Running time


Watching the new widescreen release (122 minutes), it seems to me that there are three ellipses that may well account for the reported (though unconfirmed) "original running time" of 158 minutes. First, when Wayne goes off to pick up Indian scouts, much is made of the dangers he will encounter on the way. He leaves, dissolve to next shot, Wayne with Power, followed by two Indian scouts, and going off on a different expedition -- no mention made of said difficulties. Second, the wagon train enters the desert. Dissolve. They have been in the desert apparently for days, and have lost many of the party. It seems that some of the difficulty of this crossing might have been shown. Finally, Wayne has to circle back to retrieve the Cameron party, which Power has intentionally and meanly left behind. Dissolve, Wayne is already there. One doesn't really require these three journeys to understand the narrative, but they all (particularly the first, with its confusing second journey about to commence) seem a bit awkward, especially as the rest of the film feels narratively very smooth.

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what I would like to know is if there is any copy of the 158 min version anywhere at all. It's like Duke's Alamo, which has only been released on dvd a half hour short of its full time, even though the full version was put on TCM AND EVEN VHS.
When they re-released How the West Was Won, they put the extra minutes in there missing from the earlier versions.
Why can't these Movie Barons give us the full works? New DVD's are getting higher prices than ever. Do it now! Spare us the waiting agony! I want the FULL VERSION of The Big Trail.
I go home now.

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I don't know about the 158 minutes version. I have the widescreen version and it runs 122 minutes. Wikipedia mentions '122 min. 70 mm version, 108 min. 35 mm version', which looks more correct to me.



"I don't discriminate between entertainment
and arthouse. A film is a goddam film."

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