How the West Was Won (1963)

This was a western about five different parts telling all about how the west was won during the days of the wild west. The first part is about a frontiersman who becomes friends with a family that is rafting down a river. They help each other out against some pirates and one of the women from the family settles down with the guy.

The second part is about a wagon train that goes to California and along the way the other woman from the family starts a relationship with a gambler played by Gregory Peck. I think Peck’s character is my favorite one in the movie because he’s your typical rascal. Peck gives his character the right amount of charisma and it’s not surprising that he would be tripping on acid a couple of years later in Arabesque, which I already did a review for.

The third and fourth parts are both pretty short and done by different directors. Neither of them really leaves that much of an impression but we see part of the Civil War with John Wayne in it and something to do with a train and a bunch of buffalo stampeding through a settlement. The final part picks things up again with a pretty epic train robbery.

I feel like the things this movie went for have dated it a little bit. My version has the lines going down the screen, which can be distracting. Also, it seems like a lot more hullabaloo than I think the movie actually deserved. There isn’t any really ongoing story line, which can make this seem like more of a docudrama. That being said, it’s a good western even if time has not necessarily been kind to it.

Published by cinemashrew

I am a writer and avid movie watcher (used to be music listener but I got bored of that).

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