Behind every great man …
Centenarian Hannah Sempler Hoyt (Barbara Stanwyck) is persuaded to tell her story to a biographer on the occasion of the dedication of a statue of her late husband. Hannah’s story is told in flashbacks from when as a teenager in 1848 she met and then eloped with Ethan Hoyt, the ‘great man’ of the title, up to the present day – star-crossed love, peril, the Gold Rush and the evenual founding of Hoyt City in the midst of a former wilderness.
Thirty-three-year-old Barbara Stanwyck played Hannah over an eighty-year age range in the movie.
The uncredited Charles Gemora created the makeup – exceptional for the time (1942) – for Wally Westmore.