Program Notes

From the Film Vault Blog

Program Notes: Union Pacific (1939)

Union Pacific movie poster

Cecil B. DeMille didn’t do anything halfway. Consider the hoopla orchestrated for the premiere of his 1939 film Union Pacific, a big Western about the race to complete the first trans-continental railroad.

Program Notes: Jesse James (1939)

Jesse James movie poster

You don’t watch the Tyrone Power/Henry Fonda version of Jesse James for an accurate history lesson. Back in 1939, though, audiences were all about a romantic Jesse James, and this Henry King-directed Western delivered.

Program Notes: Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Drums Along the Mohawk movie poster

Drums Along the Mohawk often gets overlooked among John Ford's films. Which is a real shame, since it’s a strong effort that dovetails seamlessly with Ford’s recurring theme of what it means to be an American.

Program Notes: Dodge City (1939)

Dodge City movie poster

Depending upon how you choose to view it, Dodge City is either a quintessential Western or a shameless collection of cowboy clichés. Most of all it features the cinematic three-way of director Michael Curtiz and stars Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.

Program Notes: Gulliver’s Travels (1939)

Gulliver’s Travels movie poster

Nobody remembers who came in second. Perhaps that explains why just about everyone has forgotten Gulliver’s Travels. Released in 1939, it was only the world’s second feature-length animated film.