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In British colonial America, Captain Swanson's adherence to the rules results in Trader Callendar's selling to the Indians under cover of a government permit. Jim Smith won't sit still for that. He organizes troopers to dress up as Indians and intercept the shipments which, of course, gets him thrown in jail. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Actor Bob Burns withdrew from this production over a disagreement about the story. See more »
While the rebels are firing on the British fort, one of the rebels firing is shown needing help in getting his musket ready to fire. The man behind him reaches over the shooters shoulder to cock the gun and lower the "frizzen" (the strike plate that generates the spark in a flint lock weapon) so the shooter can fire. See more »
Men, we've fought and won. But in winning we have lost something. In defending one law, we've come to despise all law. And if you go on like this, we'll destroy the very thing we fight for.
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Opening credits prologue:
This is a tale, laid in the Allegheny Mountains, of Jim Smith and his black boys, loyal subjects of His Majesty King George III - and their fight against the Delaware Indians in the year 1759. See more »
Music traditional - English origin (ca. 1755)
Arranged by Anthony Collins
Sung by the men at MacDougall's tavern
Reprised by the men after the trial
Variations in the score throughout See more »
This 1939 movie, a period piece set in the early 1760's, comes from the days when John Wayne took second billing to Claire Trevor, as he had that same year in "Stagecoach", the film that made Wayne a star. It is a somewhat forgotten film, but it doesn't deserve to be, since it tells a really good story in a really entertaining fashion. And it has a great cast.
Wayne plays Jim Smith, leader of a band of settlers of southern Pennsylvania's Conococheague Valley in the years immediately following the French and Indian War. Smith & Company's efforts to deal with a crooked Indian trader (veteran Hollywood villain Brian Donlevy) are hampered by an officious, pig-headed, and not-too-bright British Army officer (veteran Hollywood stuffed shirt George Sanders). Smith also has to deal with the local tomboy (Miss Trevor) who has a deep yearning for adventure and excitement, as well as the affections of Jim Smith.
Wilfrid Lawson also appears as MacDougall, the rowdy Scotsman who loves fighting almost as much as drinking. John F. Hamilton is the eloquent but enigmatic sidekick, known as the Professor. Moroni Olsen, possessor of one of filmdom's coolest names, is the stalwart Tom Calhoon. Veteran second-string Hollywood villain Ian Wolfe is the evil trader's Evil sidekick. Also appearing in small roles are Chill Wills (another cool name) and Charles Middleton, heretofore best known as the stone-faced Fredonian prosecutor in "Duck Soup".
Interesting historical detail: in a courtroom scene, a witness is asked to "swear or affirm" that what he's about to say is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This should serve to remind the viewer that Pennsylvania was a Quaker Commonwealth. (Quakers don't believe in swearing, you see...)
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