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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Mitchell Lindemann) | 1 more credit »

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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
Michael Moynihan
Elisabeth Fraser ...
Mrs. Fairman (as Elizabeth Fraser)
John Mitchum ...
Little Henry


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


Cracking Like a Whip From Here to Excitement!


Adventure | Western


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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


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1956 Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions announced plans to film "The Way West." It was to be adapted by Clifford Odets and was to star Burt Lancaster, James Stewart and, hopefully, Gary Cooper. That version was not made. See more »


During the river crossing several men in long "duster" coats appear on one side of the river and in the next shot, seconds later, are on the other side. They switch back and forth several times, See more »


[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 »


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


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

Spectacular Western focusing a wagon train of emigrants bound from Missouri to Oregon
23 April 2008 | by See all my reviews

This motion picture is based on the Pulitzer-winning novel by A. B. Guthrie. It starts in Independence, Missouri, 1843, senator William(Kirk Douglas) asks volunteers to unite themselves towards Oregon. Among them find the Evans family, formed by Lije(Richard Widmark) his wife Rebecca(Lola Albright) and their son Brownnie; the justly married Johnnie and Amanda Mack and various traders from Independence. Kirk Douglas join forces with Robert Mitchum, as a taciturn explorer, he's a supreme hero in a performance that epitomises the spirit of the early West at least as Hollywood saw it.

The American West has a turbulent and mighty history , some of which is told in story and folk songs . Here is a panoramic view of the American West, concerning on the dangers, hazards, travels and tribulations of pioneers set against the background of breathtaking landscapes and risked deeds, including Indians attack and one deeply cliff. Particularly impressive for its notable cast list and expansive Western setting. Any Western that play stars such as Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Richard Widmark and Sally Field -film debut- is at least worth a glimpse. Furthermore a magnificent secondary casting, as Jack Elam, Stubby Kaye, John Agar, John Mitchum, among others. Sadly this epic Western doesn't hold up that well on TV set because was released on the great screen and much of the grandeur of the original version is lost. But Shootém-up and spectacular scenarios fans won't want to miss a chance to see many of the genre's greats in one movie. This is an epic movie , photographed in gorgeous Technicolor by William Clothier- John Ford's usual cameraman-, adding lustre on the groundbreaking sweep, along with an emotive musical score by Branislaw Kaper. The film is splendidly filmed on locations in America's National forests and professionally directed by Andrew W McLagen.

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