How the West Was Won

Watch How the West Was Won

"It's here! The mightiest adventure ever filmed!"
  • G
  • 1962
  • 2 hr 42 min
  • 7.0  (23,192)
  • 56

In the movie How the West Was Won, we are taken on an epic journey that spans generations and follows the adventures of several families as they make their way across the American west during the 19th century. The film is a sprawling tale that covers a lot of ground, both literally and figuratively, and features an all-star cast that includes James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda, Debbie Reynolds, and many others.

The story is divided into five parts or chapters, each of which focuses on a different era in the westward expansion of the United States. The first chapter, titled "The Rivers," takes place in the 1830s and follows the Prescott family, who leave their home in New York to head west in search of new opportunities. Along the way, they encounter a group of mountain men led by James Stewart's character, Linus Rawlings, who provides them with critical assistance when they need it most. The chapter also focuses on the rivalry between two riverboat captains, Zebulon Prescott (played by Karl Malden) and Roger Morgan (played by Robert Preston).

The second chapter, "The Plains," takes place in the 1850s and follows the story of the Civil War veteran Zebulon Prescott and his family as they establish a new home on the wide-open plains. This chapter features John Wayne in a memorable role as the leader of a wagon train that helps the Prescotts fight off a band of marauding Indians. Along the way, they also encounter a band of outlaws led by the notorious Charlie Gant (played by Eli Wallach).

The third chapter, "The Civil War," takes place during the 1860s and focuses on the story of the Rawlings family, which includes James Stewart's character, Linus, and his brother Zeb (played by George Peppard). This chapter shows their involvement in the Civil War, and how their paths cross with the villainous Gant, who has become a Confederate soldier. The chapter is also notable for its impressive battle scenes, which are some of the most elaborate and well-planned in Hollywood history.

The fourth chapter, "The Railroads," takes place in the 1870s and shows the dramatic impact that the creation of the transcontinental railroad had on the western frontier. This section of the film follows the story of the Marshal family, which includes Gregory Peck's character, Cleve. The Marshals become involved in a complicated and dangerous conflict between the railroad companies and the Native Americans, who are trying to protect their land and way of life.

The final chapter, "The Outlaws," takes place in the 1880s and follows the story of the Rawlings brothers as they try to track down Gant, who has become a notorious outlaw. This chapter features a climactic showdown that brings together many of the film's characters and ends the story on a poignant and emotional note.

Throughout the movie, we are treated to breathtaking vistas of the American west, from the rocky mountains to the wide-open plains to the sprawling cities of the late 19th century. The film also features a powerful musical score by Alfred Newman, which helps to evoke the sweeping grandeur of the story.

Overall, How the West Was Won is an epic film that has become a classic of the western genre. With its all-star cast, impressive production values, and sweeping story, it remains a must-see for anyone interested in the history and mythology of the American west.

How the West Was Won is a 1962 western with a runtime of 2 hours and 42 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 56.

How the West Was Won
Where to Watch How the West Was Won
How the West Was Won is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Sling, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent How the West Was Won for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 42 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (23,192)
  • Metascore