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How the West Was Won (1976)

TV Mini-Series  |  Western
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 1,106 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 6 critic

The Macahans, a family from Virginia headed by Zeb Macahan, travel across the country to pioneer a new land and a new home in the American West.


(developed for television by), (developed for television by), 13 more credits »
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3   2   1  
1979   1978   1977   1976  
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete series cast summary:
 Zeb Macahan (25 episodes, 1976-1979)
 Luke Macahan (25 episodes, 1976-1979)
Kathryn Holcomb ...
 Laura Macahan / ... (25 episodes, 1976-1979)
William Kirby Cullen ...
 Josh Macahan (25 episodes, 1976-1979)
Vicki Schreck ...
 Jessie Macahan (25 episodes, 1976-1979)
 Molly Culhane (21 episodes, 1978-1979)


Episodes revolving around the Macahan family as they try to fulfill their dream of going to Oregon. They run into many setbacks along the way and are forced to delay their move many times as a result. Common wild west themes and characters abound, such as Native Americans and crazy mountain men. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

6 February 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Macahans  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Russian hunting expedition that serves as the basis for conflict with the Sioux tribes of the Dakotas in the miniseries, is based on the actual highly publicized state visit to the United States by Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia in 1871-72. The miniseries fictionalizes the historic meeting between the Sioux, the visiting Russians and their US Army hosts, into fabricated subplots of hostility and violence that devolve into a melodramatic tale of poaching, kidnapping, murder, political crisis, warfare and genocide before the absurdity reaches its climax with a ritual suicide. Thankfully, history records a far more benign encounter with the Sioux during the Grand Duke's visit. US Army preparations for the hunt were conducted well in advance of the Russian hunting expedition. The assistance of William "Buffalo" Cody was employed in negotiations with the Sioux. Rather than being itinerant poachers on Sioux lands as portrayed in the miniseries, the US government provided the Sioux tribes under Chief Spotted Tail with a wagon train containing tons of coffee, sugar, tobacco and other provisions in exchange for the use of the Sioux hunting grounds. Spotted Tail and hundreds of warriors greeted the expedition at the expedition's camp and received the Grand Duke and his party as guests of the Sioux nation. Not only did the Sioux approve of the hunt, they participated in it, being eager to demonstrate their style of horsemanship and marksmanship to the "great white chief from across the water". See more »


Spun-off from How the West Was Won (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Western mini-series !
12 October 2005 | by (Sum Mo' Islands) – See all my reviews

This TV-series is/was truly excellent ! It is interesting, fun and exciting. The characters are all watch-able ; Zeb, Luke, Laura, Aunt Molly, Hillary and Mr.Beasley. :-) The actors all do a great job.

The main title (theme) is terrific and I wish somebody would post a link to somewhere on the web, where it can be obtained/purchased. I can only seem to find the soundtrack for the original movie (1963) and NOT the TV-mini (1978)...

I saw the show for the first time when I was 10 - so that doesn't count. :-) he he However, I saw it again last year and now that I'm thirty-something, I still think it's a tremendous show ! :-)

I recommend the show to anybody, although obviously some parts may be a little scary for small children.

All in all, one of the greatest (mini) TV-series ! :-)

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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