WAGON MASTER (1950) B/W 85m dir: John Ford
w/Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond Joanne Dru, Alan Mowbray, Jane Darwell
Eloquent western, directed by Ford the Master, that eschews pomposity, self-consciousness, and even movie stars. Two drifters (Johnson and Carey) sign on to guide a Mormon wagon train (led by Bond) to the Utah frontier.
From Variety 's review of the film: "Wagon Master [sic] is a good outdoor action film, done in the best John Ford manner. That means careful character development and movement, spiced with high spots of action, good drama and leavening comedy moments. Pic has some of the best cross-country chases.
"Site of the story and the filming is Utah and the rugged locale supplies fresh backgrounds for the action. The story deals with a wagontrain of Mormons seeking a rich valley in which to locate. They are led by Ward Bond and he hires horsetraders Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr to guide the pioneers to the new land.
"Johnson sits his saddle mighty easily and gives the same kind of a performance, natural and likable. Carey and Bond also come over in fine style."