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Westward The Women (1951) [Warner Archive Blu-ray review]

In 1951, the film Westward The Women was released to modest success. Directed by William A. Wellman, the film was a departure from the traditional westerns of the time, focusing on the story of a group of women who travel across the country to start a new life in California. Despite its initial failure to impress at the box office, Westward The Women has since gained a cult following and is now considered a classic of 50s cinema. With its recent Blu-ray release from Warner Archive, it’s time to take a closer look at this forgotten gem.

Westward The Women (1951) [Warner Archive Blu-ray review] 1

Westward The Women is another stellar RKO entry

Westward The Women was produced by RKO Radio Pictures, a studio known for its innovative and often risky productions. The film was directed by William A. Wellman, who had previously directed a number of successful films, including Wings and The Public Enemy. The film’s unique focus on women and their experiences in the west was a departure from the traditional westerns of the time, which often focused on male heroes and their conquests.

Despite its unique approach, Westward The Women failed to impress at the box office, grossing over $3 million worldwide. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising its strong female cast and others finding it to be too slow-paced and lacking in action. Despite its initial failure, the film has since gained a cult following and is now considered a classic of 50s cinema.

Westward The Women (1951) [Warner Archive Blu-ray review] 3

Drop some Film History on me

One of the key aspects of Westward the Women is its positive portrayal of strong, independent women. The film’s protagonist, Buck Wyatt, is a wagon master who takes charge of the group and leads them on their journey. He is a complex and dynamic character, who is both tough and vulnerable at the same time. The film’s supporting cast of women, including a young woman named Fifi and an elderly woman named Patience, also showcase their own strength and independence throughout the film.

The film’s portrayal of women was unusual for its time, as women were often relegated to secondary roles in western films. Westward the Women challenges traditional gender roles, as the women in the film are shown to be just as capable and courageous as their male counterparts. This progressive portrayal of women was ahead of its time and adds to the film’s enduring appeal.

Westward The Women (1951) [Warner Archive Blu-ray review] 5

Westward the Women is a pretty funny movie

In addition to its strong female characters, Westward the Women also features a unique blend of humor, drama, and action. The film’s script, which was written by Charles Schnee and directed by William A. Wellman, is full of witty dialogue and memorable moments. The film’s action scenes, including a thrilling stampede and a tense shootout, are well-executed and suspenseful.

The film’s production was not without its challenges, however. The film was shot on location in the Mojave Desert, which presented a number of logistical challenges for the cast and crew. The heat was intense, and the cast had to endure long hours and difficult conditions.

Westward The Women (1951) [Warner Archive Blu-ray review] 7

A hit in the 1950s and a hit now!

Despite these challenges, Westward the Women was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film’s unique blend of humor, drama, and action resonated with audiences, and its positive portrayal of strong, independent women was praised by critics. The film grossed a modest $2.5 million at the box office, which was a respectable sum for a mid-budget western.

In recent years, Westward the Women has gained a cult following among fans of classic cinema and western enthusiasts. The film’s unique blend of humor, drama, and action has struck a chord with modern audiences, who appreciate its departure from the traditional western formula. The film’s portrayal of strong, independent women has also been praised for its positive representation of women in a male-dominated genre.

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A final word on the Warner Archive Blu-ray

Warner Archive’s recent Blu-ray release of Westward the Women is a welcome addition to the film’s cult following. The disc features a stunning 1080p transfer of the film, which showcases its vibrant colors and detailed environments. The audio is also top-notch, with a DTS-HD 2.0 mono track that brings the film’s sound effects and score to life.

The special features range from an academic commentary, vintage MGM featurettes and the LUX Radio Theater broadcast. You also get some classic MGM cartoons and a trailer. It’s well worth checking out.

Spinout is now available from the Warner Archive Collection. Purchase your own copy at MovieZyng!

Our Summary

Westward The Women (1951) [Warner Archive Blu-ray review]

Troy reviews the underseen Westward the Women from Warner Archive freshly arrived on Blu-ray.
8.3
Excellent
Video
8.4
10
Audio
8.1
10
Movie
8.0
10
Special Features
8.5
10

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About The Author

Troy Anderson is the Owner/Editor-in-Chief of AndersonVision. He uses a crack team of unknown heroes to bring you the latest and greatest in Entertainment News.

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