The Way West 1967 NR

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(31) IMDb 6.2/10
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This saga of the wagon-train journey of a group of Western pioneers from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon along the historic Oregon Trail (from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by A.B. Guthrie, Jr.) is known for its breathtaking photography of the Western expanse (by William H. Clothier). Kirk Douglas portrays a widowed senator who leads the wagon train, and Robert Mitchum plays the troubled trail scout--a man plagued by poor eyesight. The trials of the trail include Indian attacks and the inevitable human conflicts of men and women who are living in close quarters in a volatile, tense and dangerous atmosphere. Among the members of the party: a highly irascible and colorful Richard Widmark, and Sally Field in her first film role.

Starring:
Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum
Runtime:
2 hours 3 minutes

The Way West

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Product Details

Genres Western, Adventure
Director Andrew V. McLaglen
Starring Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum
Supporting actors Richard Widmark, Lola Albright, Sally Field, Katherine Justice, Jack Elam, Stubby Kaye, Michael McGreevey, Harry Carey Jr., Connie Sawyer, Michael Witney, William Lundigan, Elisabeth Fraser, John Mitchum, Patric Knowles, Hal Lynch, Timothy Scott, Roy Glenn, Paul Lukather
Studio MGM
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

While I like The Big Sky better, that is not to say I did not enjoy this film.
Alexander Duval
Good performances by Robert Mitchum and Richard Widmark, but Kirk Douglas and Sally Field ham it up rather badly.
Scott T. Rivers
Having just finished reading the book, I am horribly disappointed with the movie.
9thstreetcowboy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Sotelo on June 10, 2008
Format: DVD
Despite the lukewarm reviews, and maybe because I've never heard of the book it's based on, I thought this movie was a real hoot. Widmark, Mitchum and especially Douglas ham it up pretty good but that just adds to the fun of this sprawling epic about pioneer settlers determined to make it to Oregon. It's fun to see Widmark playing against type as a boozy, happy-go-lucky farmer with a beautiful wife and a serious case of wanderlust and Mitchum hilariously underplays his role as the requisite indian-wannabee trail guide, but this is Kirk's show through and through. He plays the hard edged ruthless tycoon, determined to reach Oregon at all costs so that he can fulfill his dream of empire building and it's always a delight to see him going fullstop, as he does here. Sally Field plays a raunchy southern girl too, a character that seems a bit daring for the times. Not a great western by any means, but a very entertaining flick and a worthy addition to any classic film library.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Brian W. Fairbanks VINE VOICE on May 18, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Based on a Pulitzer Prize winning novel, and starring the mightily impressive trio of Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, and Richard Widmark, this epic western should be a lot better than it is. Despite the endless parade of cliches, stereotypes, and the soap opera mentality that permeates the script, those three stars make this an entertaining, if slow, ride. What really calls attention to the film these days is the presence of Sally Field in her film debut. In 1967, the year the film was released, who would have ever thought that Field, then still known primarily as TV's "Gidget," would go on to bag two Oscars, while only one of the superstar trio that heads the cast would take home the gold (and Kirk Douglas's Oscar was an honorary one at that).
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Erik Rupp VINE VOICE on June 29, 2008
Format: DVD
With a cast that includes Kirk Douglas, Richard Widmark, AND Robert Mitchum, how can anyone who is a fan of Western Movies pass up The Way West? You can't - and you shouldn't, it's a good movie.

The surprising thing is how The Way West takes so many plot points from The Big Trail. It's the first wagon train to Oregon, and big scenes include a tough river crossing, Indian attacks, and lowering both wagons AND livestock over the edge of a cliff by ropes! All of those things were straight out of The Big Trail.

But there are some significant differences. The Way West plays much more like a late 60's Western, with bits of TV Soap Opera drama thrown in. That both gives it some charm and holds the movie back from being as good as it could have been.

Andrew V. McLaglen (Victor McLaglen's son) does a good job moving the story along, and gets some strong performances (although nowhere near their best) from Douglas, Widmark, and Mitchum. As the director on The Way West, McLaglen's visual style is good, but not quite up to the great levels of some of the better Western directors of the 40's and 50's. There is plenty of beautiful scenery to be had here, though, and the scope of the film is pretty big.

While it doesn't quite meet it's full potential, The Way West is still a strong movie, and with a cast like this it's certainly worth a purchase.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Stephen O. Murray VINE VOICE on November 9, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
The film version of A. B. Guthrie, Jr.'s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is scenic but uncompelling. Reading the book, which is the middle volume of the Big Sky Trilogy (between _The Big Sky_ and _Fair Land, Fair Land_), the reader feels that he or she has been along on the first (1843) wagon train on what was to become the Oregon Trail. Watching the 1967 movie, the viewer sees a trio of highly competent male stars who appeared in many westerns--Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, and Richard Widmark--and the first movie appearance of Sally Field (already hammy). The movie (directed by the undistinguished mostly tv director Andrew McLaglen) shows various difficulties of the trip and some spectacular western scenery, but it's hard to care very much what happens to anyone on the trek.
The soap opera aspects, particularly a vengeful harridan widow, Mrs. Mack (Katherine Justice) are played up and the movie's plot is less epic, considerably more melodramatic than the book. I guess that it's redundant to say the book is better, but this is a considerable understatement. The book is moving and engaging. The movie is neither. The cinematography of William H. Clothier is impressive, but the viewer does not know where on the way the travelers are, how far they have gone, how far they have yet to go.... or much care if they get there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scott T. Rivers VINE VOICE on August 9, 2013
Format: DVD
A mediocre adaptation of the A.B. Guthrie Jr. novel. "The Way West" (1967) wallows in endless clichés and subplots - never coming close to epic status. Good performances by Robert Mitchum and Richard Widmark, but Kirk Douglas and Sally Field ham it up rather badly. William H. Clothier's impressive Oregon photography remains among the few virtues. Skip this missed opportunity and watch the Anthony Mann-James Stewart "Bend of the River" (1952).
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By Beekham Adhin on July 2, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
excllent
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved it because I was in it! I was an extra. I always wanted to see it.
Bend, Oregon girl.
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I would have liked it better had I not read the book first. The movie doesn't match the book in many ways and I know that happens but when you get the whole story line out of wack it makes it a hard watch. But then again I would have never wanted to watch the movie had I not read the book.
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