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The Painted Desert (1931)

Passed | | Western | 7 March 1931 (USA)
Two men find an abandoned baby and fight over the ownership of the child resulting in lifelong rivalry.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bill Holbrook (as Bill Boyd)
...
Mary Ellen Cameron
...
Cash Holbrook
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Jeff Cameron
...
Rance Brett
Charles Sellon ...
Tonopah
Hugh Adams ...
Wade Boteler ...
Will Walling ...
Kirby
...
Judge Matthews
...
Tex (as Guy Edward Hearn)
William Le Maire ...
Denver (as William LeMaire)
...
Provney
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Storyline

Western pardners Jeff and Cash find a baby boy in an otherwise deserted emigrants' camp, and clash over which is to be "father." They are still bitterly feuding years later when they own adjacent ranches. Bill, the foundling whom Cash has raised to young manhood, wants to end the feud and extends an olive branch toward Jeff, who now has a lovely daughter. But during a mining venture, the bitterness escalates. Is Bill to be set against his own adoptive father? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Feindschaft  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (copyright length) | (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clark Gable couldn't ride a horse when he made this film. See more »

Quotes

Bill Holbrook: Mary Ellen, look out there across the desert. As far as you can see, way off there in the distance... you see those big lonesome pinnacles? When I was a little boy, I used to lie out there evenings, watching the shadows pass over 'em. I used to imagine they were all sorts of things... dragons fighting... giants lying there sleeping... and great big monsters that might come down after it got dark and get me.
Mary Ellen Cameron: [giggle] I know. I used to think that way, too.
Bill Holbrook: You got over it, though.
Mary Ellen Cameron: Over it? Sure! ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in 100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh! Susanna
(1848)
Written by Stephen Foster
In the score during the opening credits
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User Reviews

 
One of the better early sound westerns.
16 April 2002 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

Two long time friends find a baby boy left behind within an abandoned camp in old Arizona, and their conflict over who should take charge of the infant quickly lowers their relationship to the freezing point, where it remains for over 20 years although they are neighbouring ranchers, and the grown youth's attempt to bring about a reconciliation forms the heart of this interesting early western. William Boyd, later renowned as Hopalong Cassidy, is featured as the young man, Bill, raised by Cash Holbrook (William Farnum), with J. Farrell MacDonald as Jeff Cameron, the other of the feuding pair, and when Bill, a mining engineer, discovers a valuable lode of tungsten ore on Cameron's land, he forthwith fosters a mining project which he believes will be putting an end to the longstanding conflict. Actually filmed in Arizona's scenic Painted Desert region, the work is efficiently directed by Howard Higgin, who is abetted by the fine camerawork of Edward Snyder, with excellent sets arranged by Carroll Clark, and the cast generally performs well, a strong performance being given by Clark Gable as a completely unrepentant villain, only the tasteless characterization by Helen Twelvetrees as Cameron's daughter tainting the production.


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