The Missouri Traveler

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The Missouri Traveler
DVDMissouriTraveler.jpg
DVD Cover for The Missouri Traveler
Directed by Jerry Hopper
Produced by C. V. Whitney
Patrick Ford
Written by John Burress
Norman S. Hall
Starring Brandon deWilde
Lee Marvin
Gary Merrill
Paul Ford
Music by Jack Marshall
Cinematography Winton C. Hoch
Edited by Tom McAdoo
Production
  company
C. V. Whitney Pictures
Distributed by Buena Vista Corporation
Release date(s)
  • January 21, 1958 (1958-01-21)
Running time 103 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Missouri Traveler is a 1958 American coming-of-age period piece drama film directed by Jerry Hopper starring Brandon deWilde and Lee Marvin.[1][2] It is based on the novel by John Burress. The cinematography was by Technicolor developer Winton C. Hoch with harmonica and banjo score by Jack Marshall of The Munsters fame. The film was distributed by Disney's Buena Vista Corporation.

It is the second of only 3 films produced by Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney's C. V. Whitney Pictures; the first being The Searchers in 1956 with John Wayne and directed by John Ford, the last being The Young Land in 1959 with Patrick Wayne and Dennis Hopper.

The year after the film's release deWilde would address more adult themes in Blue Denim. After retiring from films, Whitney married Mary Hosford[3]

Plot[edit]

Cast of The Missouri Traveler includes (l to r) Frank Cady, Brandon deWilde, Lee Marvin, Gary Merrill and Paul Ford.

Brandon deWilde leads a cast lengthy in character actors playing subdued Byron Turner, a 15-year-old runaway from the Eatondale Orphan Asylum bound for Florida in the pre-World War I time period. He receives a ride into the rural Missouri town of Delphi with rich land-owner Tobias Brown (Lee Marvin). There, after an episode in the town square involving most of the populace, he meets crusty newspaper man Doyle Magee (Gary Merrill).

Both of these men share an interest in the polite and mature youth; one showing kindness, the other almost outright cruelty. Eventually, both of their reasonings become clear to the lad. At the same time, the whole town of Delphi comes to not only accept Byron, but to embrace him as one of the town's own and his dream of becoming a farmer.

Highlights include a turn of the 20th century small-town 4th of July celebration with a horse-trotting race and a head-to-head between Magee and Brown.

Cast[edit]

Home media[edit]

No less than six different releases of The Missouri Traveler were produced on VHS. Similarly, several DVD versions were released over the years, mainly as an inclusion in a multiple film "family pack". Presently, The Missouri Traveler is available in Region 0 DVD through Reel Enterprises and video on demand in standard non-widescreen VHS conversion format.

References[edit]

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