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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sen. William J. Tadlock
...
Dick Summers
...
Lije Evans
...
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)
John Mitchum ...
Little Henry
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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:

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Details

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Release Date:

24 May 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harold Hecht's The Way West  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his diaries, Charlton Heston states that he was seriously pursued for the Kirk Douglas role. See more »

Goofs

The Sioux chief's hair is not styled in the Sioux fashion. It more closely resembles that of the Pawnee, traditional Sioux enemies. 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 (Finale)
Composed by Bronislau Kaper
Performed by The Serendipity Singers
Conducted by André Previn
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Considering the considerable cast, I expected more...though it's not bad.
30 December 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This western is very unusual in that it features three top leading men--Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum and Richard Widmark. Now you'd think with all this high-octane masculinity and acting that this would be a terrific film, well, you'd be wrong. While it isn't a bad film, it does suffer from a thoroughly adequate script--one that never seems to deliver the goods.

Douglas plays an ex-senator bent on starting the first white colony in Oregon in 1848. The problem is that he's not exactly 'Mr. Personality'--and his abrasive and autocratic ways rub everyone in the wagon train wrong. Can he get them all to his promised land or will the folks ditch him and make for California? Tune in and see.

For the most part, this is a pretty ordinary drama about settling the West. As for Douglas, he overacts more than usual (and what's with that whipping scene?!?!). Widmark's character is inconsistent and underwritten. The only lead who comes off well is Mitchum--as a weary Kit Carson-type. Aside from being pretty ordinary and predictable, the film did have a few pluses. There was nice cinematography and as a history teacher, I appreciated how they showed lots of mules, oxen and cows pulling the wagons--whereas most films only show horses (a mistake). But this isn't enough to raise it above mediocrity.


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