How the West Was Won

Synopsis: Setting off on a journey to the west in the 1830s, the Prescott family run into a man named Linus, who helps them fight off a pack of thieves. Linus then marries daughter Eve Prescott (Carroll Baker), and 30 years later goes off to fight in the Civil War with their son, with bloody results. Eve's sister, Lily, heads farther west and has adventures with a professional gambler, stretching all the way to San Francisco and into the 1880s.
Genre: Western
Production: Warner Home Video
  Won 3 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
164 min

It was his itching foot

that brought us here.

Heaven knows where we'll end up.

Oh, these are my laddies.

Angus, Brutus and Colin.

- How do you do?

- Hello.

I think they're already acquainted

with your daughters.

- Be they single?

- Aye, single so far.

Well, this Illinois country's beginning

to sound better to me.


Lilith, here. Strike up a little tune

for these handsome lads.

- Oh, I ain't in no mood, Pa.

- Lilith, there's a time for coaxing...

...this ain't the time.

All right.

All right.

A captain bold in Halifax

Who lived in country quarters

Betrayed a maid who hanged herself

One morning in her garters...


Now, you know better

than to sing a song like that.

- What ones do you know?

- We know "Yankee Doodle."

- "Yankee Doodle"?

- Their mother's dead.

They haven't had much learning

in the social graces.

All right, give them

"A Home in the Meadow."

Eve, come on, you too.

That's it.

Come on, join in.

That's it.

Come on.


Loading for the Flying Arrow!

All aboard for the Flying Arrow!

- The Prescott family!

- Here we be. Come on.

Alec Harvey and three sons!

Jeffrey Rose and family!

But the canal was only the first step

toward the promised land.

The next steps were longer and harder.

Those who could raise the fare

went by steamboat to the end of the line.

Others found a cheaper way

to head for Ohio, Illinois...

... and the open spaces beyond.

Lilith. Lilith, listen to this:

"Theirs was a poignant parting

in the forest.

The handsome young backwoodsman

carved two hearts on a tree trunk...

...then from ten paces, hurled a knife

at the junction of the two hearts."

Junction. What's that?

Well, that's where the two hearts meet.

Now, listen:

"His marksmanship was uncanny.

Three times he hurled the knife on target.

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James R. Webb

James R. Webb (October 4, 1909 – September 27, 1974) was an American writer. He won an Academy Award in 1963 for How the West Was Won.Webb was born in Denver, Colorado, and graduated from Stanford University in 1930. During the 1930s he worked both as a screenwriter and a fiction writer for a number of national magazines, including Collier's Weekly, Cosmopolitan and the Saturday Evening Post. Webb was commissioned an army officer in June 1942 and became a personal aide to General Lloyd R. Fredendall who was commander of the II Corps (United States). Webb accompanied Fredendall to England in October 1942 and participated in the invasion of North Africa in November 1942 when the Second Corps captured the city of Oran. The Second Corps then attacked eastward into Tunisia. In February 1943 the German army launched a counterattack at Kasserine Pass which repulsed the Second Corps and nearly broke through the Allied lines. The Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower relieved Fredendall of command in March 1943 and sent him back to the United States where he became deputy commander of the Second United States Army at Memphis, Tennessee. Webb returned to the United States with Fredendall and later served in the European Theater. Webb left the Army after the war and returned to Hollywood, California, where he continued his work as a screenwriter. He died on September 27, 1974, and was buried in Los Angeles National Cemetery. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "How the West Was Won" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 12 May 2021. <>.

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