Tracing the development of communication through the pioneering days of the stage coach, the Pony Express, and finally the first, crude railroads, "Wells-Fargo," which opens today at the University Theatre, is another of Paramount's glorified historical westerns. Following closely the pattern of "Covered Wagon" and "Cavalcade" and containing much of the familiar rough-and-tumble formula, it nevertheless is raised far above the average by its success in recreating the atmosphere of the pioneer times and in peopling history with real and living characters.
Joel McCrea is well cast as the adventure-loving and efficient agent of Wells-Fargo who succeeds in following the westward-moving American frontier and in linking it with the east through a network of outpost stations. Bob Burns, in a surprisingly becoming coonskin cap, fits well into the pioneer times, and Frances Dee is charming as Mr. McCrea's southern wife.
"Thrill of a Lifetime." the co-feature is a song-and-dance affair concerned with the adventures of a groupe of youngsters at a summer vacation camp.