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How the West Was Won: Sprawling epic which follows the Prescotts, an emigrant family through four generations, from the Erie Canal in the 1830's to their settled home in the West a half a century later. On the way they encounter river pirates, and escape with the help of fur trapper Linus Rawlings, who subsequently marries one of their daughters, Eve. The parents are drowned on a foundering raft, and the other daughter Lilith becomes a riverboat singer and catches the eye of a genteel adventurer Cleve Van Valen. They cross the plains together in a wagon train and make and lose a fortune in California; meanwhile Linus has turned farmer and, comes the Civil War, joins the Union Army and is killed at the Battle of Shiloh. One of his sons Zeb also joins the army and stays after the war as a cavalry officer and is sent to Colorado to help guard the pioneering railroad against the Indians, whose land they are crossing. By this time Lilith is the elderly lady of the family, having survived long enough to see the dream of settlement realized, but not, mercifully, the aerial shots of the Los Angeles freeway traffic with which the film ends.

  • Currently 3.40/5
(121 votes)
Released: November 01, 1962
Runtime: 162 mins
Genres: Adventure Drama Romance Western
Countries: USA
Director: John Ford
Actors: Agnes Moorehead Andy Devine Beulah Archuletta Bob Morgan Boyd 'Red' Morgan Brigid Bazlen Bryan Russell Carleton Young Carolyn Jones Carroll Baker Charlie Briggs Christopher Dark Chuck Roberson Claude Johnson Cliff Osmond Clinton Sundberg Craig Duncan David Brian Debbie Reynolds Eli Wallach Gene Roth George Peppard Gil Perkins Gregory Peck Harry Dean Stanton Harry Monty Harry Morgan Harry Wilson Harvey Parry Henry Fonda J Edward McKinley Jack Lambert Jack Pennick Jack Tornek James Griffith James Stewart Jay C Flippen Jeffrey Sayre Joe Sawyer John Damler John Larch John Wayne Karl Malden Karl Swenson Kem Dibbs Ken Curtis Ken Terrell Kim Charney Lee J Cobb Lee Van Cleef Mark Allen Mickey Shaughnessy Paul Bryar Polly Burson Raymond Massey Richard Widmark Robert Banas Robert Nash Robert Preston Rodolfo Acosta And a bunch more ....

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How the West Was Won Tags

1830s 1840s 1850s 1860s 1870s 1880s Abraham Lincoln Accordion Albany New York American Civil War Arapaho Tribe Arizona Army Assassination Assassination Attempt Attempted Murder Auction Aunt Barge Based On Article Bayonet Beautiful Woman Blockbuster Boom Town Brawl Brother Brother Relationship Buffalo Burial California Canoe Cardinal Direction In Title Cattle Rancher Cave Cheyenne Tribe Cinerama Civil War Construction Foreman Culture Clash Dancehall Girl Debt Desert Desertion Drunkenness Dysfunctional Family Employer Employee Relationship Entertainer Epic Episodic Structure Erie Canal Explosion Family Life Family Relationships Famous Score Farm Farmer Father Daughter Relationship Field Hospital Fight On Train Roof Fortune Hunter Frontier Funeral Gambler General General Store Gold Mine Gold Rush Golden Gate Bridge Grave Hunter Inheritance Intercontinental Railroad Los Angeles California Loss Of Mother Loss Of Parents Male Female Relationship Marriage Marriage Proposal Marshal Mexican American War Migration Military Enlistment Military Officer Mining Missouri Mother Son Relationship Mountain Man Multiple Directors Murder Native American Native American Attack New England Ohio Ohio River Omnibus Outlaw Overture Pioneer Pioneer Life Pirate Poker Prayer Raft Railroad Railway Station Revenge River River Pirates River Rapids Riverboat Robbery Saloon San Francisco California Settler Shiloh Singer Singing Sister Small Town Song Spinster St Louis Missouri Stabbing Stampede Tall Tale Train Train Robbery Train Wreck Trapper Ulysses Simpson Grant United States Army US Marshal Vaudeville Voice Over Narration Wager Wagon Master Wagon Train Whip White Water Rafting Widow Wilderness William Tecumseh Sherman

How the West Was Won Comments

Posted by nadjoysol 2 years, 2 months ago
100% Useful

good film, worth the watch

Posted by psukegreen 2 years, 3 months ago
100% Useful

I liked this movie. The generation acting was a good touch. You might want to start 8 mins in and there is a 5 min intermission in the middle.

Posted by tomtc78 2 years, 4 months ago
100% Useful

In a word, EPIC.

Posted by EraseTheHate 2 years, 5 months ago
100% Useful

Classic movie! Brilliant western! Amazing cast. This was a really awesome movie. MUST SEE!

Posted by proana 2 years, 5 months ago
100% Useful

An excellent classic western! Stunning sets and scenery. An all-star cast. Beautiful score. Everything about it was breathtaking. I give it 5/5. It's a must see!

Posted by BeeBoo 3 years, 1 month ago ( Edited 3 years, 1 month ago )
100% Useful

The very best in acting, music, settings, filming, 'n on, 'n on, 'n on... GOD!!! I Love this film!!! (If you ever get a chance to watch this in a theater or on a giant screen, don't pass it up... it is breath-taking!!!)

Posted by MrBudd 3 years, 1 month ago
100% Useful

How the west was won...AWESOME movie,no matter how many times one watches' it.GREAT actors,GREAT seenery,GREAT tunes.

Posted by einrthm 3 years, 3 months ago
100% Useful

This movie is great.May be I learnt how hard it was to win the west during those days..!!

Posted by kacall 3 years, 6 months ago ( Edited 3 years, 6 months ago )
100% Useful

It would be hard put to describe another movie anywhere ever made in the western genre that not only gives the sweeping depth and scope of what America's beauty and potential was as a new frontier, but also the challenges she faced as a young growing nation.Through the eyes and lives of both parents and grandchildren this film helps us experience up close and personal the thrills, tragedies, challenges and sheer magnitude of changes that many of our very own countrymen must have experienced just three or four lifetimes away from us.While we have our celebrities now days we almost worship, this film has the golden stars of Hollywood who truly crafted the art of acting, with great directing, gorgeous locations and music. It's aim is to tell the larger story of the settling and building of the west, so expect some romance to be thrown in.But considering you are going to be seeing what occurs through the history of one family, it does give a very memorable and dramatic vista unlike anything one will ever find elsewhere. This just makes me appreciate all the more what my ancestors endured when they came here. 5/5

Posted by KissofHope 3 years, 6 months ago
100% Useful

This is a wide eyed wow kind of movie. Another classic western we use to sit on the floor up close to the tv to experience.

Posted by GlobusDei 3 years, 11 months ago
100% Useful

Simply put....This IS the BEST western EVER made in my opinion. I'm absolutely appalled that not 1 other person has bothered to make 1 comment about this GREAT movie saga!

Posted by fuwhocares 3 years ago
75% Useful

Away, away, come away with me.......

Posted by druff 2 years, 6 months ago
71% Useful

Another film great in depth and expanse. I was bowled over with the panorama of the beauty of this land, some of which had not yet been destroyed when the film was made. I've seen some of it and appreciate it all the more for the memories! A period piece with propaganda of the times it was made, it's one of the film greats worth watching and saving as an historical element of Americana. I saw John Wayne's name billed and was a little disappointed that he only got a small bit part. All the great names of Hollywood here. I miss the good great flicks. Now it's in the hands of Indy films. enjoy this movie!

Posted by kids5 3 years, 10 months ago
50% Useful


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