7.6/10
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Westward the Women (1951)

Not Rated | | Drama, Western | 31 December 1951 (USA)
A trail guide escorts a group of women from Chicago to California to marry men that have recently began settling there.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Charles Schnee (screenplay), Frank Capra (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Taylor ... Buck Wyatt
Denise Darcel ... Fifi Danon
Hope Emerson ... Patience Hawley
John McIntire ... Roy Whitman
Julie Bishop ... Laurie Smith
Lenore Lonergan Lenore Lonergan ... Maggie O'Malley
Henry Nakamura ... Ito Kentaro
Marilyn Erskine ... Jean Johnson
Beverly Dennis Beverly Dennis ... Rose Meyers
Renata Vanni Renata Vanni ... Mrs. Moroni
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Storyline

In a time when "The West" pretty much ends in Texas and only California is slowly being populated by the white men, there's a severe lack of women among the workers on Roy Whitman's farm in the California Valley. So he goes back east to Chicago to recruit 150 women willing to become wives for his employees. From the candidates he selects 138 who seem able to survive a months long journey across "The Great American Desert" and the Rocky Mountains. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The BIG M-G-M Spectacle!

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

31 December 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pioneer Women See more »

Filming Locations:

Death Valley, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,203,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,640,000, 31 December 1951

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,996,000, 31 December 1951
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60-minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 29, 1952 with Robert Taylor reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

Marks on the ground from a vehicle with tires visible when the wagon train first starts out. See more »

Quotes

Buck Wyatt: [to Patience, as she sits with the unconscious Mrs. Maroni] Talk to her, Patience.
Patience Hawley: Thanks... what'll I use for language?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The MGM lion, instead of roaring, is frozen in place. See more »

Alternate Versions

Avalable in a colorized version on home video from Turner/MGM Home Video. Like many colorized versions of films, it was not authorized nor approved by anyone who worked on the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Challenge the Wilderness (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

To The West! To The West!
By Henry Russell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I'll Make Men of Them Before I'm Through."
11 December 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

John McIntire approaches wagonmaster Robert Taylor with an interesting job and challenge. He wants to bring brides west to the settlement he's founded in the southwest United States. Taylor hires on a bunch of hands to escort the women and issues a no fraternization policy. When one of them tries to rape one of them, he shoots him out of hand. It's the unsettled frontier and as wagonmaster he's the law on that train as much as a captain on a ship at sea. Of course the hands mutiny and strand Taylor, McIntire, cook Henry Nakamura and the women.

This was a perfect western film for the post Rosie the Riveter generation. No reason at all why women couldn't deal with the rigors of a wagon train. Of course it helped to have the formidable Hope Emerson along.

Of course men and women will be men and women and Taylor breaks his own no fraternization policy with Denise Darcel. Of course this is away from the train when Darcel runs off.

William Wellman delivers us a no frills unsentimental western with gritty performances by Robert Taylor and the rest of the cast. In a bow to his colleague John Ford, Wellman does have a courtship dance at the settlement. I liked the use of the fiddle music playing Believe Me With All Those Endearing Young Charms and Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes. Ford couldn't have staged it better.

Henry Nakamura had made a big hit in MGM's Go For Broke about the Nisei division in Italy. He was a funny little guy, I'm not sure he was even five feet tall. I loved the scene when he and Taylor find a stash of buried liquor and proceed on a toot. This was his last film though, roles for oriental players were hard to come by. I wonder whatever happened to him.

If you like traditional cowboy films, this one ain't for you, but given the constraints of 19th century society for the role of woman Westward the Women is quite a revelation.


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