How the West Was Won

( 7 )

Overview

Filmed in panoramic Cinerama, this star-studded, epic Western adventure is a true cinematic classic. Three legendary directors Henry Hathaway, John Ford, and George Marshall combine their skills to tell the story of three families and their travels from the Erie Canal to California between 1839 and 1889. Spencer Tracy narrates the film, which cost an estimated 15 million dollars to complete. In the first segment, "The Rivers," pioneer Zebulon Prescott Karl Malden sets out to settle in the West with his wife Agnes...
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Blu-ray (Remastered / Special Edition / Wide Screen / Restored)
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Overview

Filmed in panoramic Cinerama, this star-studded, epic Western adventure is a true cinematic classic. Three legendary directors Henry Hathaway, John Ford, and George Marshall combine their skills to tell the story of three families and their travels from the Erie Canal to California between 1839 and 1889. Spencer Tracy narrates the film, which cost an estimated 15 million dollars to complete. In the first segment, "The Rivers," pioneer Zebulon Prescott Karl Malden sets out to settle in the West with his wife Agnes Moorehead and their four children. Along with other settlers and river pirates, they run into mountain man Linus Rawlings James Stewart, who sells animal hides. The Prescotts try to raft down the Ohio River in a raft, but only daughters Lilith Debbie Reynolds and Eve Carroll Baker survive. Eve and Linus get married, while Lilith continues on. In the second segment, "The Plains," Lilith ends up singing in a saloon in St. Louis, but she really wants to head west in a wagon train led by Roger Morgan Robert Preston. Along the way, she's accompanied by the roguish gambler Cleve Van Valen Gregory Peck, who claims he can protect her. After he saves her life during an Indian attack, they get married and move to San Francisco. In the third segment, "The Civil War," Eve and Linus' son, Zeb George Peppard, fights for the Union. After he's forced to kill his Confederate friend, he returns home and gives the family farm to his brother. In the fourth segment, "The Railroads," Zeb fights with his railroad boss Richard Widmark, who wants to cut straight through Indian territory. Zeb's co-worker Jethro Henry Fonda refuses to cut through the land, so he quits and moves to the mountains. After the railway camp is destroyed, Zeb heads for the mountains to visit him. In the fifth segment, "The Outlaws," Lilith is an old widow traveling from California to Arizona to stay with her nephew Zeb on his ranch. However, he has to fight a gang of desperadoes first. How the West Was Won garnered three Oscars, for screenplay, film editing, and sound production.
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Special Features

Disc 1: ; Commentary by filmmaker David Strohmaier, director of Cinerama, Inc. John Sittig, film historian Rudy Behlmer, music historian Jon Burlingame and stuntman Loren James; Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1; Cinerama Adventure: Bonus movie documentary about the revolutionary movie exhibition process; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Dave Kehr
The best reason for buying a Blu-ray player right now is Warner Home Video’s high-definition version of How the West Was Won, a film made 46 years ago in the highest-definition moving picture medium the world had seen: Cinerama.... The images are so crisp as to feel almost unreal; the depth of field seems dreamlike, infinite, with the blades of grass in the foreground as sharply in focus as the snow-capped mountains in the distant background. Unfortunately, there is no way to bend even a flat-panel monitor to imitate the immersive experience of Cinerama’s curved screen, which tried to fill every speck of the viewer’s peripheral vision. But sit close enough, and that sense of enveloping depth returns.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/9/2008
  • UPC: 883929026272
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Presentation: Remastered / Special Edition / Wide Screen / Restored
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 2:44:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 14,979

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Stewart Linus Rawlings
Henry Fonda Jethro Stuart
Gregory Peck Cleve Van Valen
Debbie Reynolds Lilith Prescott
Richard Widmark Mike King
George Peppard Zeb Rawlings
Karl Malden Zebulon Prescott
John Wayne Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman
Carolyn Jones Julie Rawlings
Robert Preston Roger Morgan
Eli Wallach Charlie Gant
Carroll Baker Eve Prescott
Lee J. Cobb Marshal Lou Ramsey
Brigid Bazlen Dora Hawkins
Walter Brennan Col. Hawkins
David Brian Attorney
Andy Devine Corporal Peterson
Raymond Massey Abraham Lincoln
Agnes Moorehead Rebecca Prescott
Thelma Ritter Agathe Clegg
Mickey Shaughnessy Dep. Stover
Russ Tamblyn Confederate deserter
Rodopho (Rudy) Acosta Gant gang member
Mark Allen Colin
Beulah Archuletta Indian woman
Willis B. Bouchey Surgeon
Charlie Briggs Barker
Paul Bryar Auctioneer's assistant
Walter Burke Wagon poker player
Kim Charney Sam Prescott
Ken Curtis Union Soldier
John Damler Lawyer
Christopher Dark Poker player
Ken Dibbs Blacksmith
Jay C. Flippen Huggins
Sol (Saul) Gorss Henchman
James Griffith Poker player
William Henry Staff Officer
Roy Jenson Henchman
Claude Johnson Jeremiah Rawlings
Jack Lambert Gant henchman
John Larch Grimes
J. Edward McKinley Auctioneer
Harry Monty Uncredited
Boyd "Red" Morgan Stunts
Henry "Harry" Morgan Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
Robert Nash Lawyer
Tudor Owen Parson Harvey
Harvey Parry Henchman
Jack Pennick Corporal Murphy
Gil Perkins Henchman
Walter Reed
Chuck Roberson Union soldier/stunts
Victor Romito Henchman
Jamie Ross Bruce
Gene Roth Riverboat poker player
Bryan Russell Zeke Prescott
Joe Sawyer Ship's Officer
Harry Dean Stanton Gant gang member (billed as Dean Stanton)
Clinton Sundberg Hylan Seabury
Karl Swenson Train conductor
Spencer Tracy Voice Only
Lee Van Cleef Marty
Carleton Young Union Soldier
Technical Credits
Henry Hathaway Director
John Ford Director
George Marshall Director
William H. Daniels Cinematographer
Ken Darby Score Composer
George W. Davis Art Director
William Ferrari Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Henry W. Grace Set Decoration/Design
Don Greenwood Jr. Set Decoration/Design
Dave Guard Songwriter
Addison Hehr Art Director
Robert R. Hoag Special Effects
Loren Janes Stunts
Milton Krasner Cinematographer
Harold Kress Editor
Joseph La Shelle Cinematographer
Charles B. Lang Cinematographer
William McGarry Asst. Director
Johnny Mercer Songwriter
Jack Mills Set Decoration/Design
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Saunders Asst. Director
William Shanks Asst. Director
Robert Sidney Choreography
Bernard Smith Producer
Wingate Smith Asst. Director
William J. Tuttle Makeup
James R. Webb Screenwriter
Harold E. Wellman Cinematographer
Whiskeyhill Singers Songwriter
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Confusing review by Andrea LeVasseur

    I saw the original movie in CINERAMA (if anyone remembers that type of presentation then you may remember it as I do as being awesome). Lilith (Debbie Reynolds) heads west to claim a gold mine left to her by her uncle, Gregory Peck goes along to try to cheat her out of some of the money from the gold mine, finds out there is no money and leaves her. They get together later for other reasons.<BR/>George Peppard does kill a particular Confederate but the man is not his friend, he barely knows the man and it's not clear at first he is a Confederate. Richard Widmark is not George Peppards boss and the reason George Peppard leaves has to do with a matter of honor not because of the destruction of the railroad camp which was a great scene. As for the final segment it too had another great CINERAMA scene and there's history between George Peppard and the leader of the outlaw gang played by Eli Wallach. Think of "Magnificent Seven" and "The Good,The Bad and The Ugly" when it comes to Mr Wallachs character. <BR/>As for the reviewer who thinks this movie doesn't address the indians side this movie was made in 1962 when cowboys were good and there was rarely an indian side to anything except for maybe a movie like Broken Arrow.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 24, 2013

    BENNIE QUINCY SHAFT SAYS ¿ WOW! Much has been written about the

    BENNIE QUINCY SHAFT SAYS … WOW!

    Much has been written about the excellence of, “How the West Was Won.” I concur. The visuals and the sound are outstanding. There are no complicated plots here and no complicated storyline, but, again, the visuals and the sound are outstanding.

    We did notice one problem with the audio, however. While the Dolby Digital 5.1 (the BD’s default) played perfectly, the superior Dolby Tru HD 5.1 was about one-quarter second ahead of the picture, making it impossible to use that soundtrack.

    Our OPPO 105 BD player could be the culprit, seeing as how we have had this problem with two DTS HD Master soundtracks in the past. However, since the player has been “spot-on” with other DTS HD Master soundtracks and all the LPCM soundtracks, I believe this to be yet another poorly authored Blu-ray Disc.

    We really don’t know the answer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Look at hte other side

    This movie shows in colorful ways the 'White' side of the West. <BR/>It does in no way mention the terrible price the Native Americans paid for this 'Winning of the West' Anybody who watches tthis movie should also watch the decumentary 'How the West was lost' that shows the suffering of the Native Americans caused by the greed of the American Government, settlers and the military ( a PBS ducumentary).

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Authentic

    Some minor errors, but they do not detract from the truth of this film. If you want to know the facts, watch this film. Note the emphasis on the American Dream and Manifest Destiny

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Perhaps one of the best adaptions of L'Amour

    An adaption of a Louis L'Amour novel of the same title, this is the best of many. The music will really haunt you, and the feeling of possibilities that was the West comes through in the film. A great character study of people that made the trek, with few "heros" thrown in to set the time period. This is a great story of how people make history instead of events, and how people make events into history. I heartily recomment this film, and the book. Both will keep you up to watch and read, and leave you to thinking long after of all the ones that we never read of, but are descended from, no matter race, creed, color, or religion.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews