The Covered Wagon (Silent)

Two great caravans of pioneers make the push to Oregon in this silent Western classic, the most popular film of 1923!
The Covered Wagon (Silent)
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 8203D
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 38 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: March 12, 2019
  • Originally Released: 1923
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , &
Directed by

Description by OLDIES.com:

Two great caravans of covered wagons filled with pioneers – one led by young Will Bannion, the other by crusty old Jesse Wingate – push off from Westport Landing (now Kansas City.) The year is 1848, and their destination is faraway Oregon. Wingate's young daughter Molly is fascinated by the dashing Bannion, infuriating Sam Woodhull, her brutish fiancée. Woodhull lies to Wingate and tells him that Banion was drummed out of the army for cattle rustling. Bannion and his wagons are then banished from the trail. It's at that moment that Wingate's caravan is attacked by Indians. Unless Molly can get a message to Bannion in time, the pioneers will never reach Oregon…

The Covered Wagon almost single-handedly kick-started the Western genre, surpassing the low-budget cowboy movies that had existed until that point. It cost $782,000 to produce (a massive amount of money at the time) and required a large cast and crew, all of whom filmed far away from civilization in Palm Springs, California (there was additional shooting in Nevada and Utah.) The cast of 3,000 included 1,000 Native Americans recruited from the Indian reservations Wyoming and New Mexico by Colonel Tim McCoy (later to be a Western movie star himself.) In addition, the covered wagons seen in the film are not recreations, but the actual ones used by real pioneers. Paramount paid the owners $2 a day for the use of these priceless family heirlooms. Director James Cruze cast his neighbor J. Warren Kerrigan in the leading role. Kerrigan had not worked steadily in years, after his status as a conscientious objector during World War I had led to a downturn in his popularity. Lois Wilson was cast as his leading lady after the role was turned down by Mary Miles Minter (this decision, as well as her role in the death of director William Desmond Taylor, led to the end of Minter's career.) Alan Hale Sr. would later have memorable parts in classics such as It Happened One Night(1934), Stella Dallas (1937), and The Sea Hawk (1940). He also memorably played Little John to both Douglas Fairbanks' and Errol Flynn's archers in Robin Hood (1922) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).The Covered Wagon eventually grossed $3.8 million at the box-office, making it the most popular film of 1923. It showed Hollywood that there was an audience for big-budget Westerns, and the next year John Ford would make his first major film, The Iron Horse (1924).

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 1,227
  • UPC: 089218820396
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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