DIRECTED & PRODUCED BY CECIL B. DeMILLE
MUSIC BY VICTOR YOUNG
MUSIC BY VICTOR YOUNG
INFORMATION FROM IMDb
One of the last bills signed by President Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad across the wilderness to California. But financial opportunist Asa Barrows hopes to profit from obstructing it. Chief troubleshooter Jeff Butler has his hands full fighting Barrows' agent, gambler Sid Campeau; Campeau's partner Dick Allen is Jeff's war buddy and rival suitor for engineer's daughter Molly Monahan. Who will survive the effort to push the railroad through at any cost?
Written by Rod Crawford
Barbara Stanwyck ... Mollie Monahan
Joel McCrea ... Jeff Butler
Akim Tamiroff ... Fiesta
Robert Preston ... Dick Allen
Lynne Overman ... Leach Overmile
Brian Donlevy ... Sid Campeau
Robert Barrat ... Duke Ring
Anthony Quinn ... Cordray
Stanley Ridges ... General Casement
Henry Kolker ... Asa M. Barrows
Francis McDonald ... General Dodge
Willard Robertson ... Oakes Ames
Harold Goodwin ... Calvin
Evelyn Keyes ... Mrs. Calvin
Richard Lane ... Sam Reed
William Haade ... Dusky Clayton
Regis Toomey ... Paddy O'Rourke
J.M. Kerrigan ... Monahan
Fuzzy Knight ... Cookie
Harry Woods ... Al Brett
Lon Chaney Jr. ... DollarhideJoseph Crehan ...
General Ulysses S. Grant
Julia Faye ... Mame
Sheila Darcy ... Rose
Ward Bond ... Tracklayer (uncredited)
Iron Eyes Cody ... Indian (uncredited)
James Flavin ... Paddy (uncredited)
Russell Hicks ... Sergeant (uncredited)
Jack Pennick ... Harmonicist (uncredited)
and many more...
Cecil B. DeMille
Walter DeLeon ... (screen play) &
C. Gardner Sullivan ... (screen play) and
Jesse Lasky Jr. ... (screen play)
Jack Cunningham ... (adaptation)
Ernest Haycox ... (story)(novel) (uncredited)
Frederick Hazlitt Brennan ... (contributor to treatment) (uncredited).
Jeanie Macpherson ... (contributor to screenplay construction) (uncredited)
Stanley Rauh ... (uncredited)
Cecil B. DeMille ... producer
William LeBaron ... executive producer
William H. Pine ... associate producer
Gerard Carbonara ... (uncredited)
Leo Shuken ... (uncredited)
Victor Young ... (uncredited)
Victor Milner ... (photographed by)
The gold spike used at the ceremony to mark the end of the construction was the same spike actually used in the May 10, 1869 event, on loan from Stanford University.
According to a news item in the Hollywood Reporter, Cecil B. DeMille directed much of the film from a stretcher, because of an operation he had months earlier. However, studio records indicate DeMille collapsed from the strain of directing three units simultaneously, and used a stretcher for about two weeks.
For the Indian attack on the train, Paramount hired 100 Navajo Indian extras.
The world premiere in Omaha, Nebraska, was a three-day celebration that drew 250,000 people, doubling the population of the city and requiring the National Guard to help keep order. The special train en route from Hollywood to Omaha, carrying Cecil B. DeMille and stars Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea, took three days and made stops along the way, drawing large crowds. The film was shown in three theaters simultaneously; President Franklin D. Roosevelt was reported to have started the premiere proceedings by pressing a button in Washington, DC, which opened the civic auditorium. An ad stated that the premiere, which involved parades, radio broadcasts and a banquet, was the biggest in motion picture history. An antique train continued on a 15-day coast-to-coast promotional tour, stopping at 30 cities around the country.
The company had rented many local pinto horses for the filming of the Indian attack on the train. During filming, however, local cowboys had to be hired to round up the horses, as they would scatter and sometimes stampede because of the noise and confusion of these scenes--all the shooting, yelling, and yards of unfamiliar cloth on the horses, along with kettles and other implements tied to their manes and tails, made them extremely nervous and uncomfortable, and it didn't require much to make them bolt.
In order to operate the number of trains required by the production, Paramount had to get a regulation railroad operating license from the Interstate Commerce Commission.
One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by MCA ever since. It was released on DVD 23 May 2006 as one of five titles in Universal's Cecil B. De Mille Collection, and since that time, has also enjoyed occasional airings on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies.
Dick Allen (Robert Preston) asks, "Where does he keep his 'Rule G'?", meaning a bottle of whiskey. This is a reference to Rule G: "The use of intoxicants or narcotics is prohibited", one of 12 rules in standard code adopted by the Association of American Railroads.
One of the railroad men ticks off a list of things that had been deemed "impossible," one of them being Moses' parting of the Red Sea--a winking reference to Cecil B. DeMille's earlier film The Ten Commandments (1923).
According to Lucius Beebe's book "Union Pacific" the gold spike was not "driven" in. Since a spike made from gold would be much too soft to drive into a railroad tie the spike was "driven" into a hole drilled in a specially prepared tie. This was done both in reality and for the movie. Following the ceremony the spike was pulled out (by hand) and a new tie was put down and an iron spike driven in.
Nearly all the antique railroad equipment used in the film was purchased by Paramount from the Virginia & Truckee Railroad in Nevada. It was used in a number of other western films over the years, and sold off in the 1970s when the popularity of westerns dwindled. The majority of it is now preserved at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City.
Robert Preston, who played important roles in several Cecil B. DeMille productions, not only disliked the director personally but felt he was inept at directing actors. The scene where Preston, Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea are trapped in the boxcar took two weeks to film and, according to Preston, DeMille had nothing but "Action," "Cut," and "Print" to say to the actors. He didn't seem to care about scenes that did not include action or spectacle. When Preston became a bigger star, he turned down offers to appear in other DeMille films and avoided any relationship or contact with him.
Cecil B. DeMille claimed he discovered Robert Preston while he was a parking valet at the Santa Anita race track and that this was his first movie. In reality Preston had been in a few movies and dozens of plays.
Lon Chaney Jr and Joel McCrea attended the same high school
After the train wreck, and during all the scenes that immediately follow, Barbara Stanwyck suddenly appears with a very stylish 1939 bobbed hairstyle which we had not seen before, and which, of course, is completely inappropriate to the time period during which the story is taking place.
All handguns shown are the Colt Single-Action Army Model of 1873. The Golden Spike was driven at Promontory Point in 1869, four years before this revolver model was made.
Position of Mollie's left arm when Jeff starts to read his letter on the handcar.
When Jeff meets Dick at his hiding place and asks for a light, the match Dick hands him is unlit, then suddenly flaming.
Errors in geography
The chase sequence after the train robbery is shown in mountainous terrain. The robbery supposedly takes place between Cheyenne and Pine Bluffs Wyoming (from geographic references to the train's location in the telegrapher's office). There are no mountains in this area.
The golden spike ceremony shown in the movie is not true. The golden spike was lowered into an auger hole not driven. Gold is a soft metal and striking it as they did in the movie would have severely damaged it. The original golden spike now at Stanford University shows no mallet marks on the head.
Cache, Oklahoma, USA
Cedar City, Utah, USA (indian attack)
Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
Iron Spring, Cedar City, Utah, USA (replica of Cheyenne, Wyoming)
Kanab, Utah, USA
Paramount Ranch - 2813 Cornell Road, Agoura, California, USA (golden spike ceremony)
Sierra Railroad, Jamestown, California, USA
Sonora, California, USA
Stockton, California, USA
Watch the Movie
[extendedmedia] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1V8t9pFcE0 [/extendedmedia]