Wells Fargo

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Movie Info

The third of Paramount's "deluxe" westerns of the 1930s (following The Texas Rangers and The Plainsman) was Wells Fargo, filmed on a Cecil B. DeMille scale by producer-director Frank Lloyd. In his first western appearance, Joel McCrea plays Ramsey McCay, troubleshooter for the newly formed partnership of Henry Wells (Henry O'Neill) and William Fargo (Jack Clark). Dedicated to maintaining a safe and speedy overland mail and freight service to the West, Wells-Fargo is at the forefront of several important historical events, including the California Gold Rush, the formation of the Pony Express and the Civil War. Hero McCay is briefly separated from his wife Justine (played by McCrea's real-life spouse Frances Dee) during the last-named conflict, but the two are reunited late in life as Wells-Fargo celebrates its 20th year of service. Constructed in a rather pedantic "tableau" fashion (a frequent shortcoming in Frank Lloyd's films), Wells Fargo nevertheless contains several thrill-packed highlights, most of which would do service as stock footage in such later Paramount westerns as Geronimo. Originally released at 115 minutes, Wells Fargo was radically shortened in subsequent re-issues, almost completely eliminating the semi-villainous character played by fourth-billed Lloyd Nolan (if asked, audiences would probably have preferred to see far less of comedy-relief Bob "Bazooka" Burns). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Joel McCrea
as Ramsay Mackay
Frances Dee
as Justine
Bob Burns
as Hank York
Lloyd Nolan
as Del Slade
Porter Hall
as James Oliver
Ralph Morgan
as Mr. Pryor
Mary Nash
as Mrs. Pryor
Henry O'Neill
as Henry Wells
Johnny Mack Brown
as Talbot Carter
Jane Dewey
as Lucy Dorsett Trimball
Peggy Stewart
as Alice MacKay
Frank McGlynn Sr.
as Abraham Lincoln
Jack J. Clark
as William Fargo
Clarence Kolb
as John Butterfield
Granville Bates
as Bradford the Banker
Harry Davenport
as Ingalls the Banker
Robert E. O'Connor
as Sea Captain
Frank Conroy
as Ward the Banker
Brandon Tynan
as Edwards the Newspaper Publisher
Hal K. Dawson
as Correspondent
Lucien Littlefield
as San Francisco Postmaster
Sheila Darcy
as Lola Montez
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