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The Painted Desert (1931)

Passed  -  Western  -  7 March 1931 (USA)
5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 360 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 4 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bill Holbrook (as Bill Boyd)
Helen Twelvetrees ...
Mary Ellen Cameron
William Farnum ...
Cash Holbrook
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Jeff Cameron
...
Rance Brett
Charles Sellon ...
Tonopah
Hugh Adams ...
'Dynamite'
Wade Boteler ...
Bob Carson
Will Walling ...
Kirby
Edmund Breese ...
Judge Matthews
Edward Hearn ...
Tex (as Guy Edward Hearn)
William Le Maire ...
Denver (as William LeMaire)
Richard Cramer ...
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

Plot Keywords:

mining | foundling | baby | feud | wild west | See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Feindschaft  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Boyd and Clark Gable, during the making of the film (11 October 1930), narrowly escaped serious injury from falling rock after two tons of explosives went off with considerably more force than planned in Dinosaur Canyon, some 70 miles northwest of Flagstaff, Arizona. While Boyd and Gable were 200 feet from the blast, rocks and boulders rained down between where they were standing. Not so lucky were a number of technicians, some 15 of whom were taken to hospitals in Flagstaff and Tuba City, and director Howard Higgin, who suffered a broken ankle and various cuts. The female lead, Helen Twelvetrees, had already returned to Los Angeles, as most of the principal photography was completed. Dynamite and black powder had been placed in the face of a 400-foot cliff and in an old mine tunnel, the explosion being expected to crumble the cliff. Unexpected presence of hard rock lent the blast violence that had not been anticipated, and showered rock and stone over an area of nearly half a mile. See more »

Quotes

[Cash and Jeff rescue a baby from a deserted wagon]
Cash Holbrook: What have we got that'll feed his gizzard? He can't chaw jerky!
Jeff Cameron: Aw, you don't know nothin'. There's oatmeal gruel and a mite of bacon grease'll see him through.
See more »

Connections

Version of Painted Desert (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh! Susanna
(1848)
Written by Stephen Foster
In the score during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two Men and a Baby
20 April 2008 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

In "The Painted Desert" of Arizona, William Farnum (as Bill 'Cash' Holbrook) and J. Farrell MacDonald (as Jeff Cameron) happen upon an abandoned covered wagon; in the deserted carriage, they find a baby boy. The chums "adopt" the boy, but argue over what to name him. Each man wants to pass on, through the child, their surname. Mr. Farnum steals away with the tot, who grows several decades, into adult Bill Boyd (as Bill Holbrook). Mr. MacDonald may have lost the boy, but he gained a girl, pretty blonde Helen Twelvetrees (as Mary Ellen Cameron). Ms. Twelvetrees attracts Montana cowboy Clark Gable (as Rance Brett), who helps at the ranch. When Twelvetrees gets a hankerin' for Mr. Boyd, the spurned Mr. Gable gets jealous.

Often described as Gable's first "talkie", this film might more accurately be described as his first role of consequence. Note, Gable had about as much to say in "Du Barry, Woman of Passion" as in most of his silent films. Farnum, a huge star in the mid-teens, was in the talking "Du Barry", also. Considering the successful careers had by Farnum, Boyd and Gable, this film is quite disappointing. The dialogue comes out of everyone's mouth like molasses. A little fun to see the stars somewhat dimmer than usual.

*** The Painted Desert (1/18/31) Howard Higgin ~ William Boyd, William Farnum, Clark Gable, Helen Twelvetrees


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