How the West Was Won

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?

Chosen 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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Question: Doesn't the water tower fall completely to the ground during the buffalo stampede in the original theatrical release? It's missing in the DVD release.

Chosen answer: Footage of the water tower falling has NEVER appeared in the film. My first viewing of the film was in Cinerama in 1962 and the tower doesn't fall over. It doubtless was supposed to fall over but for technical reasons it didn't come out right, and so no footage beyond seeing it wobble a bit has ever been in the film.

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Mistakes

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.

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Trivia

Although Carroll Baker plays George Peppard's mother in this film, she was only three years his senior.

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