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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>

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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 »


Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tully Marshall repeated his role as Jim Bridger in Paramount's [Fighting Caravans (1931)] with [Gary Cooper, and in the Mascot serial Fighting with Kit Carson (1933) with Johnny Mack Brown. He also played a Bridger-like character named Zeke in The Big Trail (1930) with John Wayne (in his first starring role), which was also about wagon trains heading westward. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Creator of Godzilla: Tomoyuki Tanaka (2007) See more »

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None | 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)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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