6.8/10
2,010
31 user 29 critic

Western Union (1941)

Passed | | History, Western | 21 February 1941 (USA)
When Edward Creighton leads the construction of the Western Union to unite East with West, he hires a Western reformed outlaw and a tenderfoot Eastern surveyor.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Zane Grey (novel), Robert Carson (screen play)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Frank James continues to avoid arrest in order to take revenge on the Ford brothers for their murder of his brother Jesse.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Jackie Cooper
Man Hunt (1941)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders
You and Me (1938)
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An altruistic department-store owner hires ex-convicts in order to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately, one of the convicts he hires recruits two of his fellow ex-convicts in a plan to rob the store.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, George Raft, Barton MacLane
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Newsman Mitch and teletype operator Jennifer, whose job is to see he doesn't send inappropriate stuff out of the country, dodge bombs during the blitz of London while falling in love.

Directors: Archie Mayo, Fritz Lang
Stars: Don Ameche, Joan Bennett, Roddy McDowall
Liliom (1934)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two women love the same man in a world of few prospects. In Budapest, Liliom is a "public figure," a rascal who's a carousel barker, loved by the experienced merry-go-round owner and by a ... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Charles Boyer, Madeleine Ozeray, Robert Arnoux
Moonfleet (1955)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young orphan is sent to the village of Moonfleet, in Dorset, England to stay with his mother's former lover, who has the facade of a gentleman but is a leader of a gang of swashbuckling bootleggers. The duo went on a treasure hunt.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Stewart Granger, George Sanders, Joan Greenwood
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond
Adventure | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In WW2, the Allies race against time to persuade two nuclear scientists working for the Germans to switch sides.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Gary Cooper, Robert Alda, Lilli Palmer
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

American soldiers stranded in the Philippines, after the Japanese invasion, form guerrilla bands to fight back.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Tyrone Power, Micheline Presle, Tom Ewell
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The public defender's secretary and an ex-convict get married and try to make a life together, but a series of disasters sends their lives spiraling out of control.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Henry Fonda, Barton MacLane
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After the murder of his fiancée, a Wyoming ranch hand sets out to find her killer.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Arthur Kennedy, Mel Ferrer
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A deranged writer murders a maid after she resists his advances. The writer engages his brother's help in hiding the body, and then watches as the brother becomes the prime suspect.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Louis Hayward, Lee Bowman, Jane Wyatt
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Young ... Richard Blake
Randolph Scott ... Vance Shaw
Dean Jagger ... Edward Creighton
Virginia Gilmore ... Sue Creighton
John Carradine ... Doc Murdoch
Slim Summerville ... Herman
Chill Wills ... Homer Kettle
Barton MacLane ... Jack Slade
Russell Hicks ... Governor
Victor Kilian Victor Kilian ... Charlie
Minor Watson ... Pat Grogan
George Chandler ... Herb
Chief John Big Tree ... Chief Spotted Horse (as Chief Big Tree)
Chief Thundercloud ... Indian Leader
Dick Rich Dick Rich ... Porky
Edit

Storyline

Vance Shaw gives up outlawing and goes to work for the telegraph company; his brother Jack Slade leads outlaws trying to prevent the company connecting the line between Omaha and Salt Lake City. Lots of Indian fighting and gunplay. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A 20th Century-Fox Encore Hit !

Genres:

History | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Sioux

Release Date:

21 February 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zane Grey's Western Union See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, Laird Cregar was cast in this film in an undetermined role (possibly that of Doc Murdoch), but was unable to do the film due to an unfinished other project. He was replaced by George 'Gabby' Hayes, but Hayes then became ill and was himself replaced. See more »

Goofs

North Platte is a prominent location in this movie. The story takes place in 1861-1862. North Platte was established in 1868. See more »

Quotes

Jack Slade: Mr. Creighton, you're a good man to do business with.
Edward Creighton: But only once.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Buffalo Bill (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Gwine to Rune All Night
("De Camptown Races") (1850) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Played as background music for the first scene in Omaha, Nebraska
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Colorful Western From Fritz lang.
24 April 2009 | by jpdohertySee all my reviews

"Western Union" is something of a forgotten classic western! Perhaps the reason for this lies in the fact of its unavailability on DVD in the United States. However, all is not lost as it has now appeared on Region 2 in England. This - being a blessing in some ways - is not only incongruous but totally ironic when one considers that a movie depicting the founding and establishment of such a uniquely American organization as The Western Union Telegraph Company is without a Region 1 release. It beggars belief! It simply doesn't make sense!

Produced by Fox in 1941 "Western Union" was directed by Fritz Lang. This was only the second occasion the great German director undertook to direct a western! He had done an excellent job the year before with Fox's "The Return Of Frank James" and would have only one more western outing in 1952 with the splendid "Rancho Notorious". Lang was no Ford or Hawks but with "Western Union" he turned in a fine solid western that holds up very well. Beautifully photographed in early three strip Technicolor by Edward Cronjager it boasted a good cast headed by Robert Young, Randolph Scott and Dean Jagger. The female lead is taken by Virginia Gilmore who really has little to do in the picture. An actress who never made anything of her career. Her presence here is merely cosmetic.

It is curious that Robert Young has top billing over Scott! It is clearly Scott's picture from the very beginning when we first see him in the film's terrific opening scene being chased by a posse across the plains. Young doesn't have much to do throughout the movie and seems out of place in a western. He just looks plain silly going up against Barton McLane in a gunfight! An actor who never really distinguished himself - except perhaps with "Crossfire" (1947)- Young appeared in a string of forgettable romantic comedies in the forties and fifties culminating with his greatest success when for seven years he was TV's "Marcus Welby MD" in the seventies. He died in 1998 at the age of 91.

"Western Union" recounts the connection by telegraph wire of Omaha and Salt Lake City. Scott plays a reformed outlaw hired by Western Union boss Dean Jagger to protect the line from marauding Sioux and to also take on McLane and his gang who are trying to destroy the line for their own devious ends. Robert Young is the young engineer from back east who joins the company and vies with Scott for the affections of Miss Gilmore. Some comic relief is provided by - and irritatingly so some would say - by Slim Summerville and John Carradine turns up in a meager role as the company doctor.

Altogether though a spanking good western, albeit on Region 2, but in sparkling good quality that fans will be delighted with. My only crib is that there are no extras, not even a trailer and that terrible cover with those dull graphics. UGH!

Footnote: Interestingly the associate producer on "Western Union" was Harry Joe Brown who later with Randolph Scott would create a partnership that would produce some of Scott's finest westerns in the fifties.


24 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed