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Across The Wide Missouri (1951)

Clark Gable , Ricardo Montalban , William Wellman  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Clark Gable, Ricardo Montalban, John Hodiak, James Whitmore, Adolphe Menjou
  • Directors: William Wellman
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: September 12, 2011
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005G80BKA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,913 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In fur-trapping country, a man depends on his single-shot rifle and his courage. One of those men is Flint Mitchell (Clark Gable), who heads into Blackfoot territory with his fellow mountain men - and with his new Blackfoot bride (María Elena Marqués) who may be the key to their safety in the dangerous land. Mitchell is a rough, buckskinned man of action and Gable shows he's more than rough enough to portray him in a brawling, breathtakingly beautiful frontier tale. William A. Wellman directs, filming in the Colorado Rockies and combining spectacular Technicolor(r) vistas with colorful characters who don't let the hardships of wilderness life get in the way of a good time. Adventure awaits Across the Wide Missouri.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Frontier Adventure film July 2, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Clark Gable is excellent as a mountain man who leads a company of mountain men and trappers into the Blackfoot Indian Nation to trap beaver. It has humor, drama, action, and suspense. The "Run For Your Life" scene where Gable is given a choice by the Indians to either run or be killed is classic. Ricardo Montalban is also in fine form as the Blackfoot Indian War Chief who hates the intrusion into his country by Gable and his company. A must see for Clark Gable fans. Also, if you liked the movie, "The Big Sky" with Kirk Douglas, you'll love this one.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Family Film May 2, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
My Great Grandfather was in this movie as a French Trapper. It was great to see a man, whom I never met, on the big screen. It would be a great movie for the entire family. It has some excellent scenery shots and a great performance by Clark Gable. It combines history, comedy, and drama all wrapped into one film.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical and elegaic Western June 19, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
It is impossible to watch this at time breathtakingly beautiful movie without sadness not least because what survives is a mere fraction of the movie made by the great William Wellman -the studio interfered in the picture excising great swathes of the footage Wellman shot and adding a ponderous voice over narration declaimed in sonourous mannner by Howard Keel which adds nothing to the picture whatsoever .
It is a movie about the destruction of a way of life -that of the mountain men .The source material is a novel by Bernard de Soto which is based on the life of one such man , Flint Mitchell ,who controlled the trade with the Blackfoot Indians in the Rockies during the 1820,s .In many ways he was the very incarnation of the pioneer spirit , a trader and adventurer married to a Native American ,and the movie shows how this idyllic lifestyle is blown away by the inexorable rise of white society on the frontier as it gradually "civilises " previously virgin lands .
The society is one where whites and Indians co-exist and intermarry as a matter of course and even this comparative racial harmomy is destroyed by "society"and the violence it brings in its wake
Achingly lovely location photography make the movie a visual poem to the American landscape and it dwarves most of the players but Gable gives one of his strongest performances
This is a fascinating movie but I suspect if Wellman had been alllowed to pursue his original vision we would be talking about an acclaimed masterpiece rather than the rump left by an nervous studio
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT November 14, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Across the Wide Missouri
Montana & Idaho country

This 1951 movie is one of my favorite movies, as I read quite a bit on the mountain man and his era. This film is supposed to majestically show the mountain man circa early 1830s almost midpoint of his era. This movie does not depict the end of his era nor is it meant to. The mountain man era ran from the early 1820s to the late 1840s for prime and abundant fur and in some other areas even continued on as late as the 1860s.

I don't know how this film could be any better. It sums up or is meant to sum up the freedom and adventure of the early mountain man era while there were 'shining times' and as the movie shows the only main tribe meeting their era with terrible resistance was the Blackfoot nation, comprised of 3 tribes (North Piegan, Blood or Kainai-South Piegan, and Blackfoot or Siksikawa). Iron Shirt is only meant to serve as the main symbol for that murderous resistance.

During Lewis and Clark adventure in the west (1804-1806) July, 1806 they were forced to kill 2 members of the Blackfeet Confederacy or First Nation of Canada and that left the tribes not only with an abiding anger toward American fur trappers or travelers. Even Clark Gable's run early in the movie to save his life, is similar to what John Colter (Yellowstone, Grand Teton, & Jackson Hole), ex-member of the Lewis & Clark group, experienced in 1809 at the hands of this same Blackfeet Nation. In what became known as 'Colter's Run' he ran for his life and survived. Across the Wide Missouri was, however, shot in Colorado, not in Missouri or southern Alberta, home to the Blackfoot nation.

For a statement of this early mountain man era I cannot conceive of a better movie.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
"He was a breed of men... mountain men who lived and died in America. He used to tell me about these men he knew. Men who walked the Indian trails and blazed new ones where no man had ever been before. Men who found lakes and rivers and meadows. Men who found paths to the west and the western sea; who roamed prairies and mountains and plateaus that are now states. Men who searched for beaver and found glory. Men who died unnamed and found immortality."

The Fifties were not a good time for William Wellman, beginning and ending the decade losing control of personal projects to studio executives. Despite starring Clark Gable, who personally requested Wellman be hired, MGM were less than satisfied with 1951's Across the Wide Missouri and, to be fair, you can see their side. This tale of mountain men and free trappers in the golden days of the unopened frontier may be full of quirk and color, but the story is very thin, with Gable marrying Blackfoot woman Maria Elena Marques in the hope she'll be able to smooth things over with her tribe in the beaver-rich Blackfoot country only to find himself genuinely falling in love with her and understanding that the Blackfoot are "people who laughed and loved and dreamed" only for his brigade of trappers to become targets for Ricardo Montalban's chief-in-waiting who knows that they'll herald the loss of his people's freedom. (Montalban came out of the film even worse than Wellman, with a serious spinal injury that would leave him with pain for the rest of his life.
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