In the mid nineteenth century, Senator William J. Tadlock leads a group of settlers overland in a quest to start a new settlement in the Western U.S. Tadlock is a highly principled and demanding taskmaster who is as hard on himself as he is on those who have joined his wagon train. He clashes with one of the new settlers, Lije Evans, who doesn't quite appreciate Tadlock's ways. Along the way, the families must face death and heartbreak and a sampling of frontier justice when one of them accidentally kills a young Indian boy.Written by
The movie shows the wagon train in Oregon, moving East in the middle of the action. The mountains of Central Oregon, are shown clearly in the background, while all around the actors are surrounded by cinder rock formed by recent (within 500 year) volcanic activity. This isn't anything you'd see along the trail. See more »
[Mercy flirts silently with Brownie]
Best not be lookin', Brownie.
I ain't lookin'... as hard as I can.
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"The Way West" came from a Pulitzer Prize winning novel, with Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum , Richard Widmark and a fantastic young Sally Fields on the cast. That should make it a winner, right? But Andrew McLaglen, even being a good director ,with minor flaws, is no John Ford or Anthony Man or Budd Boetticher. Also McLaglen was ordered by David Picker, vice president of production of United Artists to cut the first 20 minutes of the film (from an interview, "The Westerners:Interviews with Actors,Directors " C.Courtney Joyner). The result was that the movie was a disappointment to those who had great expectations, which were many. But the disappointment changes into a happy surprise when one see the film now. There are the great scenes with Sally Fields, the cinematography of William H. Clothier, the good screenplay, but still those twenty initial minutes are missing,
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