Westward the Women

Westward the Women ★★★★★

A Californian rancher hires a wagon train driver to bring a hundred or so good women out west so the men will have someone to marry. This is a terrific idea for a movie (from a story by Frank Capra) that could use a remake today (I'm thinking a Kevin Costner mini-series). It's like the Oregon Trail but it's nearly all women who are suffering hardships and being empowered, with several moving moments. It also isn't too mired in the sexism of the 1950s thanks to the sensitive and documentary-like handling from William Wellman. There are moments that could have been handled better, and a few points that go nowhere, and it needs an even bigger scale, but overall it's a surprisingly effective film that captures the pioneer spirit.

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