Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Way West|
Actors: Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Richard Widmark, Lola Albright, Sally Field
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns
Studio: Tcfhe/mgm Release Date: 05/13/2008 Run time: 122 minutes Rating: Nr
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Disappointing film of great book
Stephen O. Murray | San Francisco, CA USA | 11/10/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The film version of A. B. Guthrie, Jr.'s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is scenic but uncompelling. Reading the book, which is the middle volume of the Big Sky Trilogy (between _The Big Sky_ and _Fair Land, Fair Land_), the reader feels that he or she has been along on the first (1843) wagon train on what was to become the Oregon Trail. Watching the 1967 movie, the viewer sees a trio of highly competent male stars who appeared in many westerns--Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, and Richard Widmark--and the first movie appearance of Sally Field (already hammy). The movie (directed by the undistinguished mostly tv director Andrew McLaglen) shows various difficulties of the trip and some spectacular western scenery, but it's hard to care very much what happens to anyone on the trek.The soap opera aspects, particularly a vengeful harridan widow, Mrs. Mack (Katherine Justice) are played up and the movie's plot is less epic, considerably more melodramatic than the book. I guess that it's redundant to say the book is better, but this is a considerable understatement. The book is moving and engaging. The movie is neither. The cinematography of William H. Clothier is impressive, but the viewer does not know where on the way the travelers are, how far they have gone, how far they have yet to go.... or much care if they get there."
Star trio keeps this one on track
B. W. Fairbanks | Lakewood, OH United States | 05/18/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Based on a Pulitzer Prize winning novel, and starring the mightily impressive trio of Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, and Richard Widmark, this epic western should be a lot better than it is. Despite the endless parade of cliches, stereotypes, and the soap opera mentality that permeates the script, those three stars make this an entertaining, if slow, ride. What really calls attention to the film these days is the presence of Sally Field in her film debut. In 1967, the year the film was released, who would have ever thought that Field, then still known primarily as TV's "Gidget," would go on to bag two Oscars, while only one of the superstar trio that heads the cast would take home the gold (and Kirk Douglas's Oscar was an honorary one at that)."
An Unofficial Remake of The Big Trail
Erik Rupp | Southern California | 06/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With a cast that includes Kirk Douglas, Richard Widmark, AND Robert Mitchum, how can anyone who is a fan of Western Movies pass up The Way West? You can't - and you shouldn't, it's a good movie.
The surprising thing is how The Way West takes so many plot points from The Big Trail. It's the first wagon train to Oregon, and big scenes include a tough river crossing, Indian attacks, and lowering both wagons AND livestock over the edge of a cliff by ropes! All of those things were straight out of The Big Trail.
But there are some significant differences. The Way West plays much more like a late 60's Western, with bits of TV Soap Opera drama thrown in. That both gives it some charm and holds the movie back from being as good as it could have been.
Andrew V. McLaglen (Victor McLaglen's son) does a good job moving the story along, and gets some strong performances (although nowhere near their best) from Douglas, Widmark, and Mitchum. As the director on The Way West, McLaglen's visual style is good, but not quite up to the great levels of some of the better Western directors of the 40's and 50's. There is plenty of beautiful scenery to be had here, though, and the scope of the film is pretty big.
While it doesn't quite meet it's full potential, The Way West is still a strong movie, and with a cast like this it's certainly worth a purchase."
Much better than expected
J. Sotelo | Sacramento CA | 06/10/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Despite the lukewarm reviews, and maybe because I've never heard of the book it's based on, I thought this movie was a real hoot. Widmark, Mitchum and especially Douglas ham it up pretty good but that just adds to the fun of this sprawling epic about pioneer settlers determined to make it to Oregon. It's fun to see Widmark playing against type as a boozy, happy-go-lucky farmer with a beautiful wife and a serious case of wanderlust and Mitchum hilariously underplays his role as the requisite indian-wannabee trail guide, but this is Kirk's show through and through. He plays the hard edged ruthless tycoon, determined to reach Oregon at all costs so that he can fulfill his dream of empire building and it's always a delight to see him going fullstop, as he does here. Sally Field plays a raunchy southern girl too, a character that seems a bit daring for the times. Not a great western by any means, but a very entertaining flick and a worthy addition to any classic film library."