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How the West Was Won Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Filmed in panoramic Cinerama, this star-studded, epic Western adventure is a true cinematic classic. Three legendary directors ([[Performer~P93704~Henry Hathaway~henryhathaway]], [[Performer~P90133~John Ford~johnford]], and [[Performer~P101402~George Marshall~georgemarshall]]) combine their skills to tell the story of three families and their travels from the Erie Canal to California between 1839 and 1889. [[Performer~P71578~Spencer Tracy~spencertracy]] narrates the film, which cost an estimated 15 million dollars to complete. In the first segment, "The Rivers," pioneer Zebulon Prescott ([[Performer~P44670~Karl Malden~karlmalden]]) sets out to settle in the West with his wife ([[Performer~P50390~Agnes Moorehead~agnesmoorehead]]) and their four children. Along with other settlers and river pirates, they run into mountain man Linus Rawlings ([[Performer~P68236~James Stewart~jamesstewart]]), who sells animal hides. The Prescotts try to raft down the Ohio River in a raft, but only daughters Lilith ([[Performer~P59782~Debbie Reynolds~debbiereynolds]]) and Eve ([[Performer~P3377~Carroll Baker~carrollbaker]]) 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 ([[Performer~P57736~Robert Preston~robertpreston]]). Along the way, she's accompanied by the roguish gambler Cleve Van Valen ([[Performer~P55747~Gregory Peck~gregorypeck]]), 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 ([[Performer~P55983~George Peppard~georgepeppard]]), 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 ([[Performer~P76135~Richard Widmark~richardwidmark]]), who wants to cut straight through Indian territory. Zeb's co-worker Jethro ([[Performer~P24097~Henry Fonda~henryfonda]]) 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. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

  • Release date:November 1, 1962

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Harold Kress Best Editing 1963 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Addison Hehr Best Color Art Direction 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William Ferrari Best Color Art Direction 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ken Darby Best Original Score 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Walter Plunkett Best Color Costume Design 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Joseph La Shelle Best Color Cinematography 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Milton Krasner Best Color Cinematography 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences George W. Davis Best Color Art Direction 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences James R. Webb Best Original Screenplay 1963 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William H. Daniels Best Color Cinematography 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Henry W. Grace Best Color Art Direction 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Charles B. Lang Best Color Cinematography 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Alfred Newman Best Original Score 1963 Nominee

Cast

James Stewart
as Linus Rawlings
Henry Fonda
as Jethro Stuart
Gregory Peck
as Cleve Van Valen
Debbie Reynolds
as Lilith Prescott
Richard Widmark
as Mike King
George Peppard
as Zeb Rawlings
Karl Malden
as Zebulon Prescott
John Wayne
as Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman
Carolyn Jones
as Julie Rawlings
Robert Preston
as Roger Morgan
Eli Wallach
as Charlie Gant
Carroll Baker
as Eve Prescott
Lee J. Cobb
as Marshal Lou Ramsey
Walter Brennan
as Col. Hawkins
David Brian
as Attorney
Andy Devine
as Corporal Peterson
Raymond Massey
as Abraham Lincoln
Agnes Moorehead
as Rebecca Prescott
Thelma Ritter
as Agathe Clegg
Mickey Shaughnessy
as Dep. Stover
Russ Tamblyn
as Confederate deserter
Harry Dean Stanton
as Gant gang member (billed as Dean Stanton)
Spencer Tracy
as Narrator
Jack Pennick
as Corporal Murphy
Jack Lambert
as Gant henchman
Boyd "Red" Morgan
as Stunts
Karl Swenson
as Train conductor
Gene Roth
as Riverboat poker player
Victor Romito
as Henchman
Tudor Owen
as Parson Harvey
James Griffith
as Poker player
John Larch
as Grimes
Beulah Archuletta
as Indian woman
Christopher Dark
as Poker player
Chuck Roberson
as Union soldier/stunts
Bryan Russell
as Zeke Prescott
Kim Charney
as Sam Prescott
Clinton Sundberg
as Hylan Seabury
Robert Nash
as Lawyer
Charlie Briggs
as Barker
Gil Perkins
as Henchman
Willis B. Bouchey
as Surgeon
Carleton Young
as Union Soldier
Claude Johnson
as Jeremiah Rawlings
Roy Jenson
as Henchman
Jay C. Flippen
as Huggins
Sol (Saul) Gorss
as Henchman
Walter Burke
as Wagon poker player
Walter Reed
William Henry
as Staff Officer
John Damler
as Lawyer
Ken Dibbs
as Blacksmith
Ken Curtis
as Union Soldier
Lee Van Cleef
as Marty
Harry Monty
as Uncredited
Paul Bryar
as Auctioneer's assistant
Joe Sawyer
as Ship's Officer

Crew

John Ford
Director
Henry Hathaway
Director
George Marshall
Director
James R. Webb
Screenwriter
Charles B. Lang
Cinematographer
Joseph La Shelle
Cinematographer
William H. Daniels
Cinematographer
Milton Krasner
Cinematographer
Dave Guard
Songwriter
Johnny Mercer
Songwriter
Ken Darby
Composer (Music Score)
Alfred Newman
Composer (Music Score)
Harold Kress
Editor
Addison Hehr
Art Director
William Ferrari
Art Director
George W. Davis
Art Director
Henry W. Grace
Set Designer
Walter Plunkett
Costume Designer
Arnold A. Gillespie
Special Effects
William McGarry
First Assistant Director
William Shanks
First Assistant Director
Wingate Smith
First Assistant Director
Loren Janes
Stunts
Robert Sidney
Choreography
William J. Tuttle
Makeup
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