THE WAY WEST
DIRECTED BY ANDREW V. McLAGLEN
INFORMATION FROM IMDb
In the mid-19th century, Senator William J. Tadlock leads a group of settlers overland
in a quest to start a new settlement in the Western US. 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 garykmcd
Kirk Douglas ... Senator William J. Tadlock
Robert Mitchum ... Dick Summers
Richard Widmark ... Lije Evans
Lola Albright ... Rebecca 'Becky' Evans
Sally Field ... Mercy McBee
Katherine Justice ... Amanda Mack
Jack Elam ... Preacher Weatherby
Stubby Kaye ... Sam Fairman
Michael McGreevey ... Brownie Evans
Harry Carey Jr. ... Mr. McBee (as Harry Carey)
Connie Sawyer ... Mrs. McBee
Michael Witney ... Johnnie Mack
William Lundigan ... Michael Moynihan
Elisabeth Fraser ... Mrs. Fairman (as Elizabeth Fraser)
John Mitchum ... Little Henry
Patric Knowles ... Captain Grant
Hal Lynch ... Big Henry
Timothy Scott ... Middle Henry
Roy Glenn ... Saunders
Paul Lukather ... Mr. Turley
Stefan Arngrim Stefan Arngrim ...
William J. Tadlock Jr.
Roy Barcroft ... Mr. Masters
Eve McVeagh ... Mrs. Masters
Peggy Stewart ... Mrs. Turley
Anne Barton ... Mrs. Moynihan
Nick Cravat ... Calvelli
Michael Keep ... Indian Brave
Mike Lane ... Sioux Chief (as Michael Lane)
and many more...
Andrew V. McLaglen
Ben Maddow ... (screenplay) and
Mitch Lindemann ... (screenplay) (as Mitchell Lindemann)
A.B. Guthrie Jr. ... (novel)
Harold Hecht ... producer
Mitch Lindemann ... associate producer (as Mitchell Lindemann)
Bronislau Kaper ... (as Bronislaw Kaper)
William H. Clothier ... director of photography
Film debut of Sally Field.
In 1956 Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions announced plans to film "The Way West."
It was to be adapted by Clifford Odets and was to star Burt Lancaster,
James Stewart and, hopefully, Gary Cooper. That version was not made.
Lola Albright nearly drowned during the river crossing scene.
The wagon she was in tipped over and she was trapped underwater
when the contents of the wagon fell on her and pinned her down.
When they finally got her out she was semi-conscious and spent the night in hospital.
A day later she returned to the set, but they used a stunt woman to re-film the river scene.
In interviews she has said she was deeply traumatized by this near-death experience.
Robert Mitchum and Richard Widmark reportedly did not get along with Kirk Douglas
because of his tendency to usurp control of the project from the director.
Shortly after the first River crossing scene, the wagon train passes
a singular spire shaped rock formation.
That is Chimney Rock, in the western part of Nebraska (Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska ).
This location is approximately 600 miles from the wagon train"s
starting point of Independence, Missouri, or about a third of the way
into the journey of about 1,800 miles.
At best, a wagon train might make 20 miles per day, with the troubles of river crossings,
weather, and breakdowns of wagons.
In his diaries, Charlton Heston states that he was seriously pursued for the Kirk Douglas role.
This was first announced as a John Wayne starrer in 1951,
two years after the source novel was first published.
There was a minor helicopter crash on the set.
Film debut of Katherine Justice.
When the Indians capture Brownie you can see
they are all wearing flesh colored underwear under their loincloth.
Connie Sawyer (Mrs. McBee) and Kirk Douglas (Senator William J. Tadlock)
both lived to see their 100th birthdays: Sawyer on November 27, 2012 and Douglas on December 9, 2016.
Lola Albright is wearing a heavy pink lip gloss in some early scenes.
Kirk Douglas' revolver was first made in 1860 or later.
The time line of the period is 1843. He would have been using a
percussion single Shot US Model 1842 or at best a civilian
Patterson Colt with no trigger guard and especially, no side barrel extractor tube.
A large tree that is felled during the raft building clearly has a large wedge
cleanly cut out of it as from a chain saw.
Even if a large two-man hand saw were being used, it is not shown,
as every tree being cut that is shown, is being chopped down with an axe.
The Sioux chief's hair is not styled in the Sioux fashion.
It more closely resembles that of the Pawnee, traditional Sioux enemies.
During the river crossing several men in long "duster" coats
appear on one side of the river and in the next shot, seconds later, are on the other side.
They switch back and forth several times,
Errors in geography
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.
When the party reaches the river, and the obviously parched humans fall into the water
to take a drink of it, the livestock and horses seem to be curiously disinterested in doing so.
When the Irishman is lowered into the Grand Canyon as "the first man ever",
one can clearly see a gravel road at the bottom.
Old Tucson - 201 S. Kinney Road, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Crooked River Gorge, Oregon, USA
Mount Bachelor, Oregon, USA
Bend, Oregon, USA
Eugene, Oregon, USA
Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA
Tucson, Arizona, USA
Watch the Movie
The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().