Across the Wide Missouri

  • PG
  • William A Wellman (1951)
  • US
  • 75 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

It would have been interesting had MGM left director William A Wellman's epic vision untouched, but after unfavourable previews this western adventure was hacked down to its current length. Narration was added, which, despite being superbly delivered by an off-screen Howard Keel, only serves to diminish and simplify a movie of real grandeur. What's left is fine, though. Cameraman William C Mellor's use of Technicolor is exemplary, as vast landscapes are bloodied by the advance of "civilisation" in the shape of pioneers in the Rocky Mountains of the 1820s, and the score by David Raksin (Laura) is outstanding. Clark Gable seems uncomfortably cast as real-life trapper Flint Mitchell, and the complex dialogue scenes with the native Americans severely hinder the plot's progression. There's a lingering feeling that this could have been magnificent; perhaps the theme was a little too bitter for MGM's outgoing boss, the wholesome family entertainment-loving Louis B Mayer.

Plot Summary

Western adventure starring Clark Gable and Ricardo Montalban. Flint Mitchell is a pioneering trapper hunting beaver in the Rocky Mountains territory of the Blackfoot tribe. As insurance, he marries Kamiah, a young Blackfoot girl, and eventually falls in love with her. But their happiness is put in jeopardy when another tribe wages war on the Blackfoots.

Cast and crew

Cast

Flint Mitchell
Clark Gable
Ironshirt
Ricardo Montalban
Brecan
John Hodiak
Pierre
Adolphe Menjou
Kamiah
Maria Elena Marques
Looking Glass
J Carrol Naish
Bear Ghost
Jack Holt
Captain Humberstone Lyon
Alan Napier
Gowie
George Chandler
Dick
Richard Anderson
Narrator
Howard Keel

Crew

Director
William A Wellman

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Available on DVD
Certificate PG
Categories
Drama