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Westward Ho, the Wagons! (1956)

Approved | | Western, Family | 20 December 1956 (USA)
The adventures of a group of pioneers as their wagon train crosses the West.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as Tom Blackburn), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... John 'Doc' Grayson
... Laura Thompson
... Hank Breckenridge
... Dan Thompson
... Bissonette
... James Stephen
... Bobo Stephen
Barbara Woodell ... Mrs. Stephen
... Wolf's Brother
Cubby O'Brien ... Jerry Stephen
... Jim Stephen
... Spencer Armitage
... Obie Foster
... Many Stars
Anthony Numkena ... Little Thunder
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Storyline

Wagon master James Stephen leads a wagon train of settlers, including his wife and children, across the vast plains. Prominent among the settlers is Doc Grayson, who though not really a doctor provides what medical care he can to the travelers. The wagon train is beset by Pawnees, determined to make off with the horses. A later encounter with presumably friendly Sioux takes a dark turn when the son of the chief appears to be dying, and only Doc Grayson can help. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Walt Disney tells the real story of the fighting families who won the West !

Genres:

Western | Family

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Children of the Covered Wagon  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,750,000, 31 December 1956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Darlene Gillespie originally played Bobo Stephen, but she caught pneumonia shortly after filming began and had to drop out. She was replaced by Doreen Tracey. See more »


Soundtracks

I'm Lonely My Darlin'
based on "Green Grow the Lilacs"
Traditional
Music Arranged by George Bruns
Lyrics by Fess Parker
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User Reviews

 
Wagon train stops at Fort Laramie, where Anglo-Indian hostilities break out.
14 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

This is one of several westerns that the Walt Disney studio tailored for Fess Parker in the years immediately following Davy Crockett's success. The first half hour is an enjoyable but relatively routine wagon trail tale, involving a stalwart boy (David Stollery, of Spin and Marty fame) who, like the legendary John Colter, must run from hostile Indians on foot. The action-oriented first half culminates in a rugged shootout that action-western fans will enjoy. In the minds of many, Westward Ho slows down there as the train arrives in Fort Laramie and no further big battles occur. In fact, this is where the movie takes off dramatically, promoting the sort of racial tolerance and mutual acceptance so essential to the Disney vision. Parker is a doctor, and along with a Lakota medicine man (Iron Eyes Cody), helps a dying Indian boy. "Two medicines are better than one" is the message, and a beautiful one at that, suggesting that mutual cooperation is indeed possible between the races. Fess even gets to sing several sings, and one of them, "Wringle Wrangle," became a top ten hit. This is a forgotten treat, waiting to be rediscovered.


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