Westward Ho the Wagons!
|Westward Ho the Wagons!|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||William Beaudine|
|Produced by||Bill Walsh, Walt Disney|
|Written by||Tom Blackburn
Mary Jane Carr (novel)
|Music by||George Bruns|
|Cinematography||Charles P. Boyle|
|Edited by||Cotton Warburton|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Distribution|
|Box office||$2.75 million (US)|
Westward Ho, The Wagons! is a 1956 live-action Disney western film, aimed at family audiences. Based on Mary Jane Carr's novel Children of the Covered Wagon, the film was produced by Bill Walsh, directed by William Beaudine, and released to theatres on December 20, 1956 by Buena Vista Distribution Company.
Fess Parker starred in the film, which also featured the final big-screen appearance of George Reeves. It was released on videotape March 18, 1997. The film was shot in Janss Conejo Ranch, California.
A small group of families join together to travel to Oregon in 1846. Their leader is ostensibly James Stephen (George Reeves, TV's Superman), who has made the trip before, and is now bringing his family along. John Grayson (Fess Parker, TV's Daniel Boone), known as Doc for his ambition to study medicine, however, proves to be the real leader of the wagon train.
The pioneers deal with the elements and occasional raids, but after hostile Pawnees drive off their spare horses, they realize they may not make it to the Oregon Territory. While stopping at Fort Laramie, the pioneer children make friends with Sioux children. After the Sioux chief's son is injured in an accident, Doc Grayson helps heal him, earning the trust of the Sioux. As the story ends, the Sioux warriors escort the wagon train safely through Pawnee territory.
- Fess Parker as John 'Doc' Grayson
- Kathleen Crowley as Laura Thompson
- Jeff York as Hank Breckenridge
- David Stollery as Dan Thompson
- Sebastian Cabot as Bissonette
- George Reeves as James Stephen
- Doreen Tracey as Bobo Stephen
- Barbara Woodell as Mrs. Stephen
- John War Eagle as Wolf's Brother
- Cubby O'Brien as Jerry Stephen
- Tommy Cole as Jim Stephen
- Leslie Bradley as Spenser Armitage
- Morgan Woodward as Obie Foster
- Iron Eyes Cody as Many Stars
- Anthony Earl Numkena as Little Thunder
- Karen Pendleton as Myra Thompson
- Jane Liddell as Ruth Benjamin
- John Locke as Ed Benjamin
- Brand Stirling as Tom Foster (uncredited)
- Westward Ho, the Wagons! - lyrics by Tom Blackburn and music by George Bruns
- The Ballad of John Colter - lyrics by Tom Blackburn and music by George Bruns
- Wringle Wrangle - written by Stan Jones
- "I'm Lonely, My Darlin'" (based on Green Grow the Lilacs, Traditional) - lyrics by Fess Parker and music arrangement by George Bruns
- Pioneer's Prayer (from The Vanishing Prairie) - lyrics by Hazel "Gil" George and music by Paul J. Smith
- "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30