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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.

Director:

William Beaudine

Writers:

Thomas W. Blackburn (screenplay) (as Tom Blackburn), Mary Jane Carr (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fess Parker ... John 'Doc' Grayson
Kathleen Crowley ... Laura Thompson
Jeff York ... Hank Breckenridge
David Stollery ... Dan Thompson
Sebastian Cabot ... Bissonette
George Reeves ... James Stephen
Doreen Tracey ... Bobo Stephen
Barbara Woodell ... Mrs. Stephen
John War Eagle ... Wolf's Brother
Cubby O'Brien Cubby O'Brien ... Jerry Stephen
Tommy Cole ... Jim Stephen
Leslie Bradley ... Spencer Armitage
Morgan Woodward ... Obie Foster
Iron Eyes Cody ... Many Stars
Anthony Numkena 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Children of the Covered Wagon See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walt Disney Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Walt Disney's first Western feature. See more »


Soundtracks

The Ballad of John Colter
Music by George Bruns
Lyrics by Thomas W. Blackburn (as Tom Blackburn)
Sung by Fess Parker
See more »

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User Reviews

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