How The West Was Won, 1962

Lilith Prescott and her family members journey to the West during the Civil War era, finding hardship, romance, and excitement.  

A big film with big stars and 12,000 extras, How The West Was Won shows off the talents of several Oscar-winning actors including James Stewart (1941), Karl Malden (1952), Gregory Peck (1963), John Wayne (1970), and Henry Fonda (1982). Also performing in this film were Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, George Peppard, Agnes Moorehead, and Thelma Ritter. Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach often played terrific bad guys and did a great job in this film. All four of the film’s Cinematographers were already Oscar winners before participating in this project.

Of the eight Oscar nominations for this film, only 3 won awards. This film’s Academy Awards went to Harold F. Kress for Best Film Editing and to Franklin Milton for Best Sound, as well as to James R. Webb for Best Writing, Story and screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen.

Of all the actors in this star-studded film, I love James Stewart the most. He never gives a bad performance. This is by no means his best work, but even in a smallish role, he’s captivating.

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