The Far Horizons

The Far Horizons is a 1955 American western film directed by Rudolph Maté, starring Fred MacMurray, Charlton Heston, Donna Reed and Barbara Hale. It is about an expedition led by Lewis and Clark, which is sent to survey the territory that the United States has just acquired in the Louisiana Purchase from France. They are able to overcome the dangers they encounter along the way with the help of a Shoshone woman named Sacagawea. This is currently the only major American motion picture on the Lewis and Clark expedition (although there have been television documentaries on the subject). Many details are fictional, and the minor scene where the group reaches the Pacific Ocean reflects the low budget of the film.

The Far Horizons
1955 Theatrical Image
Directed byRudolph Maté
Produced byWilliam H. Pine
Written byDella Gould Emmons (novel)
Winston Miller
StarringFred MacMurray
Charlton Heston
Donna Reed
Barbara Hale
Music byHans J. Salter
CinematographyDaniel L. Fapp
Edited byFrank Bracht
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • August 1955 (1955-08) (U.S.)
Running time
108 min.
Box office$1.6 million (US)[1]


An ambitious, historic attempt to explore and document an untamed American frontier unfolds in this rousing adventure drama. In 1803, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, with President Thomas Jefferson's blessing, embarked on the government-sponsored Lewis & Clark Expedition – an attempt to discover a water route connecting St. Louis, Missouri, with the Pacific Ocean. Their trek takes them through the magnificent, danger-filled territory of the Pacific Northwest, with guidance from the Shoshone woman Sacagawea.


As appearing in screen credits (main roles identified):[2]


The film was known during production as The Blue Horizon.


In 2011, Time Magazine rated The Far Horizons as one of the top ten most historically misleading films, in part due to its casting of caucasian Donna Reed as Native American Sacagawea, and the creation of a romantic subplot between her character and William Clark despite the fact that Sacagawea's husband, French-Canadian trader Toussaint Charbonneau, was in real life also a member of the expedition.[3]

See also


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