7.2/10
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The Big Trail (1930)

Breck Coleman leads hundreds of settlers in covered wagons from the Mississippi River to their destiny out West.

Directors:

Raoul Walsh, Louis R. Loeffler (uncredited)

Writer:

Hal G. Evarts (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Breck Coleman
Marguerite Churchill ... Ruth Cameron
El Brendel ... Gus
Tully Marshall ... Zeke
Tyrone Power Sr. ... Red Flack (as Tyrone Power)
David Rollins ... Dave Cameron
Frederick Burton ... Pa Bascom
Ian Keith ... Bill Thorpe
Charles Stevens ... Lopez
Louise Carver ... Gus's mother-in-law
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Storyline

Breck leads a wagon train of pioneers through Indian attack, storms, deserts, swollen rivers, down cliffs and so on while looking for the murder of a trapper and falling in love with Ruth. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Important Picture Ever Produced See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Raoul Walsh's The Big Trail See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print) | (TCM print) | (35 mm)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Incredibly, six different versions of this film were shot simultaneously: (1) a 70mm version in the Grandeur process for exhibition in the biggest movie palaces, (2) a standard 35mm version for general release, (3) a 35mm alternate French-language version La piste des géants (1931)', (4) a 35mm alternate Spanish-language version La gran jornada (1931), (5) a 35mm alternate German-language version Die große Fahrt (1931), and (6) a 35mm alternate Italian-language version Il grande sentiero (1931). The four alternate-language versions were shot with (mostly) different casts. See more »

Goofs

(at around 10 mins) Breck Coleman leans his rifle against the water pump, then leaves it there and goes into the house. Not something a 'real' frontiersman would do. See more »

Quotes

Pa Bascom: What did they do, Coleman?
Breck Coleman, Wagon Train Scout: Killed my best friend. And I've been on their trail ever since.
Pa Bascom: That's a serious charge. If you're sure, we'll call a settler's meeting in the morning to try 'em.
Breck Coleman, Wagon Train Scout: You can call a settler's meeting to bury 'em!
Pa Bascom: What do you mean?
Breck Coleman, Wagon Train Scout: I kill my own rats.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: DEDICATED- To the men and women who planted civilization in the wilderness and courage in the blood of their children.

Gathered from the north, the south, and the east, they assemble on the bank of the Mississippi for the conquest of the west. See more »

Alternate Versions

Filmed in two versions simultaneously: widescreen process Grandeur in 70mm, and in standard 35mm. Some scenes were shot simultaneously in both formats; other scenes were shot twice, once for each format. The two versions are not identical in content - the 70mm version runs 125 minutes, while the 35mm version runs a shorter 108 minutes (but does contain some scenes not found in the longer widescreen version). See more »

Connections

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of the Big Trail
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by James F. Hanley
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Newspaper ad announcing the premiere of The Big Trail
3 October 2009 | by craigbhillSee all my reviews

The precise text of a full-page ad (except that the word 'Chinese', as in Grauman's Chinese, at the end, should appear in caps, but IMDb's racially sensitive formatting won't let it), published in the Los Angeles Times of October 2nd 1930, reads as follows (with " / " denoting the break between each line in the ad):

GALA WORLD PREMIERE / Tonight / 8:30 PROMPTLY / TONIGHT all Hollywood and Los Angeles boulevards become THE BIG TRAIL to Grauman's Chinese Theatre...the rendezvous of all that is beautiful and brilliant...the gathering place of stars...celebrities...the great and the famous!

Thousands will fill every seat...many thousands will line Hollywood Boulevard to watch the gala festivities attending this world premiere!

Tonight all Southern California pays homage to the great American Epic, which faithfully depicts the thrilling, soul-stirring romance of the American Pioneers..who won the West and left us a heritage of Peace..Liberty..and Happiness.

Raoul Walsh's / The BIG / TRAIL / Story by HAL G. EVARTS / FOX MOVIETONE PRODUCTION / SHOWN ENTIRELY IN / GRANDEUR / Cast of 20,000 featuring / JOHN WAYNE MARGUERITE CHURCHILL / EL BRENDEL / Tully Marshall Tyrone Power / David Rollins / Frederick Burton, Charles Stevens, Russ Powell, Louise Carter / William V. Mong, Dodo Newton, Ward Bond, Marcia Harris / Marjorie Leet, Emelie Emerson, Fran Rainboth / Andy Shufford, Helen Parrish / Production Manager Archibald Buchanan / Settings by Harold Miles, Fred Serren / Chief Grandeur Cameraman Arthur Edeson / Sound Engineer George Leverett / Chief Film Cutter Jack Dennis / ADDED FEATURE: / Fox Movietone News Exclusive Interview with / GEORGE BERNARD SHAW / Direction Carli Elinor / GRAUMAN'S / Chinese / Direction of Fox West Coast Theatres / Twice Daily Thereafter / 2:30 --- 8:30 P.M.


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