6.8/10
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6 user 13 critic

The Covered Wagon (1923)

Two wagon caravans converge at what is now Kansas City, and combine for the westward push to Oregon. On their quest the pilgrims will experience desert heat, mountain snow, hunger, and ... See full summary »

Director:

James Cruze

Writers:

Emerson Hough (novel), Jack Cunningham (adaptation)
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
J. Warren Kerrigan ... Will Banion
Lois Wilson ... Molly Wingate
Alan Hale ... Sam Woodhull
Ernest Torrence ... William Jackson
Tully Marshall ... Jim Bridger
Ethel Wales ... Mrs. Wingate
Charles Ogle ... Jesse Wingate
Guy Oliver ... Kit Carson
Johnny Fox Johnny Fox ... Jed Wingate
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Cruze ... Indian (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Two wagon caravans converge at what is now Kansas City, and combine for the westward push to Oregon. On their quest the pilgrims will experience desert heat, mountain snow, hunger, and indian attack. To complicate matters further, a love triangle develops, as pretty Molly must chose between Sam, a brute, and Will, the dashing captain of the other caravan. Can Will overcome the skeleton in his closet and win Molly's heart? Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

caravan | settler | See All (2) »

Taglines:

Indian Attacks, Prairie Fires, Fording of Swollen Streams, a Great Buffalo Hunt, Dramatic Situations Galore---All Go to Make Up "The Covered Wagon" See more »


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 September 1924 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Caravana Gloriosa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$782,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,630,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To get enough covered wagons for the film, a call went out in California to families that still had their ancestors' covered wagons which had brought them out west--these were gathered so wagons used were authentic, though some had apparently been repaired a bit. See more »

Goofs

Jim Bridger is presented in this film as being a bigamist with two Indian wives. Bridger actually married three times, all to Indian women, but the first died before he married the second and the second died before he married the third. See more »

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User Reviews

Circle the Wagons
23 September 1999 | by beejerSee all my reviews

The first great western epic, The Covered Wagon established many of the cliches that appear in many subsequent westerns, both "A" and "B" features alike.

Here for the first time, we have the wagon train of eastern settlers trekking west in search of a new land and a new start. We have the circling of the wagons in preparation for the Indian attack, the attack itself and the ride to the rescue of the besieged wagons.

Cruze captures the feel of what a real wagon train journey must have been like. The long lines of slow moving covered wagons, the dusty trails, life and death situations on the prairie, as well as the celebrations around the campfire.

The sub-plot of boy-girl-villain is "B" western calibre, however, the players carry it of admirably. J. Warren Kerrigan as the hero is adequate but not memorable. The lovely Lois Wilson as the heroine and a young Alan Hale as the villain are much better. It is curious that the Cruze portrayed legendary mountain man Jim Bridger (Tully Marshall) as an absent-minded, liquor swilling comedy relief.

The ending is strictly Hollywood. Boy gets girl of course and the villain is defeated, but I thought that the final shoot-out left a little to be desired.

Despite its apparent faults, The Covered Wagon remains today as powerful a film as it must have been in 1923.


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