IMDb > "How the West Was Won" (1977)

"How the West Was Won" (1977) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1977-


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Jim Byrnes (developed for television by)
Howard Fast (episodes)
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Release Date:
6 February 1977 (USA) 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 »
Plot Keywords:
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Best of the "How the West Was Won" mini-series! See more (21 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 6 of 127)

James Arness ... Zeb Macahan (24 episodes, 1977-1979)

Bruce Boxleitner ... Luke Macahan (24 episodes, 1977-1979)
Kathryn Holcomb ... Laura Macahan (24 episodes, 1977-1979)
William Kirby Cullen ... Josh Macahan (24 episodes, 1977-1979)
Vicki Schreck ... Jessie Macahan (24 episodes, 1977-1979)

Fionnula Flanagan ... Molly Culhane (24 episodes, 1977-1979)

Series Directed by
Vincent McEveety (14 episodes, 1977-1979)
Bernard McEveety (13 episodes, 1977-1978)
Burt Kennedy (4 episodes, 1977-1978)
Daniel Mann (3 episodes, 1977)
Barry Crane (2 episodes, 1979)
Joseph Pevney (2 episodes, 1979)
Series Writing credits
John Mantley (16 episodes, 1977-1979)
Earl W. Wallace (15 episodes, 1977-1979)
Calvin Clements Jr. (14 episodes, 1977-1979)
Ron Bishop (5 episodes, 1977-1979)
Calvin Clements Sr. (4 episodes, 1977-1979)
Katharyn Powers (4 episodes, 1977-1978)
Jim Byrnes (3 episodes, 1977)
Colley Cibber (3 episodes, 1977)
William Kelley (3 episodes, 1977)
Ray Goldrup (2 episodes, 1979)
Steve Hayes (2 episodes, 1979)
Albert S. Ruddy (1 episode, 1977)

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

Series Produced by
John G. Stephens .... producer (8 episodes, 1977-1979)
John Mantley .... executive producer (7 episodes, 1977-1979)
John A. Fegan Jr. .... associate producer (4 episodes, 1977-1979)
Jeffrey Hayden .... producer (3 episodes, 1977)
Series Original Music by
Jerrold Immel (4 episodes, 1977-1978)
Bruce Broughton (2 episodes, 1979)
John Carl Parker (2 episodes, 1979)
Series Cinematography by
Edward R. Plante (6 episodes, 1977-1979)
Jack Woolf (3 episodes, 1977)
Series Film Editing by
Steven C. Brown (5 episodes, 1977-1979)
Gregory Prange (5 episodes, 1977-1979)
John A. Fegan Jr. (4 episodes, 1977-1979)
Henry Batista (3 episodes, 1977)
William B. Gulick (3 episodes, 1977)
Joe Morrisey (3 episodes, 1979)
Neil MacDonald (2 episodes, 1977-1979)
Series Casting by
Gary Shaffer (3 episodes, 1977)
Pam Polifroni (3 episodes, 1979)
Series Production Design by
Archie J. Bacon (1 episode, 1979)
Series Art Direction by
Archie J. Bacon (5 episodes, 1977-1979)
Series Set Decoration by
Herman N. Schoenbrun (6 episodes, 1977-1979)
Series Makeup Department
Richard Cobos .... makeup artist (4 episodes, 1977-1979)
Mary Hadley .... hairdresser / hair stylist (4 episodes, 1977-1979)
Joan Phillips .... hairdresser / hair stylist (3 episodes, 1977-1979)
Al Fleming .... makeup artist (3 episodes, 1977)
Lola Kemp .... hair stylist (3 episodes, 1977)
Bob Westmoreland .... makeup artist (3 episodes, 1977)
Marlene D. Williams .... hair stylist (3 episodes, 1977)
Tony Lane .... makeup artist (3 episodes, 1979)
Walter Schenk .... makeup artist (1 episode, 1977)
Series Production Management
Hal Klein .... unit production manager (4 episodes, 1977-1979)
Kurt Neumann .... unit production manager (3 episodes, 1977)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Kusley .... assistant director (7 episodes, 1977-1979)
Carol Smetana .... second assistant director (7 episodes, 1978)
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, 1977-1978)
Michael Daves .... assistant director (3 episodes, 1977)
William McGarry .... assistant director (3 episodes, 1977)
Robert M. Beche .... assistant director (1 episode, 1977)
Series Art Department
Earl W. Huntoon Jr. .... property master (7 episodes, 1977-1979)
Earl Gawthorpe .... property master (5 episodes, 1979)
Dean Wilson .... property master (3 episodes, 1977)

Alan Sims .... leadman (unknown episodes)
Series Sound Department
Hal Watkins .... sound (6 episodes, 1977-1979)
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)
Barry Thomas .... sound (3 episodes, 1977)
Jack Cheap .... sound editor (3 episodes, 1979)

Ken Dufva .... foley artist (unknown episodes)
Series Special Effects by
Charles Schulthies .... special effects (3 episodes, 1977)
Bill Balles .... special effects (3 episodes, 1979)
Series Stunts
Diamond Farnsworth .... stunts (5 episodes, 1979)
Jerry Gatlin .... stunt coordinator (3 episodes, 1977)
Ben Bates .... stunt coordinator (3 episodes, 1979)
Richard Lundin .... action coordinator (3 episodes, 1979)
Dean Smith .... stunt coordinator (1 episode, 1977)

Russ Dodson .... stunt coordinator (unknown episodes)
Dennis Lehane .... stunts (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)
Don E. FauntLeRoy .... assistant camera (unknown episodes)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gilda Craig .... wardrobe: women (4 episodes, 1977-1979)
Chad Harwood .... wardrobe: men (3 episodes, 1977)
Yvonne Kubis .... wardrobe: women (3 episodes, 1977)
Ed Sunley .... wardrobe: men (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Souders .... additional editor (unknown episodes)
Series Music Department
Harry V. Lojewski .... music supervisor (7 episodes, 1977-1979)
Joanie Diener .... music editor (6 episodes, 1979)
Scott Perry Jr. .... music editor (5 episodes, 1979)
Jerrold Immel .... composer: theme music / music by (4 episodes, 1978-1979)
Joe Tuley .... music editor (3 episodes, 1977)
Series Transportation Department
Randy Peters .... driver (unknown episodes)
Series Other crew
Rita Lundin .... wrangler (12 episodes, 1977-1979)
Jim Byrnes .... developed for television by (6 episodes, 1977-1979)
John Dutton .... script supervisor (6 episodes, 1977-1979)
Albert S. Ruddy .... developed for television by (6 episodes, 1977-1979)
Calvin Clements Sr. .... executive story consultant (4 episodes, 1977-1979)
Ron R. Kinsey .... co-operator: Soutwest Museum (3 episodes, 1977)
Richard Lundin .... lead wrangler / action coordinator (3 episodes, 1977)

Tom Blomquist .... assistant to producer (unknown episodes)
Calvin Spencer .... double: Lloyd Bridges (unknown episodes)
Sharon Thurgood .... studio teacher (unknown episodes)
Jack N. Young .... location manager (unknown episodes)
Series Thanks
Ron R. Kinsey .... acknowledgment: cooperation (1 episode, 1977)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
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:
Spin off from How the West Was Won (1962)See more »


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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Best of the "How the West Was Won" mini-series!, 14 October 2003
Author: AbeStreet from Willoughby, OH, USA

I remember watching this mini-series when it was first aired in the late 70's as a child. While I enjoyed the original tv movie THE MACAHAN'S" and the 78 & 79 mini-series which followed I still find the 77 mini-series to be the best one. I used to get goosebumps when I would hear the opening title song accompanied by William (Cannon) Conrad's narration.

First there is Zeb Macahan, a huge mountain man that does things as he sees fit. If it means standing against the Union Army or taking the law into his own hands he has got to be the coolest character on the show. I also was saddened when Zeb had to kill his trapper friend Cully Madigan to prevent him from being slain by Indians. I think my favorite line in the series comes from Zeb during the final moments of the series when Grey the bounty hunter is trying to take Luke to jail. Zeb, while under gun point by Grey, turns to him and says "Grey, I'm gonna lay hands on you and then it's gonna be all over!!" Nothing fazed this man.

Secondly I enjoyed the romance between Luke Macahan and Erika Hanks, the young lady that helped heal Luke's gunshot wound and hide him form his various pursuers. It unfolds in a believable way and the fate of their relationship will have the viewer near tears.

Lastly, the sets were all well done. It appears that most if not all the scenes were shot on location and not some studio back lot. I can only imagine what a visual treat it must have been like to work on the production of this mini-series.

I was luck enough to tape this series during the late 80's and still enjoy watching it at least once a year. Hopefully this mini-series and the other HTWWW series will find their way to DVD soon!!

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