A Series of Unfortunate Decisions

Today I am going to review a film. This is unusual for three reasons:
1. I don’t do movie reviews, because everyone else seems to do them.
2. It’s a 47-year-old film.
3. I haven’t watched the whole thing yet.

The movie is How the West Was Won, a 2.5-hour series of bad decisions made by three generations of the same family. Here are some of the bad decisions made during the first two hours of the film:

1. A couple decides to head west into the wilderness with their two adult daughters and young son. Upon reaching the edge of civilization, they build a raft on which they load the family and all their worldly possessions.

2. They allow a mountain man stranger to have dinner with them and sleep in their camp one night, without watching him. One of the daughters throws herself at him, but he refuses.

3. They stop at a trading post. The traders are thieves and attempt to rob them. A fight ensues and the son is seriously wounded. The mountain man appears and saves them.

4. They take a wrong fork of the river and the raft is dashed to pieces in the white water. Their possessions are lost and the parents are killed.

5. The older daughter decides to settle on the land next to the river where the parents were killed. Because, you know, who wouldn’t want a constand reminder of being orphaned? She settles down with the mountain man.

6. They have two sons. The mountain man father and his older son decide to join the Union in the Civil War, because everybody knows war is fun. Besides, the mom and the other son can surely manage the farm by themselves. The father is killed in the war. The son briefly attempts to desert. After the war he returns home to find that his mother had died too and his brother is now managing the farm alone. He abandons his brother and heads off on his own.

7. Meanwhile, the younger daughter became a singer and dancer in some scandalous establishments. She gets word that some dead guy left her a gold claim in California for some reason. She joins a wagon train and meets a gambling scoundrel who has a thing for her. When they get to California he abandons her upon finding that her claim is already spent.

8. Insistent that she marry a rich man, she rejects multiple proposals from a kind cattle rancher who was the leader of the wagon train and who also saved her life during an Indian attack. Later she is singing on a riverboat and meets the scoundrel again (you know, the gambler who already abandoned her once) and they immediately decide to get married because now he has $1200.

I can’t wait to see how the last half hour of this train wreck plays out.

2 comments:

Jer said...

Hey, I have $1200! Do you think I could find a skank to marry based on that?

Ann said...

I LOVE that movie :) Jimmy Stewart is my favorite. No matter the plot. :)