How the West Was Won (1976)

TV Mini-Series  |  Western
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 1,095 users  
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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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Title: How the West Was Won (1976– )

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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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The Macahans (TV Movie 1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Zeb Macahan, a pioneering westerner, help's move his brother's family to the wild west. They run into several obstacles including the breakout of the Civil War. This sends the father back ... See full summary »

Director: Bernard McEveety
Stars: James Arness, Eva Marie Saint, Bruce Boxleitner


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 »


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I just love it!
2 May 2003 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

How the west was won, was sendt on tv in Norway in they early eigthies. I'v never forgot it, and has waited and waited for a rerun, or that dvd's or vhs's should show up in the stores. Can't wait to see it again, but so far my wish has not come thru. I had like most of the girls in Norway, a hugh crush on Luke and Wolf Paw! And the week could'nt go fast enough, waiting for the next episode. My highest wish for the future is that the whole series will be released on dvd, so I can buy it and see it as much as i want to. And I know that many in Norway would agree with me, we never forgot the Macahans, and saturday night on tv has'nt been the same since!!!!!!!!!!


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