Wagon Master (1950) - Rotten Tomatoes

Wagon Master1950

Wagon Master (1950)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Wagon Master Photos

Movie Info

Wagon Master, splendidly directed by John Ford, is a superlative western. The film is the outwardly simple tale of a Mormon wagon train headed for Utah. Along the way, the group, led by Elder Wiggs (Ward Bond) hook up with two horse traders Travis Blue (Ben Johnson) and Sandy Owens (Harry Carey Jr), the members of a traveling medicine show and a tribe of Navajo Indians. The group is threatened by a gang, known as the Clegg family, who have robbed an express office and murdered the clerk. This wonderful film emphasizes the virtues of solidarity, sacrifice and tolerance, and shows John Ford at his most masterful, in total control of the production from the casting to the bit players to the grandeur and scope of the visual compositions. The film, with its breathtaking scenery, brilliant performances by a cast of character actors, and an engaging sense of humor, is a superlative example of the American western. Wagonmaster inspired the television series Wagon Train and was also shown in a computer-colorized version ~ Linda Rasmussen, Rovi

Watch it now


Ben Johnson
as Travis Blue
Ward Bond
as Elder Wiggs
Joanne Dru
as Denver
Charles Kemper
as Uncle Shiloh Clegg
Jane Darwell
as Sister Ledeyard
Alan Mowbray
as Dr. A. Locksley Hall
Ruth Clifford
as Fleuretty Phyffe
Russell Simpson
as Adam Perkins
Kathleen O'Malley
as Prudence Perkins
James Arness
as Floyd Clegg
Fred Libby
as Reese Clegg
Hank Worden
as Luke Clegg
Mickey Simpson
as Jesse Clegg
Francis Ford
as Mr. Peachtree
Cliff Lyons
as Sheriff of Crystal City
Don Summers
as Sam Jenkins
as Navajo Woman
Jim Thorpe
as Navajo
View All

News & Interviews for Wagon Master

Critic Reviews for Wagon Master

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

Wagon Master 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

February 23, 2012 | Full Review…

Cinematographer Bert Glennon comes up with a number of impressive artistic compositions, although the film's biggest treat is seeing Ben Johnson given the opportunity to show off his sly charm and easygoing demeanor.

August 31, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

This may be the closest Ford ever got to making a musical.

April 3, 2012 | Full Review…

Ford considered it among his personal favorites, and a handful of Ford's biggest admirers consider it a neglected masterpiece. (I do too.)

April 3, 2012 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

It's as gentle and warm a film as [John Ford] ever made and it follows a classic Ford theme: the creation of a community in the west...

September 21, 2009 | Full Review…

...a simple, straightforward film telling a simple, straightforward story, artistic in its design and execution and poetic in its telling.

September 20, 2009 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Wagon Master

Sometimes you just need a Western - imagining yourself being Ben Johnson for a couple hours. Simple and good.

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

Simple, elegant and controlled.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Wagon Master Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features