Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Union Pacific (1939) - Cecil B. DeMille

Union Pacific (1939)

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Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Writers: Ernest Haycox, Jack Cunningham

Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea and Akim Tamiroff

Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins

Video: XVID (.avi) | 544x400 | FPS: 23.976 | Sound: mpga | Color: Black and White | Size: 1.30 GB | Runtime: 2:15:37 | Country: USA | Language: English | Subtitles: English-HI | French | Hungarian | Serbian | Spanish | Filming Locations: Cache, Oklahoma, USA | Genres: Drama | Western | DVD Covers and Stickers incl.



The 1862 Pacific Railroad Act signed by President Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad westward across the wilderness toward California, but financial opportunist Asa Barrows hopes to profit from obstructing it. Chief troubleshooter Jeff Butler has his hands full fighting Barrows' agent, gambler Sid Campeau; Campeau's partner Dick Allen is Jeff's war buddy and rival suitor for engineer's daughter Molly Monahan. Who will survive the effort to push the railroad through at any cost?
[edit] Historical context

Union Pacific was released in 1939 two months after John Ford's Stagecoach, which film historians consider responsible for transforming the Hollywood Western from "a mostly low budget, B film affair." Wheeler M. Dixon, for example, notes that after the appearance of these two films (Union Pacific and Stagecoach), the western was “something worthy of adult attention and serious criticism, and therefore a yardstick against which all westerns have been subsequently measured”.

DeMille's film indeed took the genre to a new level, considering issues of national unity in an engaging and entertaining manner at a time when nationalism was an increasing public concern. Michael Coyne accordingly characterizes Union Pacific as a "technological nation-linking endeavor" in his book The Crowded Prairie: American National Identity In the Hollywood Western. The spirit of unification in the film parallels the industrial boom that brought the United States out of the Great Depression at the onset of World War II, and, although the U.S. would not become involved in the war until 1941, the film’s emphasis on national unity typifies the nationalistic sentiment that would become much stronger once the country was at war.

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