Western Union 1941 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(51) IMDb 6.9/10
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Two outlaw brothers lock horns when one gives up his criminal ways and goes to work for Western Union, laying lines in Omaha and Salt Lake City.

Starring:
Robert Young, Randolph Scott
Runtime:
1 hour, 36 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Western
Director Fritz Lang
Starring Robert Young, Randolph Scott
Supporting actors Dean Jagger, Virginia Gilmore, John Carradine, Slim Summerville, Chill Wills, Barton MacLane, Russell Hicks, Victor Kilian, Minor Watson, George Chandler, Chief John Big Tree, Chief Thundercloud, Dick Rich, Addison Richards, Irving Bacon, C.E. Anderson, Arthur Aylesworth, Bill Beauman
Studio 20th Century Fox
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By tom on March 13, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
This is a great western by one of the great all time actors, Randolph Scott.....HOWEVER

I thought I was buying the dvd not a rental to be watched on my computer. Very resently it seems a lot of on-line movie buying has introduced the rental option requiring one to be a little more alert. Can't anything be simple anymore.

As I said, it's a great movie. Too good to watched in poor picture quality on a computer.

Thumbs down to Amazon on putting the buying and rental on the same page!!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 9, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
It might seem strange that Fritz Lang would make a western, since his forte was clearly the crime film, but then you remember that his first American film, "Fury," was about a lynching and you realize that the Old West has long been an ideal location for playing out the major themes of the American identity. "Western Union" is the story of the first trans-continental telegraph line being strung across the west, which represents the director's interest in modern technology, although clearly this is retrospective in the same way that "Metropolis" was futuristic. Vance Shaw (Randolph Scott) is fleeing a posse and when his goes lame he ends up with Edward Creighton (Dean Jagger), a telegraph engineer who hires the outlaw as a scout. Richard Blake (Robert Young) is a surveyor who arrives from the east and takes a spark to Sue Creighton (Virginia Gilmore), the sister of Edward, which sets up the film's love triangle. Meanwhile, Confederate raiders led by Jack Slade (Barton MacLane) are stealing cattle and disrupting the building of the telegraph line. Shaw is caught in the middle of this as well because he has a relationship with Slade.

Because this is a Fritz Lang film "Western Union" does not play out the way you think in terms of who gets the girl and who kills who in the big gunfight at the end. Shaw is trying to reform and his efforts are contrasted with those of the raiders, who call themselves Confederates but are clearly more interested in profiting from their actions. Shaw was one of Quantrill's raiders and we understand that was a legitimate guerilla group unlike the one headed by Slade.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tom Without Pity on September 19, 2010
Format: VHS Tape
This is a review of WESTERN UNION (1941), an early Technicolor western directed by Fritz Lang, who the year before directed another technicolor western for Fox, THE RETURN OF FRANK JAMES. Apparently even now,in 2010 and in the US, WESTERN UNION is only available on VHS videotape, no DVD as of yet.

In WESTERN UNION, Edward Creighton, played by Dean Jagger, is a chief enginer for the telegarph company installing poles and wires from Omaha to Salt Lake City during the Civil War era.

Crieghton hires Vance Shaw, played by Randolph Scott, an ex-outlaw, as what now would be known as a facilitator. Vance enters a usually friendly rivalary with an engineer/surveyer from Harvard, Richard Blake, played by Robert Young, over the courtship of Creighton's lovely sister, Sue, played by Virgina Gilmore.
Vance and Richard also have disagreements about work related matters as well but when some genuine as well as ersatz Indians led by Jack Slade,who as I have said, is played by Barton McLaine, start trying to steal from and destroy the construction efforts of Western Union, all bets are off in this pretty exciting western film.

I'm not going to call WESTERN UNION a groundbreaking western but in its way, WESTERN UNION does seem to set a new convention or two. It has an excellent if underused cast of supporting players and, being a Fritz Lang production, is especially well photographed. And, being a Fritz Lang production, it has some of the usual Langian attributes including the somewhat strange relationship,if you can call it that, between Vance Shaw and his outlaw brother,Jack Slade,as I have said is played by Barton MacLain.

WESTERN UNION is well worth seeking out, just as an example of an early Technicolor western, although it is a lot more than that. I give it Four
and One Half Stars.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Muzzlehatch VINE VOICE on September 21, 2009
Format: VHS Tape
Lang does Hawks as well as Hawks does in the first part of this extraordinary Western, before settling down into typical deterministic, dark and guilt-haunted fatalism for the dark finale.

This is one of those films that shows its greatness almost instantly but at the same time very subtly. Vance Shaw (Randolph Scott) is on horseback and being pursued, we know not why -- he stumbles on wounded Edward Creighton (Dean Jagger) and decides to take his gun and horse, but discovering that Creighton is in a bad way, decides to fix him up first. This is conveyed mostly through facial expressions and very brief, clipped dialog - in 2 minutes we know that Shaw is an outlaw, but basically a good guy. Shaw ends up helping Creighton on his way to civilization, then disappears.

Cut to a few weeks or months later, with Creighton on the mend and in charge of an expedition to lay telegraph wire going west from Omaha. He hires Shaw as a scout, who tries to leave when he finds out that Creighton is in charge; but Creighton wants him anyway, repaying a debt and sensing something quality. Also hired is a tenderfoot, son of a benefactor of the project, but atypically the Easterner Richard Blake (Robert Young) is quite competent as he shows right away in an amusing but exciting bronco-busting sequence. Both of the hires vie for Creighton's sister Sue (Virginia Gilmore) who - again not typically - seems quite as able to take care of herself as any man.
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