Union Pacific

Synopsis: One of the last bills signed by President Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad across the wilderness to California. But financial opportunist Asa Barrows hopes to profit from obstructing it. Chief troubleshooter Jeff Butler has his hands full fighting Barrows' agent, gambler Sid Campeau; Campeau's partner Dick Allen is Jeff's war buddy and rival suitor for engineer's daughter Molly Monahan. Who will survive the effort to push the railroad through at any cost?
Genre: Drama, Western
Director(s): Cecil B. DeMille
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins.
135 min

(man #1) Building a railroad that

long is somebody's crazy dream.

(man #2) It's a

wonderful age we live in.

[laughing] A railroad

from Omaha to California?

One might as well think of flying.

President Lincoln is for it.

(Smith) This is the

most monumental folly...

ever conceived in the mind of man.

In all this broad land of ours...

who wants this railroad...

that will start at the

outer edge of civilization...

and wander expensively

through the wilderness?

Who, I ask you, except a small group...

of money-grabbing financiers,

self-seeking politicians...

and fanatical engineers?

[senators chattering]

[gavel tapping] Mr.

President. Mr. President.

(President) Does the Senator yield

to the gentleman from California?

I am not done, Mr. President.

I would like to read...

from a speech by the late

Daniel Webster on this subject.

Delivered from this very floor.

"What do we want with this

vast, worthless area...

"this region of savages

and wild beasts...

"of deserts and endless mountain ranges?

"What can we ever hope

to do with 3000 miles...

"of cheerless rockbound coast...

"and not a harbor on it?"

[senators chattering]

Not a harbor on it?

[gavel pounding]

(President) Order! Order!

[snickering] Why, there's room

in the San Francisco Bay...

to float all the navies of the world.

[senators laughing]

His word against Webster's.

[all cheering]

Mr. President. Mr. President.

(President) Mr. Sargent.

Gentlemen. The learned Senator asks...

Who wants this railroad?

Well, I'll tell you.

This nation, crippled by

four years of war, wants it.

[senators chattering]

A great artery...

through which may flow the

gold and silver of the West...

into the empty treasuries of the East.

(Sargent) Grain and cattle

into a war-torn South.

And thousands of men

released from both armies...

want it for the work and

the wages it will bring.

And the merchants of the whole world...

who need a shorter route

to the Orient, they want it.

[senators exclaiming]

[gavel pounding]


I move you the adoption

of this railroad bill...

that shall bind us

together, East and West...

forever as one people.

[senators cheering]

[gavel pounding]

(Lincoln) Mr. Ames...

I want to take a ride

on this railroad...

the first thing after I

retire from the presidency.

(Ames) Mr. Lincoln had the

vision to conceive this railroad.

You gentlemen must have the

vision to help us finance it.

(Barrows) Frankly, Mr. Ames,

the only vision I can see...

is a lot of loose dollars

rolling away over those prairies.

Good day, gentlemen.

(Ames) But there's more than profit...

in the lap of this undertaking.

This railroad is the

future of the United States.

Along its rails, new cities will rise.

Is there not some danger

that the Central Pacific...

which is building east across

California, may reach Ogden first...

and keep you out of

the Salt Lake Valley?

President Lincoln wisely arranged...

that the Central Pacific will build

only to the California state line.

Here, where our tracks

will join with theirs.

General Dodge, uh...

as Chief Engineer of

the Union Pacific...

are you quite sure that a railroad

more than 1000 miles long...

can actually be built

through such a wilderness?

Yes. Yes. My brother Oliver and I...

are staking our fortune

on General Dodge's word...

that it can be done.

How much of your fortune, Mr. Ames?

We'll back the Union Pacific down

to the last shovel in our factory.

You're enthusiastic.

I promised Mr. Lincoln

to see it through.

Mr. Lincoln is dead. Well,

my promise to him is not dead.

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Walter DeLeon

Walter DeLeon (May 3, 1884 – August 1, 1947) was an American screenwriter. He wrote for 69 films that were released between 1921 and 1953, and acted in one film. He was born in Oakland, California, and died in Los Angeles, California. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Union Pacific" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Oct. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/union_pacific_22587>.

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