Four passengers escape their bubonic plague-infested ship and land on the coast of a wild jungle. In order to reach safety they have to trek through the jungle, facing wild animals and attacks by primitive tribesmen.
Cecil B. DeMille
Romance and heartbreak walk hand-in-hand when Philip Chagal accidentally meets Helen Lawrence in a restaurant where she is a waitress. Unhappily married to a woman who suffers from mental ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Union Pacific" was one of the films chosen from Hollywood to represent the United States in what would have been the first Cannes festival in September 1939. Because of the war, the event was postponed until 1946. In 2002, a retrospective jury looked at some of the titles that had been chosen for 1939 and awarded De Mille's film a belated Palme d'Or. See more »
Position of Mollie's left arm when Jeff starts to read his letter on the handcar. See more »
[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]
[life fading, eyes staring blankly]
The letter Mollie... it came?
[looks around frantically, reaches up and touches paper in Leach Overmile's shirt pocket]
[snatches paper from Leach's pocket, puts it into Paddy's hand]
Would you be readin' it to me?
[...] See more »
Impressive train wrecks seemed to be DeMille's specialty...
UNION PACIFIC is one Cecil B. DeMille film that could have used 1939's Technicolor to tell the sprawling story of the pioneers who built the railroads that united east and west. Nevertheless, DeMille does get across the enormous amount of work involved in building the rails while a lot of skullduggery was going on behind the scenes to prevent a team of workers to reach the midpoint first.
JOEL McCREA is the perfect western hero for DeMille's story and gives his usual easy performance as the enforcer who has to keep the villains from halting progress on the rails. BRIAN DONLEVY makes a perfect heel and ROBERT PRESTON shows genuine charm and gives a double-layered performance as McCrea's longtime pal caught under the influence of the bad guys who want to cause havoc. REGIS TOOMEY is underused in a very brief role as an ill-fated Irish rail worker.
BARBARA STANWYCK gives her Irish accent a good try and, while not always successful, delivers a very likable performance as the post office gal along for the ride. ANTHONY QUINN has a brief supporting role as a badman, but the most colorful support comes from AKIM TAMIROFF as Fiesta, the man with the whip, and LYNNE OVERMAN, both playing McCrea's scruffy bodyguards. And boy, does he need them! EVELYN KEYES has one line and disappears. But DeMille keeps track of all his extras, using them effectively in all the big mob scenes both indoor and out.
Again, Technicolor was still new in 1939 but GONE WITH THE WIND was using seven Technicolor cameras and DeMille probably had no choice but to film in B&W. Let's just say, this is the kind of story that cried for Technicolor which may have made some of the process shots less noticeable for backgrounds shot in a studio.
DeMille's tendency to let his films run over two hours is present here. At least twenty minutes or more could easily have been cut to keep the story in a tighter mode.
For DeMille fans, definitely worth seeing.
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