Westward the Women

Westward the Women is a 1951 American western film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Robert Taylor, Denise Darcel and John McIntire.


In 1851, Roy Whitman wants to keep the lonely men who live in Whitman's Valley from leaving, so he decides to bring respectable women from the East to California to marry them. Roy hires experienced though skeptical wagon master Buck Wyatt to lead a wagon train along the California Trail. In Chicago, Roy recruits 138 "good women", who are not daunted when Buck tells them that a third of them will not survive the journey. The women range from Patience, an older widow from New Bedford, to Rose Meyers, a pregnant, unmarried woman seeking a better future. The women choose prospective mates from daguerreotype pictures tacked to a display board. Two showgirls, Fifi Danon and Laurie Smith, hastily change their flashy clothing when others like them are rejected before presenting themselves to Roy and Buck. Whitman is not fooled, but is convinced they wish to reform. He accepts them, bringing the total count to 140 women.