Wagon Train (film)

Wagon Train is a 1940 American film directed by Edward Killy and starring Tim Holt.[2] It was this film that really started Holt's series of B Westerns for RKO, replacing those made by George O'Brien.[3][4]

Wagon Train
Theatrical release poster
Directed byEdward Killy
Produced byBert Gilroy (producer)
Lee S. Marcus (executive producer)
Written byBernard McConville (story)
Morton Grant (screenplay)
StarringTim Holt
Music byPaul Sawtell
CinematographyHarry J. Wild
Edited byFrederic Knudtson
Harry Marker
Release date
October 4, 1940[1]
Running time
59 minutes
CountryUnited States

Plot summary

Pecos businessman Matt Gardner is buying up freighters, or wagon trains of food supplies, at cheap prices through intimidation, and charging high prices by deliberately causing phony food shortages at his trading posts. The only one refusing to sell his supplies is Zack Sibley, who is dead set on maintaining his freighter business as well as tracking down his father's murderer, his ex-business partner. Gardner plans on eliminating any competition Sibley presents by sending his thugs to kill him and raid his wagon train.



The film was the first in a series of six Westerns RKO planned with Holt. Martha O'Driscoll was signed to appear in the first two.[5]

The films proved so popular the series continued until the early 1950s.[6]

O'Driscoll and Holt were meant to reteam in Sir Piegan Passes but it was not made.[7]

It was filmed in Kanab, Utah and in Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks, California.[8][9]


  • Ray Whitley – "Wagon Train" (Written by Ray Whitley and Fred Rose)
  • Ray Whitley and Glenn Strange – "Why Shore" (Written by Ray Whitley and Fred Rose)
  • "A Girl Just Like You" (Written by Ray Whitley and Fred Rose)
  • "Farewell" (Written by Ray Whitley and Fred Rose)


  1. "Wagon Train: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  2. ""WAGGON TRAIN."". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 31 March 1941. p. 3. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  3. Richard Jewell & Vernon Harbin, The RKO Story. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1982. p152
  4. "53 FEATURE FILMS SCHEDULED BY RKO: 1940-41 Plans Announced at Sales Convention of Firm Now in Session Here 190 SHORTS ON PROGRAM Gallup Survey of the Audience Interest in Pictures Is Being Conducted for Company Plans Research Institute Film by Orson Welles" New York Times 28 May 1940: 33
  5. Rogers Wins Stellar Chance in 'Colorado' Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 03 July 1940: 11.
  6. "CHIP OFF the OLD BLOCK". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 4 January 1941. p. 20 Section: The Movie World. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  7. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: 'Kiss Me Again' Purchased by Ernst Lubitsch, Producer for United Artists 'GHOST BREAKERS' OPENING Paramount Attraction Starts Today--'Spies in the Air' Is Rialto Offering Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 03 July 1940: 15.
  8. Stone, Robert (2011). Day Hikes Around Ventura County. Day Hike Books. Page 216. ISBN 9781573420624.
  9. Maulhardt, Jeffrey Wayne (2010). Conejo Valley. Arcadia Publishing. Page 65. ISBN 9780738580395.
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