IMDb > "How the West Was Won" (1978)

"How the West Was Won" (1978) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1978-


User Rating:
8.1/10   726 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 44% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Howard Fast (episodes)
Jack Miller (episodes)
View company contact information for How the West Was Won on IMDbPro.
1 | 2
Release Date:
25 October 1979 (Belgium) See more »
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. Full summary »
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
How The West Was Won is one of the best westerns ever made; Jim Arness' best work. See more (9 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 6 of 89)

James Arness ... Zeb Macahan (24 episodes, 1978-1979)

Fionnula Flanagan ... Molly Culhane (24 episodes, 1978-1979)

Bruce Boxleitner ... Luke Macahan (24 episodes, 1978-1979)
Kathryn Holcomb ... Laura Macahan (24 episodes, 1978-1979)
William Kirby Cullen ... Josh Macahan (24 episodes, 1978-1979)
Vicki Schreck ... Jessie Macahan (24 episodes, 1978-1979)

Series Directed by
Vincent McEveety (15 episodes, 1978-1979)
Bernard McEveety (13 episodes, 1978)
Barry Crane (2 episodes, 1979)
Joseph Pevney (2 episodes, 1979)
Series Writing credits
John Mantley (16 episodes, 1978-1979)
Earl W. Wallace (15 episodes, 1978-1979)
Calvin Clements Jr. (14 episodes, 1978-1979)
Calvin Clements Sr. (4 episodes, 1978-1979)
Katharyn Powers (4 episodes, 1978)
Colley Cibber (3 episodes, 1978)
William Kelley (3 episodes, 1978)
Ron Bishop (2 episodes, 1979)
Ray Goldrup (2 episodes, 1979)
Steve Hayes (2 episodes, 1979)

Howard Fast (unknown episodes)
Jack Miller (unknown episodes)

Series Produced by
John A. Fegan Jr. .... associate producer (3 episodes, 1979)
John Mantley .... executive producer (3 episodes, 1979)
John G. Stephens .... producer (3 episodes, 1979)
Series Original Music by
Bruce Broughton (2 episodes, 1979)
Series Cinematography by
Edward R. Plante (3 episodes, 1979)
Series Film Editing by
Steven C. Brown (4 episodes, 1979)
Gregory Prange (4 episodes, 1979)
Joe Morrisey (3 episodes, 1979)
Series Casting by
Pam Polifroni (3 episodes, 1979)
Series Production Design by
Archie J. Bacon (1 episode, 1979)
Series Art Direction by
Archie J. Bacon (2 episodes, 1979)
Series Set Decoration by
Herman N. Schoenbrun (3 episodes, 1979)
Series Makeup Department
Richard Cobos .... makeup artist (3 episodes, 1979)
Mary Hadley .... hairdresser (3 episodes, 1979)
Tony Lane .... makeup artist (3 episodes, 1979)
Joan Phillips .... hairdresser (2 episodes, 1979)

Walter Schenk .... makeup artist (unknown episodes)
Series Production Management
Hal Klein .... unit production manager (3 episodes, 1979)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Carol Smetana .... second assistant director (7 episodes, 1978)
Michael Kusley .... assistant director (6 episodes, 1979)
Lawrence S. Brooks .... second assistant director (5 episodes, 1979)
Mary Lou MacLaury .... second assistant director (5 episodes, 1979)
Lorin Bennett Salob .... assistant director (5 episodes, 1979)
Gerald Walsh .... second assistant director (3 episodes, 1978)

Robert M. Beche .... assistant director (unknown episodes)
Series Art Department
Earl W. Huntoon Jr. .... property master (6 episodes, 1979)
Earl Gawthorpe .... property master (5 episodes, 1979)

Alan Sims .... leadman (unknown episodes)
Series Sound Department
Larry Hadsell .... sound (6 episodes, 1979)
Gene Garvin .... sound (5 episodes, 1979)
Dick McCarthy .... sound editor (4 episodes, 1979)
Tom C. McCarthy .... sound editor (4 episodes, 1979)
Jack Cheap .... sound editor (3 episodes, 1979)
Hal Watkins .... sound (3 episodes, 1979)
Series Special Effects by
Bill Balles .... special effects (3 episodes, 1979)

Charles Schulthies .... special effects (unknown episodes)
Series Stunts
Diamond Farnsworth .... stunts (5 episodes, 1979)
Ben Bates .... stunt coordinator (3 episodes, 1979)
Richard Lundin .... action coordinator (3 episodes, 1979)

Russ Dodson .... stunt coordinator (unknown episodes)
Dennis Lehane .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Dean Smith .... stunt coordinator (unknown episodes)
Neil Summers .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Steve Stafford .... assistant camera (11 episodes, 1979)

Johnny E. Jensen .... first assistant camera (unknown episodes, 1978)
Michael D. O'Shea .... camera operator (unknown episodes, 1978)
Ron Anderson .... best boy (unknown episodes)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gilda Craig .... wardrobe: women (3 episodes, 1979)
Robert Magahay .... wardrobe: men (3 episodes, 1979)
Series Editorial Department
Ron Honthaner .... post-production coordinator (unknown episodes)
Michael J. Sheridan .... post-production coordinator (unknown episodes)
Robert H. Souders Jr. .... additional editor (unknown episodes)
Series Music Department
Joanie Diener .... music editor (6 episodes, 1979)
Scott Perry Jr. .... music editor (5 episodes, 1979)
Jerrold Immel .... composer: theme music (3 episodes, 1979)
Harry V. Lojewski .... music supervisor (3 episodes, 1979)
Series Other crew
Rita Lundin .... wrangler (11 episodes, 1979)
Jim Byrnes .... developed for television by (3 episodes, 1979)
Calvin Clements Sr. .... executive story consultant (3 episodes, 1979)
John Dutton .... script supervisor (3 episodes, 1979)
Albert S. Ruddy .... developed for television by (3 episodes, 1979)

Ron R. Kinsey .... co-operator: Soutwest Museum (unknown episodes)
Calvin Spencer .... double: Lloyd Bridges (unknown episodes)
Sharon Thurgood .... studio teacher (unknown episodes)
Jack N. Young .... location manager (unknown episodes)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:60 min (25 episodes) | USA:60 min (20 episodes)
Color (Metrocolor)
Sound Mix:

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 »
Movie Connections:
Edited from Escape from Fort Bravo (1953)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
13 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
How The West Was Won is one of the best westerns ever made; Jim Arness' best work., 23 July 2006
Author: slfreedjafreed from United States

Few shows (mini-series) except for "Centennial" have depicted the gritty realism of the west as well as How The West Was Won. Jim Arness brought the character of Zeb Macahan to life / bigger, rougher and tougher than Matt Dillon could have ever hoped to be. I have the entire multi-season mini series, including the premiere movie, on 15 year old VHS tapes that are losing their quality. I wish the series would be released on DVD in a boxed set. Gunsmoke has been released, and considering some of the awful shows that HAVE been released I don't know why they don't. Does anyone know the status of this situation? I would like to find out who produced the series and perhaps recommend that there is a large audience out there for this kind of DVD release. Perhaps Jim Arness' website could help.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (9 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for "How the West Was Won" (1978)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
US DVD Release Information - March 2013 pep-peter
Josh maxman-5
Remastered DVD sets ferdinandhudson
Luke as a fugitive leroykevin
Please, Will some Orchestra please record the THEME RecklessRex
extras list ritaz5
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
How the West Was Won The Phantom Rider The Macahans Man with the Steel Whip "The Chisholms"
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Episode guide Full cast and crew Company credits
External reviews News articles IMDb TV section
IMDb Western section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.

You may add a new episode for this TV series by clicking the 'add episode' button