Utah Wagon Train (1951)

67 mins | Western | 15 October 1951

Director:

Phil Ford

Writer:

John K. Butler

Cinematographer:

John MacBurnie

Production Designer:

Frank Arrigo

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

This film marked Buddy Ebsen's last appearance as Rex Allen's film ... More Less

This film marked Buddy Ebsen's last appearance as Rex Allen's film sidekick. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Nov 1951.
---
Daily Variety
25 Oct 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
5 Nov 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 51
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 51
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
3 Nov 51
p. 1095.
San Francisco Chronicle
12 Sep 1951.
---
Variety
25 Oct 1951.
---
Variety
31 Oct 51
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 October 1951
Premiere Information:
San Francisco opening: 12 September 1951
Production Date:
7 June--mid June 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
10 September 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1299
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
67
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15369
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In Sonora , Utah, Sam Sickle telegrams his nephew, rancher Rex Allen, for help, but is found dead after Rex and his friend, Snooper Trent, arrive. The sheriff tells Rex that seventy-year-old Sarah Wendover hired Sam to lead descendants of the pioneer Wendover Party on a wagon train to California to recreate their ancestors' journey on the Colorado Trail but was murdered before the journey got underway. Hoping to find Sam's killer, Rex agrees to take his place as trail boss and immediately becomes suspicious of two local ranchhands, Hank Driscoll and Pete Millan. Believing that the killer is on the wagon train, Rex takes possession of all the participants' firearms, which is fine with Sarah and her granddaughter, Nancy Bonner, but offends the two couples on the trip, Robert and Belle Hatfield and Jess and Emily Sutton. To settle the matter, Rex must fight Hatfield. Just before they depart, Red Bancroft shows up, claiming to be a Wendover Party descendant, and as he has no wagon, Sarah lets him ride with her. Shortly into the trip, passing stranger Jack Scully approaches them with a story about his horse breaking a leg, and is allowed to hitch a ride with the group. That evening, Bancroft rallies the party to complain about the confiscated guns, so Sarah compromises by taking all the weapons, including Rex's and Snooper's, in her wagon. After the group settles for the night, Rex climbs a nearby telephone pole, and with a handset secretly borrowed from a telephone lineman, calls the National Library of American History in Salt Lake City just before closing time and learns that the religious Wendover group was involved in the Gold ... +


In Sonora , Utah, Sam Sickle telegrams his nephew, rancher Rex Allen, for help, but is found dead after Rex and his friend, Snooper Trent, arrive. The sheriff tells Rex that seventy-year-old Sarah Wendover hired Sam to lead descendants of the pioneer Wendover Party on a wagon train to California to recreate their ancestors' journey on the Colorado Trail but was murdered before the journey got underway. Hoping to find Sam's killer, Rex agrees to take his place as trail boss and immediately becomes suspicious of two local ranchhands, Hank Driscoll and Pete Millan. Believing that the killer is on the wagon train, Rex takes possession of all the participants' firearms, which is fine with Sarah and her granddaughter, Nancy Bonner, but offends the two couples on the trip, Robert and Belle Hatfield and Jess and Emily Sutton. To settle the matter, Rex must fight Hatfield. Just before they depart, Red Bancroft shows up, claiming to be a Wendover Party descendant, and as he has no wagon, Sarah lets him ride with her. Shortly into the trip, passing stranger Jack Scully approaches them with a story about his horse breaking a leg, and is allowed to hitch a ride with the group. That evening, Bancroft rallies the party to complain about the confiscated guns, so Sarah compromises by taking all the weapons, including Rex's and Snooper's, in her wagon. After the group settles for the night, Rex climbs a nearby telephone pole, and with a handset secretly borrowed from a telephone lineman, calls the National Library of American History in Salt Lake City just before closing time and learns that the religious Wendover group was involved in the Gold Rush. Meanwhile, Scully knocks out Snooper and climbs the pole, but when Rex fights him, he falls to the ground. As Scully dies slowly from a broken neck, too far to get help in time, Rex realizes that he killed Sam and urges him to name his boss, but a gunshot finishes the man before he can talk. The shot awakens the other campers, and Bancroft, who has behaved suspiciously, suggests that Rex has staged everything. Sarah intervenes, and realizing that Rex and Snooper need to be given the authority to do their job properly, decrees that they will again supervise the guns. The next day, Rex gets Nancy to admit the real reason for the trip: The original Wendover Party found half a million dollars in gold in California, but were attacked by Indians on their return to Utah. The lone survivor, Jonathan Wendover, hid the gold in a cave and then died before it could be retrieved. Nancy says Sarah found his map in a Bible, and as the pioneers planned to use the gold for the good of the community, Sarah has decided to recover it and start a boys ranch. She tells Rex that her father, Cyrus Bonner, has already proceeded to the site with supplies, and plans to meet them at the ghost town of Fort Hale. However, when they arrive, they discover Cyrus is being tortured by Millan and Driscoll, who then try to escape with him as hostage. Rex and Snooper capture the outlaws in a gunfight, and lock them in a storage room, but during the night, Hatfield starts a fire and frees Millan and Driscoll, ordering them to follow the wagons. The next day, the party finds the gold and loads it on the wagons. Although Rex has tried to prepare for the outlaws' next move, Hatfield and his wife Belle, with Millan and Driscoll, take all of the horses, the gold-laden wagons, and Nancy as hostage, and leave the rest of the group stranded. As the outlaws ride away, Rex's horse Koko frees himself and returns to Rex, who then takes a shortcut that puts him ahead of the outlaws. He jumps into the last wagon, which is carrying Millan and Nancy, knocks out Millan, and sends Nancy back to Snooper with guns and a horse. When Snooper catches up with Rex, they take another shortcut and ambush the outlaws. Hatfield and Belle are subdued, but Millan and Driscoll escape. Rex chases them, and after Rex shoots Millan, Driscoll tries to climb the rocks on foot, but Rex uses his lasso to climb higher than Driscoll and captures the outlaw from above. Later, when the wagons are returned to the party, the grateful Sarah promises that Rex can have a job at the boys ranch any time he needs it. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.