How the West Was Won Movie Poster

Goofs from How the West Was Won

Showing all 32 items
  • When the wagon train, on its way to California, is attacked by Indians, it is in a mountainous area, yet the Indians are identified as Cheyenne. The Cheyenne tribe was a Great Plains tribe, and would not have been that far west.
  • While she is refusing Morgan's proposal, Lilith's shoulder strap is on/off her shoulder between shots.
  • Linus Rawlings ('Jimmy Stewart') is depicted as having gray hair. The body of the man they identify as Linus Rawlings to the Civil War surgeon has red hair.
  • There is no explanation of why Sheriff Ramsey is fine in one scene and wearing a bandage on his forehead in the next, immediately following. (there was a deleted or unfilmed scene where Zeb knocked Ramsey out when the Sheriff tried to stop him from going after the train robbers).
  • When Roger Morgan is testing a new whip, he has it in his left hand and then it magically appears in his right hand.
  • Tire tracks in the scene where the Indians attack the wagon train.
  • The scene in which Linus Rawlings (James Stewart) arrives at the Prescott camp, it is supposedly at night. However, the illumination and environment shows as if it was daylight.
  • (at around 31 mins) The sign for the California wagon train lists Roger Ward as wagonmaster, but the wagonmaster, played by Robert Preston, is actually named Roger Morgan.
  • During a gun battle on the railroad train, a man is ejected from the train and knocks over a Saguaro cactus. Saguaros have a very strong framework and would not be knocked over so easily.
  • A modern water tower appears in the background of a wide shot of troops during Mexican War narration.
  • During the train robbery sequence at the end of the film, the train consisted of a caboose, two flat cars, and two passenger cars. During the gun fight, the two flatcars and the caboose are separated from the rest of he train. However, the other half of the train consists of only the coal car and the engine. The passenger cars are missing. They reappear later when the train is derailed.
  • During the final scene of the movie when the camera is looking down at a modern freeway cloverleaf, the helicopter landing struts can be seen on the extreme left and right sides of the screen.
  • When Ma and Pa Prescott are first buried, their grave sites are alongside a river. When older Eve is visiting her parent's grave, there is no sign of a river anywhere near the farm.
  • The Prescotts were shown traveling west on the Erie Canal, then floating on a raft through Ohio (where Eve Prescott settled). The Erie Canal led to Buffalo, then via the Great Lakes, bypassing Ohio.
  • The Sacramento River river boat is shown passing through mountainous terrain, while the Sacramento River estuary is all relentless flatland.
  • When the buffalo hunters arrive on the Union Pacific, the steam locomotive is a wood burning loco, recognized by its large, funnel-shaped smoke stack which contains a spark arrestor. Such locomotives were used by the Central Pacific, which only had access to wood as a fuel before the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed. In contrast, the Union Pacific used coal, which was easily available to them, not the least from the fields in the Rockies, while it had little access to trees for fuel on the plains and in the mountains. Its coal burning locomotives had long straight smoke stacks without spark arrestors.
  • Ma and Pa Prescott are buried on the bank of the river in which they drowned. When Eve visits her parent's graves decades later, there is no sign of a river anywhere near the farm.
  • When Zeb rides up to the Arapaho and they fire at him, he races back to the train camp, gets off his horse and hits it on the rump. It races off, but after the buffalo go through the camp and Zeb is ready to leave, his horse is neatly tied to the fence.
  • When Linus Rawlings throws a dagger in to the chest of one of the bandits, the wire guiding it can clearly be seen against the tent.
  • When the buffalo stampede through the railway camp, the buffalo cause the roof of an underground bunker to collapse. However, no buffalo are shown to be injured or killed as a result.
  • After the first day of the battle of Shiloh, the movie shows Grant wavering and being steadied by Sherman's resolve. In reality, according to Sherman, himself, it was he who was badly shaken by the day's events and Grant who stayed steadfast.
  • Rawlings is traveling up the Ohio river to Pittsburgh with the Prescott family down river. All are together the first night, with each leaving the next morning to continue their own directions. Yet, Rawlings reaches the pirates cave and then the Prescotts reach it, with both going in separate directions. How did they manage that?
  • In the rapids a large wooden storage container falls of the raft, and then reappears in the next shot.
  • When Cleve leaves the poker table on the ship, he puts down his cards twice. First he lays them down, then he throws them.
  • Linus and Eve die three years apart, yet both their graves look fresh when Zeb comes back from the war. Although the grave of Linus is empty, so it and the headstone may have been placed at the same time Eve's grave was dug.
  • At the very end of the movie, when the camera flies under the Golden Gate bridge, it and it's operator can be seen reflected in the windshield of the (presumable) helicopter used for filming.
  • During the last sequence in the rapids, when the raft disappears under water, there is a sharp edit cut to make it look like the raft never resurfaced. You can tell, as the waves and spray suddenly change.
  • Farmers would have known that burying the dead just off the river bank in the flood plane, would mean that the bodies would be washed away with the next flood.
  • In 1850 the wagon master Roger Morgan refers to Cleve Van Thalen as a "tinhorn gambler." However, according to Webster's Dictionary that expression was not used until 1885.
  • While trying to attach himself to the wagon train, Cleve Van Thalen approaches Lilith Prescott and Aggie Clegg and asks Aggie if she is Miss Prescott (knowing she wasn't). But when leaving, Cleve says "Goodbye, Miss Clegg," even though he had not been told her name.
  • The film depicts the Prescott family taking the wrong channel on the Ohio River and going through rapids before the raft is wrecked. Eve settles at this location identified as being in Ohio. The only rapids on the Ohio are between Indiana and Kentucky (at Louisville). There are islands on the river creating channels but rapids or falls occur when a river drops to a lower level. It is impossible to have rapids or falls on one side of an island and smooth water on the other.
  • In the wagon train sequence, wagon master Roger Morgan orders the wagons to make a run for it to escape pursuing Indians. No experienced wagon master would have done such a thing, as horses drawing heavily loaded wagons could not run fast enough to outrace Indians on fleet horses. That was why wagon trains stayed in place and formed a circle to fight off Indian attacks.
Movie details provided by