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The Way West (1967)

 -  Adventure | Western  -  24 May 1967 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,297 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 9 critic

In 1843 a former U.S. senator leads a wagon train of settlers to Oregon, but his megalomania leads to growing dissatisfaction with his leadership.

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Title: The Way West (1967)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sen. William J. Tadlock
...
Dick Summers
...
Lije Evans
Lola Albright ...
Rebecca 'Becky' Evans
...
Mercy McBee
Katherine Justice ...
Amanda Mack
...
Preacher Weatherby
Stubby Kaye ...
Sam Fairman
...
Brownie Evans
...
Mr. McBee (as Harry Carey)
...
Mrs. McBee
Michael Witney ...
Johnnie Mack
William Lundigan ...
Michael Moynihan
Elisabeth Fraser ...
Mrs. Fairman (as Elizabeth Fraser)
...
Little Henry
Edit

Storyline

In the mid-19th century, Senator William J. Tadlock leads a group of settlers overland in a quest to start a new settlement in the Western US. Tadlock is a highly principled and demanding taskmaster who is as hard on himself as he is on those who have joined his wagon train. He clashes with one of the new settlers, Lije Evans, who doesn't quite appreciate Tadlock's ways. Along the way, the families must face death and heartbreak and a sampling of frontier justice when one of them accidentally kills a young Indian boy. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Cracking Like a Whip From Here to Excitement!

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 May 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harold Hecht's The Way West  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Big screen debut for Sally Field and Katherine Justice. See more »

Goofs

Kirk Douglas' revolver was first made in 1860 or later. The time line of the period is 1843. He would have been using a percussion single Shot US Model 1842 or at best a civilian Patterson Colt with no trigger guard and especially, no side barrel extractor tube. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Mercy flirts silently with Brownie]
Lije Evans: Best not be lookin', Brownie.
Brownie Evans: I ain't lookin'... as hard as I can.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Introducing Sally Field as "Mercy" and introducing Katherine Justice. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Callan: Nice People Die at Home (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

The Way West
Music by Bronislau Kaper (uncredited)
Lyrics by Mack David
Sung by The Serendipity Singers (as Serendipity Singers)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Douglas, Mitchum & Widmark must have wondered what they were doing there
28 February 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

You would think that a film that starred three of the biggest male film stars of the post World War II era would have become a classic. These three who also happen to be three favorites of mine, walk around in a daze, looking like they'd rather be any place, but there.

The sad thing is that The Way West definitely had some potential to be a classic. In these days of political correctness, a film about American pioneers and the travails of their westward migration is something not done now. It should have been better done back then.

Kirk Douglas is a former United States Senator who's heading a wagon train west to build a settlement in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Being he's an ex-politician, he rates above the hoi ploi he's leading. The script calls for him to have not only a covered wagon, but a carriage to lead the train.

You think that's ludicrous, you ought to see the whipping scene where Douglas orders his black servant, played by Roy Glenn to whip him. I won't spoil it by saying what causes Douglas to demand this of Glenn, but trust me, it's bad.

Robert Mitchum is the trail guide and of the three stars he looks the most bored. There was supposed to be considerable friction on the set between Widmark and Douglas, but Mitchum just saunters through the film above it all.

Maybe the friction helped somewhat because the movie calls for Douglas, a widower, to have an eye on Mrs. Widmark, played by Lola Albright. Now she's the best looking thing in the movie.

The film billing says introducing Sally Field. This was made in between her Gidget and her Flying Nun days. She plays a piece of white southern trash with the musical comedy name of Mercy McBee. We first see her in the movie sitting on the back of her parents wagon, legs akimbo and inviting. Of course she gets taken up on her invitation.

Her character is something like what's found in every trailer park in America and then again what was a wagon train, but one large trailer park on the move.

Despite this film, Sally Field went on to a two Oscar career. What that woman had to overcome.

Victor McLaglen's son Andrew directed this item and together with a lousy script turned this into a turgid mess. Shame on Andrew McLaglen, he's certainly done better in his career.

And so will you, unless you're a stargazer.


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