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Way West [DVD] [1967] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: NR (Not Rated) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014BQR2O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,379 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Andrew V. McLaglen's The Way West (1967), adapted from A.B. Guthrie's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1950 novel, is a tedious, cliché-ridden wagon train oater; given the status of the three actors with above-the-title billing, western fans might question why they are not more familiar with this movie, but when they view it, I think they'll get the reason quite quickly. 1967 was a pretty mediocre year for US westerns overall (this was also the year of The War Wagon, Welcome to Hard Times, and Firecreek - yes, thought not), but even in this company The Way West stands out as an almost unwatchably boring, nondescript entry into a genre by this time well in need of a shake-up.
Here Kirk Douglas plays a hard-assed, blood-and-thunder US senator leading a large group of Missouri dirt farmers along the `Big Trail' to a new life in Oregon; Richard Widmark is one of the would-be-settlers, whilst Robert Mitchum is the supposedly laconic tracker-guide Douglas hires to get the migrating community through the arduous journey. All the usual sub-Rawhide `dramatic' situations are here; Indian attacks, dangerous river crossings, `romantic' sub-plots, with a couple of hangings and shootings chucked in for good measure. Some of the incidents in the movie are just plain odd (such as when Douglas orders his Negro slave to whip him for his sins, or the suddenly murderous character shift of one woman driven barmy by her own frigidity), but they are never striking enough to make you re-appraise the film as a whole; this really is just one long slog.
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can't remember ever seeing this film but i guessed by the 3 lead actors it had to be good and it certainly did not dissapoint . basically its the story of a wagon train heading towards oregon and the difficulties they encounter on their travels , its similar to "how the west was won" which was an exceptional film and if you liked that film you will also like this one .enjoy.
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Format: DVD
The Way West is directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and adapted to screenplay by Ben Maddow and Mitch Lindemann from the novel of the same name written by A.B. Guthrie Jr. It stars Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Richard Widmark, Sally Field, Lola Albright, Michael McGreevey, Jack Elam, Katherine Justice and Stubby Kaye. Music is by Bronislau Kaper and cinematography by William H. Clothier.

1843 and a former U.S. senator leads a wagon train of settlers to Oregon where he plans to build a new town. However, his rules of discipline and organisational skills leads to growing dissatisfaction with his leadership.

Frustrating! Such potential with the cast and story to hand, that The Way West meanders along and outstays its welcome is a crying shame. The blame is shared around, though, the screenplay doesn't offer up much for the cast to get their teeth into, which means Mitchum phones it in and Douglas tilts over the edge in trying to liven proceedings. McLaglen isn't confident enough to spruce the narrative with excitement, choosing instead a more maudlin approach as the many "pioneer character" threads start to feel superfluous to the story's worth. Especially bad is a teen romance between Field and McGreevey, as unnecessary as it is distracting.

Clothier's photography around the various Oregon locations is superb, fit to be in a John Ford movie in fact. The vibrant landscapes and the 100% outdoor production ensure there is at least some good to take away from the movie. We can also say that the odd interjection of drama, such as that involving the accidental killing of a Sioux child - and the subsequent "internal" discipline that follows - maintains interest. But once we reach the finale, and Widmark's Lije Evans yells it's on to Oregon, you may find yourself angry that Clothier and yourself deserved a far better movie. 5/10
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This is a classic western with a great cast and storyline, Andrew Mc Lagen does a great job of directing, Richard Widmark and Kirk Douglas turn in excellent performances.
If you haven't seen this film before, don't worry about spending your money, it is a worthwhile investment. I'm not like other reviewers who go to great lengths to write a load of useless spiel about the film. My advice is watch it if it is on television, if a friend has copy of it, ask if you can borrow it, then make up your own mind.
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By A. W. Wilson TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Jun. 2015
Format: DVD
I have managed to squeeze 3 stars for this less than wonderful western, but one that does have some positives. The first, perhaps, is the very good Panavision transfer 2.35.1 transfer from101 DVD. Good colour and sound. Then you have 3 major stars in one film. Perhaps not there finest roles, but I have seen all 3 in worse productions. You also have some spectacular landscapes and photography, and set pieces (many from 2nd Unit director?). The story is cliched, but classical (not classic). Wagon Train from Independance to Oregon, guided by veteran scout Mitchum, led by ruthless Kirk, well you have to be ruthless to lead a wagon train,( I thought Kirk's character was OK actually...Hmmm), and straight arrow, but tending to drunkenness, Widmark, married to purtiest dfrontier woman you ever did see (Lola Allbright on top form). The downside for me was the fact that I know this could and should have been much better, after all director McGlaglen was no slouch in the Western stakes, and also what I considered a poor handling/writing of the support cast. With such stalwarts as Elam, Harry Carey, William Lundigan, Stubby Kaye (did most of his part end the cutting room floor?), Roy Barcroft, and one of my favourite actresses from the 40's and early 50's, Peggy Stewart, there should have been more background and contributions from them. Sally Field does well in a difficult part. So, although all the ingredients are here, sadly the film is less than excellent, but does have it's action and good bits. I still recomend a viewing even tho hard core western fans may be just a bit disapointed (but I enjoyed it, for what that's worth).
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