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Across the Wide Missouri (MGM 1951, Clark Gable, Ricardo Montalban)



Native-American relations with white settlers in early 19th century America provide the dramatic focus here. The time is 1829 and trapper Flint Mitchell heads into the wilderness in search of valuable beaver pelts. In order to get a foothold in the hostile Blackfoot Indian territory, Mitchell marries a Blackfoot squaw, and then finds himself truly in love.

Accompanied by a band of intrepid trappers, the newlyweds press deep into the untamed land despite persistent aggression from its angry native inhabitants. Spectacular Rocky Mountain photography makes this one a visual treat.

When preview audiences for Across the Wide Missouri complained the story was confusing, Howard Keel was brought in to provide a voiceover narration. Keel had made his film debut just the year before in Annie Get Your Gun (1950).

production details
US | 78 minutes | 1951

Director: William A. Wellman
Producer: Robert Sisk
Original Story: Frank Cavett, Talbot Jennings
Cinematography: William C. Mellor
Editor: John Dunn
Music: David Raksin
Script: Talbot Jennings
Production Design: James Basevi, Cedric Gibbons

Clark Gable as Flint Mitchell
Ricardo Montalban as Ironshirt
John Hodiak as Brecan
Adolphe Menjou as Pierre
J. Carrol Naish as Looking Glass
Jack Holt as Bear Ghost
Alan Napier as Capt. Humberstone Lyon
George Chandler as Gowie
Richard Anderson as Dick
María Elena Marqués as Kamiah
Bobby Barber as Gardipe (uncredited)
Timothy Carey as Baptiste DuNord (uncredited)
Frankie Darro as Cadet (uncredited)
Douglas Fowley as Tin Cup Owens (uncredited)
Howard Keel as Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
James Whitmore as Old Bill (uncredited)