6.5/10
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Wells Fargo (1937)

Passed | | History, Western | 31 December 1937 (USA)
The life and career of a Wells Fargo official frames this fictionalized account of the express company's formation.

Director:

Frank Lloyd

Writers:

Paul Schofield (screen play), Gerald Geraghty (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joel McCrea ... Ramsay MacKay
Bob Burns ... Hank York - a Wanderer
Frances Dee ... Justine Pryor
Lloyd Nolan ... Dal Slade
Henry O'Neill ... Henry Wells
Mary Nash ... Mrs. Pryor
Ralph Morgan ... Nicholas Pryor
Johnny Mack Brown ... Talbot Carter (as John Mack Brown)
Porter Hall ... James Oliver
Jack Clark Jack Clark ... William Fargo
Clarence Kolb ... John Butterfield
Robert Cummings ... Dan Trimball - Prospector
Granville Bates ... Bradford - Banker
Harry Davenport ... Ingalls - Banker
Frank Conroy ... Ward - Banker
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Storyline

The life and career of a Wells Fargo official frames this fictionalized account of the express company's formation.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

TOGETHER THEY BUILD A CONTINENT! He lives the magnificent adventure that saves a country and she shares the adventures of the man she loves!

Genres:

History | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 December 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An Empire Is Born See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (New York opening) (premiere)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Peggy Stewart. See more »

Quotes

Hank York - a Wanderer: I've had no more luck than a duck with a doorknob.
See more »

Soundtracks

Where I Ain't Been Before
(1937)
Music by Burton Lane
Lyrics by Ralph Freed
Sung by Bob Burns (uncredited) and played as part of the score
See more »

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User Reviews

Disjointed
11 June 2012 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Fans of McCrea looking for a standard shoot-em-up should look elsewhere. That would be okay if the movie were as good as most McCrea westerns, but it's not. Too much time is spent trying to get Ramsay's (McCrea) love life straightened out. The trouble is this tends to crowd out the interesting other two themes— namely, opening highways to the West and action and adventure along the way.

Now, with so much going on, narrative transitions from one thread to the next become important. But, I agree with reviewer Maxwell-- this key element in the storyline is handled very clumsily. It's sometimes hard to follow developments because of muddy segues, plus a sloppy script that appears to want to do too much with too many marginal characters. On a different note, what's with IMDb listing Lloyd Nolan in the credits. If he's in the picture, I couldn't spot him, and he's not someone easy to miss. Maybe he got edited out.

On the plus side are actors McCrea, winsome wife Dee, and a fearsome Mary Nash, some good crowd scenes, and several edifying historical facts. Still, I too, was left wondering just what Wells-Fargo did as a day-to-day business, which seems an odd omission given the movie's title. Anyway, to me, the movie was a disappointment despite a bigger than average budget and an effort at historical sweep.


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