AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Covered Wagon
Director: James Cruze (Dir)
Release Date:   8 Sep 1924
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 16 Mar 1923
Duration (in feet):   9,407
Duration (in reels):   10
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Cast:   Lois Wilson (Molly Wingate)  
    J. Warren Kerrigan (Will Banion)  
    Ernest Torrence (Jackson)  
    Charles Ogle (Mr. Wingate)  
    Ethel Wales (Mrs. Wingate)  
    Alan Hale (Sam Woodhull)  
    Tully Marshall (Bridger)  
    Guy Oliver (Kit Carson)  
    John Fox (Jed Wingate)  

Summary: Two wagon trains--one led by Wingate, the other by Will Banion--in 1848 travel from Westport Landing (Kansas City) over the Oregon Trail to California and Oregon. Their major adventures include the crossing of the Platte River, an Indian attack, and a prairie fire. The narrative revolves around Will Banion and Wingate's daughter, Molly. Her scoundrel fiancĂ©e, Sam Woodhull, works constantly to discredit Banion, with the eventual result that Banion and his wagons are banished from the train and follow the lure of gold to California. Molly learns the truth through Kit Carson and Bridger and sends Jackson for Banion. They are married after Jackson saves Banion from being murdered by Woodhull. 

Production Company: Famous Players-Lasky Corp.  
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures  
Director: James Cruze (Dir)
Producer: Jesse L. Lasky (Pres)
  James Cruze (Prod)
  Adolph Zukor (Also pres by (see note))
  Col. T. J. McCoy (Adv)
Writer: Jack Cunningham (Scen)
Photography: Karl Brown (Cam)
Film Editor: Dorothy Arzner (Film ed)
Music: Hugo Riesenfeld (Mus arr)
Stand In: Jack Padjan Stunt double for J. Warren Kerrigan (Double)
Country: United States
Language: English

Source Text: Based on the novel The Covered Wagon by Emerson Hough (New York, 1922).
Authors: Emerson Hough

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Famous Players-Lasky Corp. 14/3/1923 dd/mm/yyyy LP18770

Physical Properties: b&w:

Genre: Western
Subjects (Major): James Bridger
  Kit Carson
  Fort Bridger (WY)
  Indians of North America
  Oregon Trail

Note: Adolph Zukor was later added as Presenter with Jesse L. Lasky. "'The Covered Wagon' ... is dedicated to the memory of Theodore Roosevelt" (souvenir program). The cast of 3,000 people includes 1,000 Indians brought from reservations in Wyoming, New Mexico, and other States under the direction of Col. T. J. McCoy. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   25 Mar 1923   p. 8.
New York Times   17 Mar 1923   p. 9.
Photoplay   1 May 1923   p. 64.
Variety   22 Mar 1923   p. 28.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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