The Big Trail
DIRECTOR: RAOUL WALSH
CAST: JOHN WAYNE, MARGUERITE CHURCHILL, EL BRENDEL, TYRONE POWER SR.
Joel and Ethan Coen in person
John Wayne, younger, fleeter, and more handsome than you’ve ever seen him, bounds across the plains in this rare early widescreen experiment, shot in the experimental “Grandeur” process, in Walsh's wagon train western whose influence on “The Gal Who Got Rattled” section of Buster Scruggs should be clear. Full of the robust, bumptious energy that distinguishes Walsh’s Pre-Code films, it’s an outdoors epic of astonishing pictorial power, a mega-production reproducing the overland Oregon Trail journey with both sweep and attention to the tiniest of details, combining knockabout comedy and nail-biting drama.