How the West Was Won

Continuity mistake: Approximately 46 minutes into the film, Robert Preston is testing a new bullwhip. The whip is in his left hand as he brings his arm back and cracks the whip. He brings the left arm back for a second crack, and the shot changes to a closer angle just as he brings the whip down, only now it is suddenly in his right hand and not the left. The editing, the sound effect, the arm swing all seem perfectly coordinated, except that the whip changed hands between camera set-ups.

Visible crew/equipment: During the final montage, in the shot flying under the Golden Gate Bridge, a piece of camera machinery can be seen spinning in the right third of the frame. Evidently the camera was inside a protective box with a transparent pane at the front. The Sun is in front of the camera, shining brightly, and the illuminated camera is reflected in that pane.

Continuity mistake: At the end of the film our hero and family depart from the hotel in a buggy drawn by two horses. In the next scene they have four horses.

Continuity mistake: In the train scene near the end, the two flat wagons and caboose separate from engine and coal tender, yet when they derail there are 2 passenger cars with the engine.

Zeb Rawlings: It ain't quite what I expected. There ain't much glory in lookin' at a man with his guts hanging out.

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Question: The scenes with Zeb and Lou have always puzzled me. Lou is trying to stop Zeb for going after outlaw Gant and the two have a last scene arguing where Zeb says basically that he will use the Law to put away Gant, but that he'll need Gant's help. The next scene is the two on the train to protect the gold from Gant's gang, and Zeb and Lou are working together now. But Lou's got a bandage on his forehead! I think the previous scene might have had a fight scene between the two in which Zeb finally convinces Lou to help him, hence the head injury. There's no other explanation for it. Anyone have any ideas?

Answer: This type of inconsistency is common in film making. More scenes are often filmed and/or they are much longer, but after editing, large portions are often cut out. Although the editing may improve the film's story line and pacing, it leaves small errors behind. This appears to be the case in this movie where a scene was completely deleted, but it left an unexplained detail behind.

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Answer: A scene in with Zeb knocks Lou out in a stable was deleted.

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