James Cruze (director)
   Based on a novel by Emerson Hough, The Covered Wagon was one of the first epic Westerns, containing grand panoramic scenes of standard formula features such as Indian attacks, buffalo hunts, and crossing of dangerous rivers. These scenes became possibly the movie’s most important contribution to later Westerns as they provided stock footage in low-budget films for years. The popularity of the film proved that larger-budget Westerns were marketable.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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