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Challenge the Wilderness (1951)

This MGM short is a promo for their upcoming feature Westward the Women (1951), which was filmed on location in Utah. The film introduces the stars, including Robert Taylor, but focuses ... See full summary »




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Cast overview:
Pete Dailey ...
Himself (voice)
Marilyn Erskine ...
Lenore Lonergan ...
Beverly Dennis ...
Guido Martufi ...
Henry Nakamura ...


This MGM short is a promo for their upcoming feature Westward the Women (1951), which was filmed on location in Utah. The film introduces the stars, including Robert Taylor, but focuses primarily on the challenges of filming on location. The rugged countryside provides a beautiful backdrop but provides few facilities for film making. Transportation, on site facilities for rehearsal, eating and daytime shelter all had to be provided. The shoot lasted approximately 8 weeks. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

behind the scenes | See All (1) »


Documentary | Short






Release Date:

29 October 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Challenge the Wilderness: 'Westward the Women' Featurette  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Pete Dailey: My name is Pete Dailey. I'm not in the movie business, but I often write about it. I'm the west coast editor of McCall's magazine. During my many years in Hollywood, I have seen some mighty spectacular scenes in outdoor adventure pictures: the Indian massacre of "Northwest Passage"; the tidal wave of "Green Dolphin Street"; and the wild animal stampede of "King Solomon's Mines".In my opinion, MGM's new picture "Westward the Women" is in the same thrilling tradition. The have broken...
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Crazy Credits

Writer Pete Dailey identifies himself. All other performers are identified by the unnamed narrator. See more »


References Battleground (1949) See more »


The Washington Post
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played by the marching band
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User Reviews

A good combination along with the feature film.
9 June 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This 'making of' documentary is probably not worth watching unless you also watch "Westward the Women"--as the short concerns the production of this Robert Taylor western epic. However, fortunately, Turner Classic Movies chose to show this immediately before this full-length film--great timing. I hope in the future they'll continue to combine the two films like this.

Much of what I found interesting is the process the studio took to recreate a western town in the middle of nowhere. The dynamiting, the huge logistical difficulties and the stunts are all talked about in this short.

Now if you are looking to hear from the stars of the film, you are out of luck. The stars are shown again and again in the short but it's all narrated--with no actual interview with the actors--just silent film clips of the behind the scenes goings on during the production. This is neither good nor bad but might be disappointed if you are looking for an interview with the folks.

Overall, it's well worth seeing but not a must-see. The behind the scenes information is interesting but also highly scripted and sanitized. I wanted to see a few clips of Taylor getting drunk or director Wellman dancing about naked--something you really are NOT meant to see!

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