How the West Was Won (1962)

G   |    |  Western


How the West Was Won (1962) Poster

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century - including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.


7.1/10
18,773


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  • Henry Hathaway in How the West Was Won (1962)
  • Debbie Reynolds and Robert Preston in How the West Was Won (1962)
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10 April 1999 | bwaynef
More quantity than quality, but a truly all-star cast
Watching a letterboxed version of "How the West Was Won," I noticed the dividing lines on the screen, and it was clear that much of the picture was still missing even in this format. But neither hindered my enjoyment of this sprawling epic, even if James R. Webb's Oscar winning screenplay left something to be desired. Alfred Newman's music score is terrific, and so is that all-star cast. Unlike those disaster flicks of the 70s like "The Poseidon Adventure" and "The Towering Inferno" that claimed to be stuffed with stars but actually boasted "names" (usually familiar performers, primarily from TV, who rarely headlined a first class feature), "How the West Was Won" has the genuine article. John Wayne, James Stewart, Gregory Peck, Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, George Peppard, Robert Preston, Carroll Baker, and Debbie Reynolds may mean little at the ticket windows of the 90s (and many of them are dead, anyway), but all were above the title stars who carried their own films at the box-office in the early 60s.

Three directors helmed this project but I'd be hard pressed to distinguish whether John Ford, George Marshall or Henry Hathaway were behind the camera during any particular episode if the opening credits didn't identify each segment and its director. I suppose "How the West Was Won" is more quantity than quality, but it's entertaining overall.

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,568 14 September 2003

Gross USA:

$76,729

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$76,729

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