Funny, a Bit Too Long, Definitely Un-PC Western

DISCLOSURE: Lee Remick was one of handful of beautiful and talented actresses I was - safely and at a distance - in love with decades ago. Her early death from cancer was a tragedy-she was a wonderful actress.

*****

Director John Sturges isn't too well known today although many of his action movies are readily available on VHS and DVD and often screen on TV. A retrospective of his films ought to be a priority for every film society.

"The Hallelujah Trail" is a tongue-in-cheek cinemascope comedy about a threatened mega-disaster in the fall of 1867 in Colorado. A mining town is almost out of liquor and beer and approaching winter threatens to leave the thirsty community high and definitely dry. Fortunately entrepreneur Frank Wallingham (Brian Keith) is willing to risk life and limb to bring forty wagons of hooch through Indian country to succor the miners.

Meanwhile, back at your local, friendly cavalry garrison, Cora Templeton Massingale (Lee Remick), twice widowed from husbands whose livers gave out along with, presumably, their libido is holding a rousing temperance rally with the permission of CPT Paul Slater, a young officer besotted with the C.O.'s daughter, Louise (Pamela Tiffin). The commanding officer rides into this fire-and-brimstone event and turns it off. That's COL Thaddeus Gearhart (Burt Lancaster), nineteen years serving the colors and now faced with a sweet but rebellious daughter allied with a sweet but crafty and dedicated temperance campaigner, Colorado's version of Carrie Nation (and far more likable than that harridan).

What follows is the cavalry riding to escort the wagons with the booze, Indians of a decidedly non-homicidal nature attempting to get their share of firewater (all of it, actually), miners formed into a militia to insure the safe delivery of the spirits and - last but not least - a stereotypical Irish teamster arguing for the rights of labor. Collision and clash follow and - for once - nobody, absolutely nobody, dies. Bummer.

With Martin Landau as Chief Walks-Stooped-Over you can't expect any realistic depiction of Native Americans, can you? And you don't get it. What is on the screen is magnificent scenery and a fine score by Elmer Bernstein with the title tune guaranteed to bury itself in your brain for frequent and uncalled for replays.

Burt Lancaster is very funny as a colonel trying to deal with his command, whose enlisted personnel seem to be temperance-prone (talk about distortion of the reality of frontier Army service!), his daughter, Indians, miners and the alluring, funny Lee Remick.

About 15-20 minutes could have been shaved from the movie but, overall, it's a politically very incorrect funny story about a West that never existed.

The DVD transfer is excellent but the magnificent scenery reflects how great it would be to see "The Hallelujah Trail" again on a big, big screen.

7/10


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