Western Union (1941)

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    There are 3 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.

    • Western Union (1941)



      Western Union.png


      Plot Summary
      Vance Shaw gives up outlawing and goes to work for the telegraph company;
      his brother Jack Slade leads outlaws trying to prevent the company connecting the line
      between Omaha and Salt Lake City. Lots of Indian fighting and gunplay.
      Written by Ed Stephan

      Robert Young ... Richard Blake
      Randolph Scott ... Vance Shaw
      Dean Jagger ... Edward Creighton
      Virginia Gilmore ... Sue Creighton
      John Carradine ... Doc Murdoch
      Slim Summerville ... Herman
      Chill Wills ... Homer
      Barton MacLane ... Jack Slade
      Russell Hicks ... Governor
      Victor Kilian ... Charlie
      Minor Watson ... Pat Grogan
      George Chandler ... Herb
      Chief John Big Tree ... Chief Spotted Horse (as Chief Big Tree)
      Chief Thundercloud ... Indian Leader
      Iron Eyes Cody ... Indian Who Drinks Chemical Solution (uncredited)
      J.W. Cody ... Indian (uncredited)
      Frank McGrath ... Posse Rider (uncredited)
      and many more...

      Directed by
      Fritz Lang

      Writing Credits
      Zane Grey ... (novel)
      Robert Carson ... (screen play)
      Jack Andrews ... (contributor to dialogue) (uncredited)
      George Bruce ... (contributing writer) (uncredited)
      Horace McCoy ... (contributor to dialogue) (uncredited)

      Harry Joe Brown ... associate producer
      Darryl F. Zanuck ... executive producer (uncredited)

      David Buttolph ... (uncredited)

      Edward Cronjager ... director of photography
      Allen M. Davey ... director of photography

      Studio publicity noted that Fox contract star Henry Fonda had served as technical adviser on the film,
      due to his experience as a young man working as a lineman.
      Fonda's "technical advisory" capacity was most certainly a publicity fiction,
      and in any event Fonda was not credited on the film itself.

      Originally, Laird Cregar was cast in this film in an undetermined role
      (possibly that of Doc Murdoch), but was unable to do the film
      due to an unfinished other project.
      He was replaced by George 'Gabby' Hayes, but Hayes then became ill and was himself replaced.

      During the speeches before they start stringing the telegraph wires,
      all the flags are 48-star flags. There were only 35 states in the Union in 1861.

      In the opening sequence showing the buffalo herd there is a shot that appears
      to show a car driving along a road in the far background.

      North Platte is a prominent location in this movie.
      The story takes place in 1861-1862. North Platte was established in 1868.

      One of the characters sings the song "Good Bye, Old Paint (I'm-a Leavin' Cheyenne)".
      The song didn't exist in the 1860's.

      The characters use Model 1873 Colt Single Action Army pistols modified
      to resemble Remington 1875 Army revolvers. Obviously, neither weapon existed in 1861-62.

      When Creighton leaves on the stage after his accident,
      his left ankle is bandaged and he is favoring his left foot.
      When we later see him walk with a cane, he is favoring his right foot.

      Errors in geography
      Most of this movie takes place in Nebraska.
      Nebraska is not sagebrush country, except for a VERY small piece of
      Deuel County, near the Colorado border.

      At one point, Creighton says "...we'll be hitting the hills"
      as the telegraph crew heads west from what was then called Omaha City.
      This is incorrect. Omaha was notorious for being hilly
      (in the late 19th Century and early 20th, the city went to great efforts
      to level many of the hills), but as you move west, away from the Missouri River,
      near what is now about 84th Street in Omaha, the land begins to flatten out dramatically.

      Factual errors
      During one of the scenes in the then (referring to the time period of the story)
      non-existent town of North Platte, an Army officer refers to a Fort "Kerny."
      The fort, and the subsequent town, are pronounced "Karney."

      The Jack Slade character refers to "General Mosby.
      " Mosby reached the rank of colonel, and fought in Virginia, not Missouri or the Nebraska Territory.

      Revealing mistakes
      In the opening sequence, Vance Shaw escapes a posse by riding through a herd of grazing wild buffalo.
      But in close-ups of the beasts, cowboys herding them can be seen in the background,
      despite no such cowhands in the establishing long shots of the herd.

      Revealing mistakes
      In the gunfight at the barbershop, Shaw first fires shots with his right gun,
      throws it away and then uses his left gun.
      He then fires at least nine shots with this gun
      without reloading it before the end of the gunfight.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah, USA
      House Rock Canyon, Arizona, USA
      Kanab, Utah, USA
      20th Century Fox Studios - 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City, Los Angeles, California, USA (studio)

      Watch the Movie

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Western Union is a 1941 American Western film directed by
      Fritz Lang and starring Robert Young, Randolph Scott, and Dean Jagger.

      Filmed in Technicolor on location in Arizona and Utah,
      Western Union is about a reformed outlaw who tries to make good
      by joining the team wiring the Great Plains for telegraph service in 1861.
      Conflicts arise between the man and his former gang,
      as well as between the team stringing the wires and the Native Americans
      through whose land the new lines must run.
      In this regard, the film is not historically accurate;
      the installation of telegraph wires was met with protest from no one.

      The film is based on the novel Western Union by Zane Grey,
      although there are significant differences between the two plots.

      Western Union was only the second western made by Lang,
      The Return of Frank James being the first in 1940.
      Both movies explore the conflicts and obstacles of former criminals
      trying to return to law-abiding society.
      And both films were complicated by the Hays Code,
      which stipulated strict moral conduct in films at the time.

      Apart from Randolph Scott, look out for other Duke 'Pals'
      John Carradine, Chill Wills, Frank McGrath


      User Review

      Entertaining western
      13 July 2006 | by nnnn45089191 (Norway)

      nnnn wrote:

      Fritz Lang's "Western Union" is a entertaining movie with good heroes in Randolph Scott,the strong and silent man trying to escape his outlaw past,Robert Young as the easterner trying to conform to the code of the wild west,and Dean Jagger as the determined boss of the Western Union gang.I think the acting honors go to Dean Jagger who is very good in his part. Randolph Scott found his prototype of western hero in this movie and would play variations of that type in westerns to come for the next two decades.The movie looks very good in early Technicolor. Barton MacLane makes a good villain.I enjoyed this western much,although I consider it pretty standard stuff.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().