ACROSS THE WIDE MISSOURI :
A SEMINAL BUT OVERLOOKED WESTERN AHEAD OF ITS TIME
This little-known movie, directed by William Wellman, one of Hollywood's most experienced directors, was savagely cut down to a mere 78 minutes by MGM producer Dore Schary on its 1951 release, is highly significant in many respects. Even in its mutilated form Missouri remains entertaining, both amusing and exciting, with one of Clark Gable's best performances as a tough hard-living trapper who ironically becomes "civilised" by his relationship with an Indian woman and by life with her tribe.
Across the Wide Missouri director, William Wellman had an amazing career in Hollywood, stretching from 1923 to 1958. He made Wings, the first movie win a Best Picture Oscar. He directed the first A Star Is Born. Several of his films have become classics - Although he loved making movies with an aviation theme, he was a master of a huge range of movie genres: westerns, romantic comedies, thrillers, war movies.