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Union Pacific (1939)

Passed | | Drama, Western | 5 May 1939 (USA)
In 1862, Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads compete westward across the wilderness toward California.

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Writers:

Walter DeLeon (screen play), C. Gardner Sullivan (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Mollie Monahan
Joel McCrea ... Jeff Butler
Akim Tamiroff ... Fiesta
Robert Preston ... Dick Allen
Lynne Overman ... Leach Overmile
Brian Donlevy ... Sid Campeau
Robert Barrat ... Duke Ring
Anthony Quinn ... Cordray
Stanley Ridges ... Gen. Casement
Henry Kolker ... Asa M. Barrows
Francis McDonald ... Gen. Dodge
Willard Robertson ... Oakes Ames
Harold Goodwin ... Calvin
Evelyn Keyes ... Mrs. Calvin
Richard Lane ... Sam Reed
Learn more

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Storyline

One of the last bills signed by President Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad across the wilderness to California. But financial opportunist Asa Barrows hopes to profit from obstructing it. Chief troubleshooter Jeff Butler has his hands full fighting Barrows' agent, gambler Sid Campeau; Campeau's partner Dick Allen is Jeff's war buddy and rival suitor for engineer's daughter Molly Monahan. Who will survive the effort to push the railroad through at any cost? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Union Pacific" is coming!

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the Indian attack on the train, Paramount hired 100 Navajo Indian extras. See more »

Goofs

Position of Mollie's left arm when Jeff starts to read his letter on the handcar. See more »

Quotes

Mollie Monahan: [Runs to find Paddy O'Rourke shot during a poker game and dying, whom she had chided earlier about gambling] Paddy! Paddy O'Rourke.
[takes his hand]
Paddy O'Rourke: [life fading, eyes staring blankly] The letter Mollie... it came?
Mollie Monahan: The letter?
Paddy O'Rourke: From Nora...
Mollie Monahan: Yes, Paddy.
[looks around frantically, reaches up and touches paper in Leach Overmile's shirt pocket]
Mollie Monahan: Paddy's letter!
[snatches paper from Leach's pocket, puts it into Paddy's hand]
Paddy O'Rourke: Would you be readin' it to me?
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Buffalo Gals (Won't You Come Out Tonight)
(1844) (uncredited)
Music by William Cool White
Played in the gambling tent
Reprised as background music
See more »

User Reviews

 
Joel McCrea and Lon Chaney
24 June 2017 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

1939's "Union Pacific" was the final black and white feature for the legendary director Cecil B. De Mille, coming on the heels of John Ford's "Stagecoach," spearheading the revival of Hollywood Westerns from hour long quickies to major productions. Owing a debt to Ford's own 1924 silent "The Iron Horse," De Mille proved again a master showman, a fine cast and epic scenes of destruction and Indian battles, though top billed Barbara Stanwyck's oirish accent calls attention to one of her least rewarding performances. Fortunately, Joel McCrea is everything the script calls for, a towering troubleshooter for the Union Pacific railroad, quick to put an end to problems arising in their goal to combine east and west coasts. Banker Henry Kolker is buttressed by reliable villain Brian Donlevy (already well versed in railroad chicanery in Fox's "Jesse James"), confederates played by Fuzzy Knight, Anthony Quinn, Robert Barrat, and Lon Chaney Jr. Robert Preston is the literal wild card in this stacked deck, Donlevy's partner in crime but soft for pretty Stanwyck. For Chaney fans, coming off a small role as 'One of James Gang' in the aforementioned "Jesse James," his role is nothing more than a bearded extra with no dialogue, less than a minute on screen in just two short scenes, in at 26 minutes (aboard the train when a henchman takes a potshot at a defenseless Indian), out at 36 (seated in the saloon when Donlevy offers up free drinks). Lon would fare better in De Mille's "North West Mounted Police" (in the wake of his triumphant "Of Mice and Men"), but would never work for the illustrious director after that. Another trivia note finds unbilled Richard Denning playing a reporter, only three years before wedding Chaney co-star Evelyn Ankers in a lasting union.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 May 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Union Pacific See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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