7.2/10
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51 user 28 critic

Wagon Master (1950)

Approved | | Adventure, Western | 22 April 1950 (USA)
Two young drifters guide a Mormon wagon train to the San Juan Valley and encounter cutthroats, Indians, geography, and moral challenges on the journey.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (as Frank Nugent), Patrick Ford
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Johnson ... Travis Blue
Joanne Dru ... Denver
Harry Carey Jr. ... Sandy
Ward Bond ... Elder Wiggs
Charles Kemper ... Uncle Shiloh Clegg
Alan Mowbray ... Dr. A. Locksley Hall
Jane Darwell ... Sister Ledyard
Ruth Clifford ... Fleuretty Phyffe
Russell Simpson ... Adam Perkins
Kathleen O'Malley ... Prudence Perkins
James Arness ... Floyd Clegg
Francis Ford ... Mr. Peachtree
Fred Libby Fred Libby ... Reese Clegg
Jim Thorpe ... Navajo Indian
Mickey Simpson Mickey Simpson ... Jesse Clegg
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Storyline

As Mormon settlers head to the promised land at the San Juan river in Utah, they hire horse traders Travis Blue and Sandy as wagon masters. They have to forge a trail across unknown territory and face many hardships along the way. They quickly come across some stranded travelers, a medicine show run by Dr. A. Locksley Hall which includes the attractive Denver. Along the way however, they are also joined by Shiloh Clegg and his murderous clan of robbers and thieves. An encounter with the Navajo leads to an invitation to their camp but after one of the Clegg boys gets a whipping for attacking one of the Navajo women, Uncle Shiloh plans his revenge. It's left to Sandy and Travis to protect the travelers and get them to their destination. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

John Ford's lusty successor to "Fort Apache" and "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Navajo | Spanish

Release Date:

22 April 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wagonmaster See more »

Filming Locations:

Monument Valley, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$999,370 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Argosy Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Sandy (Harry Carey, Jr.) and Jackson (Chuck Hayward) fight, the fight is broken up by Elder Wiggs (Ward Bond). Bond has ripped pants as he separates the fighters, and you can hear a dog barking in the background. This happened because Director John Ford wanted to use two dogs, that had been ruining every scene in the film by fighting, in the background as the men fought, hoping the dogs would start fighting as a contrast to the men fighting. Instead of fighting, however, one of the dogs ran away, and the other attacked Bond and ripped his pants. Ford could barely contain his laughter, but kept filming. Afterward, he became quite concerned and said they needed to find the dog, in case it had bitten Bond, not just ripped his pants. Ford was worried the dog might have needed a tetanus shot. See more »

Goofs

Prudence arrives after Wiggs and Adam, and stands behind them, in front of Sandy on the fence. Between shots she appears near Sandy, with her back to him. See more »

Quotes

Travis Blue: Sure hope that I see you again, Miss Denver.
Denver: Thanks, but don't plan on it, We move around. The medicine show has to, to stay healthy.
Travis Blue: We move around a lot trading horses. Good thing about it, though, you get to see a lot of pretty country, like the valley I got in mind. A man can make an awfully nice little cattle ranch in that valley. If he doesn't mind being lonesome.
Denver: [pauses] Good luck, fellow.
[She runs away, blinded by tears]
See more »

Connections

Featured in John Ford (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Come, Come, ye Saints
(uncredited)
Words by William Clayton, 1846
Music by Jesse White, 1844
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another Great Western of John Ford
18 January 2010 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In Crystal City, a group of Mormons hire the horse traders Travis (Ben Johnson) and Sandy (Harry Carey Jr.) as wagon masters to lead their caravan to San Juan River. Along the journey, they meet first the broken wagon without water of the quack Dr. A. Locksley Hall (Alan Mowbray) and the prostitutes Denver (Joanne Dru) and Fleuretty Phyffe (Ruth Clifford). Then the sadistic outlaws Clegg boys decide to join the Mormon caravan to disguise the patrol leaded by the Sheriff of Crystal City that is chasing them. When the Navajos cross their path, they are invited to visit their hamlet for a dancing party. When the wagon train is near to their destination, the Clegg boys threaten the settlers, forcing Sandy and Travis to take an attitude.

"Wagon Master" is another great western of John Ford. The sequences with the wagon train crossing the desert and the hills are impressive. The adventure of the group of Mormons is funny and very entertaining and the songs fit well to the plot despite being dated. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Caravana dos Bravos" ("Caravan of the Braves")


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