The Far Horizons
1955 Theatrical Image
Directed byRudolph Maté
Written byWinston Miller
Edmund H. North
Della Gould Emmons (novel)
Produced byWilliam H. Pine
StarringFred MacMurray
Charlton Heston
Donna Reed
Barbara Hale
CinematographyDaniel L. Fapp
Edited byFrank Bracht
Music byHans J. Salter
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • May 20, 1955 (1955-05-20)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.6 million (US)[1]

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 the early 19th century Lewis and Clark Expedition, which was sent by President Thomas Jefferson 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 film was re-released in 1962 by Citation Films Inc. as Untamed West in a double feature with Jungle Attack.


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 and Clark Expedition – an attempt to discover a water route connecting St. Louis, Missouri, with the Pacific Ocean. After meeting the Shoshone woman Sacagawea in what has since become the state of North Dakota (but which was at the time unexplored territory) their trek takes them through the magnificent, danger-filled territory of the Pacific Northwest, with guidance from Sacagawea.


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


The film was known during production as The Blue Horizon. It was shot in Wyoming's Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park.


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 Shoshone Sacagawea, and the creation of a romantic subplot between her character and William Clark, although Sacagawea's husband, French-Canadian trader Toussaint Charbonneau, was in real life also a member of the expedition.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "1955's Top Grossers". Variety. January 25, 1956. p. 15.
  2. ^ The Story on Page One credits
  3. ^ Time Magazine review, January 26, 2011