Fighting Caravans

Fighting Caravans is a 1931 American pre-Code Western film directed by Otto Brower and David Burton and starring Gary Cooper, Lili Damita, and Ernest Torrence. Based on the 1929 novel Fighting Caravans by Zane Grey, the film is about a young frontier scout who helps guide a freight wagon train across the country, fighting off Indians and evil traders, while his two crusty companions try to save him from falling […]

Wagon Wheels

Wagon Wheels is a 1934 western film directed by Charles Barton and starring Randolph Scott and Gail Patrick. It is a remake of 1931’s Fighting Caravans, using stock footage from the original and substituting a new cast. It was based on the Zane Grey novel Fighting Caravans. This movie conveyed the myth that the biggest problem on the Oregon Trail was Indians. I watched the movie because it was […]

Song of the Loon

The journey of 19th-century frontiersman Ephraim MacIver and the adventures, stories, and homosexual relationships he had with other men in the American wilderness. It was based on the book of the same name – the most popular erotic gay book of the 1960s and 1970s. It is a bit of a muddled movie, with perhaps […]

Death Hunt

Death Hunt is a 1981 Western action film directed by Peter R. Hunt. The film stars Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Carl Weathers, Maury Chaykin, Ed Lauter and Andrew Stevens. Death Hunt was a fictionalized account of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) pursuit of a man named Albert Johnson. Earlier films exploring the same topic were The Mad Trapper (1972), a British made-for-television production and Challenge to Be Free (also known as Mad Trapper of the Yukon and Mad Trapper) (1975). […]

Challenge to Be Free

Challenge to Be Free (aka Mad Trapper of the Yukon and Mad Trapper) is a film directed by Tay Garnett and starring Mike Mazurki. The movie was a loosely- based account of the 1931 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) pursuit of a trapper named Albert Johnson, the reputed “Mad Trapper of Rat River”. The film was shot and originally released in 1972 with the title Mad […]

Sacred Ground

Sacred Ground is a 1983 American Drama Western film directed by Charles B. Pierce and starring Tim McIntire, L. Q. Jones and Jack Elam. The film was shot in several outdoor locations in Oregon. Set in the year 1861, Matt Colter, a mountain man is traveling across the great divide with his young Indian bride, Little Doe. They cross paths with a Paiute party, a beautiful […]

The Last Frontier

The Last Frontier is a 1955 American Western film directed by Anthony Mann and starring Victor Mature, Guy Madison, Robert Preston, and Anne Bancroft. The film is set during the American Civil War at an isolated army base at the far reaches of the American frontier, where the Indians still far outnumber the whites. The Last Frontier was filmed in Technicolor and CinemaScope. On television, it has been shown re-titled as Savage Wilderness. […]

The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams

The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams is a 1974 independent feature film inspired by a 1972 historical fiction novella written by Charles E. Sellier Jr. The title character, played by Dan Haggerty, was loosely based on California mountain man John “Grizzly” Adams (1812–1860). The film portrayed the fictional Grizzly Adams as a frontier woodsman who fled into the mountains after he […]

Into the West 2 – Manifest Destiny

Into the West is a 2005 miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks, with six two-hour episodes . The miniseries begins in the 1820s and is told mainly through the third person narration of Jacob Wheeler (Matthew Settle) and Loved By the Buffalo (Joseph M. Marshall III), although episodes outside the direct observation of both protagonists are also shown. The plot […]

Into the West 1 – Wheel to the Stars

Into the West is a 2005 miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks, with six two-hour episodes. The miniseries begins in the 1820s and is told mainly through the third person narration of Jacob Wheeler (Matthew Settle) and Loved By the Buffalo (Joseph M. Marshall III), although episodes outside the direct observation of both protagonists are also shown. The plot follows […]