Seldom has the western landscape seemed such a tangible emblem of hope and freedom. Wagon Master, splendidly directed by John Ford, is a superlative western. The series, inspired by the 1950 John Ford film “Wagon Master,” detailed the travails of people aboard a wagon train journeying from Missouri to California after the Civil War. Romance, Certificate: Passed Desert wastes, prairie fires, the attacks of road agents and Indians took their toll. Early life.  A colorized version was also released as a VHS tape. , The film was apparently not widely reviewed upon its 1950 release. - Order by Phone 1-800-336-4627 Wagon Master (1950) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. (1950). " They are dressed in cowboy garb: jeans, kerchiefs around their necks, and cowboy hats. Kathryn Kalinak has written that Ford "got great work out of the people he worked with, and often those he was hardest on produced the best work of their careers. Patrick Ford, a screenwriter and Ford's son, learned the history of the Mormon Hole in the Rock expedition (1879–1880) from some local Mormon horsemen. They have to forge a trail across unknown territory and face many hardships along the way. Two young drifters guide a Mormon wagon train to the San Juan Valley and encounter cutthroats, Indians, geography, and moral challenges on the journey. Menu. Wagon Train (1940) Academy Award nominated best assistant director Edward Killy led this transition from RKO B Western veteran George O’Brien to Tim Holt in the leading role. Although he did not play the same character, Wagon Master served as an inspiration for the series. Given full artistic control over the film, Ford indulges himself, but to great effect. They quickly come across some stranded travelers, a medicine show run by Dr. A. Locksley Hall which includes the attractive Denver. With her seven children she decides to stay the course against the wishes of Major Adams. Instead of Wayne or Henry Fonda, Wagon Master is filled with lesser-known but familiar faces from the Ford stock company.". In 1898, Irish immigrant Martin Maher is hired as a civilian employee at West Point where, during a 50-year career, he rises to the rank of NCO and instructor. Roy and Buck take the women to St. Joseph, Missouri, where Conestoga wagons, horses, and mules are awaiting them, along with the men Buck has hired to protect the wagon train.  Linda Rasmussen wrote, "This wonderful film emphasizes the virtues of solidarity, sacrifice and tolerance, and shows John Ford at his most masterful, in total control of the production from the casting to the bit players to the grandeur and scope of the visual compositions. Almost every frame bursts with humanity, nature and ci… He'd worked with Glennon on five films between 1935 and 1939, including Stagecoach, for which both Ford and Glennon were nominated for Academy Awards. The film's conclusion leaves the wagon train and its wagon master on the verge of entry into the San Juan country. The series was inspired by the 1950 film Wagon Master directed by John Ford and starring Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr. and Ward Bond, and harkens back to the early widescreen wagon train epic The Big Trail (1930) starring John Wayne and featuring Bond in his first major screen appearance playing a …  Variety noted that "Wagon Master is a good outdoor action film, done in the best John Ford manner. , Film critic Tag Gallagher wrote at length about Wagon Master in his 1986 book, John Ford: the man and his films. ", Songs are important in Wagon Master. , In 1998, the copyrights to both the original and colored versions of the film were donated to The Library of Congress, along with an original master reel copy of the film. Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutionary War begins. They died of hunger, thirst, heat and cold. Rosetta Stone Language Courses DVD Education, Language & Reference Software. The screenplay includes some common features of wagon train films. They are nonetheless able to defeat the Cleggs in a brief gunbattle precipitated by the Cleggs' murder of one of the unarmed Mormon men.  There was a release to videotape (VHS) in 1990.  Tag Gallagher wrote in 1986 that "... the Mormons are lambs, not willing to protect themselves. Travis and Sandy are armed, but Sandy has apparently never fired a weapon at a person, and Travis claims that he's only shot "snakes". The man on the left is holding a lasso near his waist. It's left to Sandy and Travis to protect the travelers and get them to their destination. His summary is, "That Wagon Master (1950), one of Ford's major masterpieces, grossed about a third of any of the cavalry pictures surely came as no surprise. The whole cast is excellent. " The portrayal of community predominates over portrayals of individuals; thus Dennis Lim wrote, again in 2009, that "Wagon Master is at once the plainest and the fullest expression of Ford's great theme: the emergence of a community. A Mormon wagon train led by the Elder Wiggs (Ward Bond) around 1880 has reached Crystal City, and needs a wagon master to lead it further to its destination—the San Juan River country in southeastern Utah Territory. " Filmgoers learn of Travis Blue's and Sandy Owens' decision to accept the wagon master job when Travis and Sandy break into song. As noted by Dennis Lim, the casting of Wagon Master was consistent with the film's focus on the emergence of a community instead of the heroic actions of individuals. garykmcd. The reel is stored in an individual secure vault at the Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia in order to preserve the film for future generations. now playing Wagon Master (1950) -- (Movie Clip) They Was Invited Out. 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