4.74.7 out of 5 stars
22 product ratings
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Good value100% agree

Entertaining100% agree

Engaging characters100% agree

19 Reviews


How the West Was Won

Great actors and wonderful story.

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Timeless movie

How Americans actually went out without the government, EPA, Welfare, Unemployment and Food Stamps and discovered the West is great. What a story a true story at that! The ending scenes by air are an inspiration to any American citizen. We do have a remarkable country, we were settled by remarkable people and IF our government would get the hell out of the way we would be remarkable again. No peanut allergy's B/S with these people just the right stuff.Read full review...

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How the West was won

Great Cinerama film

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Classic western!

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5 stars

wonderful movie at a great price

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How the West Was Won

Many years ago my high school band performed the theme song from How the West Was Won and I had never read the book or seen the movie, but loved the music. Though E-Bay, I was able to purchase the book with the same title. Naturally, upon completion of the book, we were interested to see the movie. The famous actors and actresses were well chosen for their parts. Unfortunately, the movie was probably produced in a hurried mode. The explanation was at the beginning of the DVD set. It seems there was great competition when it was filmed to be the first to bring a format of film and projection that had, until that time, been used only by the military, to the big screen. I am certain the result was awesome for those who watched it for the first time. In our era, so many advances have been made in movie making, that surround film is not such a rare thing. In an effort to highlight this format, I think they tended to neglect some things that the producer should have not omitted. I am grateful that Mr. L'Amour chose to take this group of three stories and expound upon them to fill in some loopholes. As in many cases, the book was better than the movie. I will say that the movie was entertaining enough that I plan to watch it many more times.
Based on the life and times of the rugged characters who chose to search new places to build their lives in the West, and the hardships they encountered, the viewer senses the struggle our forefathers faced. We should all have an appreciation for the sacrifices these people made and now, I am more grateful to them. This would be a fun and entertaining semi-history lesson for many ages.
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Just ok

You might like it, to me it was just Ok.

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Good, but book much better

I'd never seen this movie before, but made the mistake of viewing it after I had read the book by Louis L'Amour. While the movie was entertaining, and contains some classic scenes, the book by L'Amour (a 'based on the movie' novel) was brilliant. It's far, far more detailed with well fleshed-out characters and motivations, the usual excellent L'Amour historical detail, expanded and frankly different story lines, many scenes not included in the movie, etc.
If you haven't read the book, you will surely like the movie, especially if you like Debbie Reynolds singing as a dance-hall girl. But if you have read the book, the movie will seem like a pared-down highlight reel of the full story.
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How the West Was Won #1 Review

Filmed in panoramic Cinerama, this star-studded, epic Western adventure is a true cinematic classic. Three legendary directors (Henry Hathaway, John Ford, and George Marshall) combine their skills to tell the story of three families and their travels from the Erie Canal to California between 1839 and 1889. Spencer Tracy narrates the film, which cost an estimated 15 million dollars to complete. In the first segment, "The Rivers," pioneer Zebulon Prescott (Karl Malden) sets out to settle in the West with his wife (Agnes Moorehead) and their four children. Along with other settlers and river pirates, they run into mountain man Linus Rawlings (James Stewart), who sells animal hides. The Prescotts try to raft down the Ohio River in a raft, but only daughters Lilith (Debbie Reynolds) and Eve (Carroll Baker) survive. Eve and Linus get married, while Lilith continues on. In the second segment, "The Plains," Lilith ends up singing in a saloon in St. Louis, but she really wants to head west in a wagon train led by Roger Morgan (Robert Preston). Along the way, she's accompanied by the roguish gambler Cleve Van Valen (Gregory Peck), who claims he can protect her. After he saves her life during an Indian attack, they get married and move to San Francisco. In the third segment, "The Civil War," Eve and Linus' son, Zeb (George Peppard), fights for the Union. After he's forced to kill his Confederate friend, he returns home and gives the family farm to his brother. In the fourth segment, "The Railroads," Zeb fights with his railroad boss (Richard Widmark), who wants to cut straight through Indian territory. Zeb's co-worker Jethro (Henry Fonda) refuses to cut through the land, so he quits and moves to the mountains. After the railway camp is destroyed, Zeb heads for the mountains to visit him. In the fifth segment, "The Outlaws," Lilith is an old widow traveling from California to Arizona to stay with her nephew Zeb on his ranch. However, he has to fight a gang of desperadoes first. How the West Was Won garnered three Oscars, for screenplay, film editing, and sound production.Read full review...

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