The Way West is a 1967 American epic western film based on the novel by A. B. Guthrie, Jr.. The film stars Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, and Richard Widmark, and features Sally Field in her first major film role. The film was directed by veteran television director Andrew V. McLaglen and featured on-location cinematography by William H. Clothier. Though reviews were mixed, critics such as Roger Ebert praised the film for its realistic portrayal of settlers and their motivations. U.S. Senator William Tadlock is leaving his home in Missouri in 1843, heading west on the Oregon Trail by wagon train. His son and slave come along, with Dick Summers as a hired guide. Joining them on the expedition are farmer Lije Evans, his wife Rebecca and 16-year-old son Brownie. Among others there are also the newlyweds Johnnie and Amanda Mack, plus the Fairman and McBee families. Shy young wife Amanda isn't satisfying his needs, so Johnnie gets drunk and strays with young Mercy McBee. He also shoots at what he drunkenly thinks is a wolf and ends up killing a Sioux chief's son.