IMDb > Heritage of the Desert (1932)

Heritage of the Desert (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Zane Grey (story)
Harold Shumate (adaptation) ...
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Release Date:
30 September 1932 (USA) See more »
Land Thieves And Bandits Battling Pioneer Settlers Of The West! (reissue poster) See more »
Nabb controls the pass and lets all the ranchers through except Holderness and his stolen cattle. When Nabb refuses to sell... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Modest starting point of an excellent director. See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)

Randolph Scott ... Jack Hare

Sally Blane ... Judy

J. Farrell MacDonald ... Adam Naab

David Landau ... Judson Holderness
Gordon Westcott ... Snap Naab

Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Lefty - Henchman (as Guinn Williams)

Vince Barnett ... Windy (as Vincent Barnett)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Charles Brinley ... Naab Man (uncredited)
Fred Burns ... Bob Burns (uncredited)

Jim Corey ... Ed Slade - Henchman (uncredited)

Frank Ellis ... Barfly (uncredited)
Susan Fleming ... Girl at Roulette Table (uncredited)

Billy Franey ... Naab Man (uncredited)
William Gillis ... Cowhand (uncredited)
Merrill McCormick ... Henchman (uncredited)

Lew Meehan ... Red - Henchman (uncredited)
Vester Pegg ... Naab Man (uncredited)
Jack Pennick ... Fred (uncredited)

Tex Phelps ... Naab Man (uncredited)

Hal Price ... Bartender (uncredited)
Bob Reeves ... Naab Man (uncredited)
Joe Rickson ... Joe (uncredited)

Charles Stevens ... Pancho (uncredited)

Directed by
Henry Hathaway 
Writing credits
Zane Grey (story)

Harold Shumate (adaptation) and
Frank Partos (adaptation)

Produced by
Harold Hurley .... producer
Cinematography by
Archie Stout 
Art Direction by
A. Earl Hedrick 
Music Department
John Leipold .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Ralph Rainger .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Adolph Zukor .... presenter

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"When the West Was Young" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
60 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
UK:U | USA:Approved | USA:Not Rated (DVD Rating) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Re-titled "When the West Was Young", this film was first telecast in Louisville (KY) on 18 September 1953 on WHAS (Channel 11), in Detroit (MI) on 26 February 1954 on WXYZ (Channel 7), in New York City 4 April 1954 on WCBS (Channel 2) and in Los Angeles 15 August 1954 on KNBH (Channel 4). In San Francisco it first hit the airwaves on 31 July 1955 on KPIX (Channel 5).See more »
Anachronisms: The story takes place in 1890, but Sally Blane's hairstyles, make-up and demeanor are strictly 1932, likewise the girls in the saloon.See more »
Dance Hall Girl:Hello, Stranger
Jack Hare:How did you know I was a stranger?
Dance Hall Girl:Because I don't know you. Anybody I don't know is a stranger.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Golden Saddles, Silver Spurs (2000) (TV)See more »


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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Modest starting point of an excellent director., 6 March 2002
Author: rsoonsa ( from Mountain Mesa, California

With this adaptation - as intrusion - of Zane Grey's novel Heritage of the Desert, Henry Hathaway begins his career as a director of feature films although little of his later imprint appears in this effort. The screenplay leaves in tatters Grey's powerful work, which deals strongly with Mormon culture in Utah in 1890, and is only recognizable by the names of characters as a product of Grey. Judson Holderness (David Landau), a cattle rustler and owner of the White Sage Saloon and Gambling Hall, is a pestilence to landowners near his ranch, and has purchased or stolen all nearby property, except for that belonging to Adam Naab (J. Farrell MacDonald). Holderness requires Naab's land in order to have a direct corridor for driving his mostly stolen herd to water, but Naab rejects the saloon owner's offer to buy, and mounts a challenge against any attempt to jump his claim by hiring a surveyor to document his boundaries. When the surveyor, Jack Hare (Randolph Scott) arrives, he spends a good deal of his time wooing Judy (Sally Blane), the ward of Naab and the fiancee of Naab's son Snap, which naturally raises the tension level at the Naab ranch. Despite this romantic conflict, Jack sides with Adam against Holderness with neither realizing that Snap is beholden to the rustler due to gambling debts incurred at the latter's saloon, and the action is prepared to go towards a violent climax. Henry Hathaway enjoyed years of critical success for his films, but in this beginning attempt there are only glimmers of his budding skill, although a poor script and ragged editing are of no assistance. David Landau's villain is pitched to an interesting sardonic level, and Sally Blane is vivacious and strives with some success to make her character interesting, but most of the cast is defeated by its dialogue.

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