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20 Mule Team (1940)

Approved | | Western | 3 May 1940 (USA)
It is 1892 in Death Valley and the yields from the Borax ore are getting so small that refining it is a losing proposition. The only thing that will save the company is a new deposit of ... See full summary »

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Western stories and legends based, and filmed, in and around Death Valley, CA. One of the longest-running Western series, originating on radio in the 1930s. The continuing sponsor was "20 Mule Team" Borax, a product mined in Death Valley.

Stars: Stanley Andrews, Robert Taylor, Ronald Reagan
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Josie Johnson
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Jean Johnson
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Stag Roper
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Mitch
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'Jackass' Brown
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Salters
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Chuckawalla
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Henry Adams
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Marshal
Oscar O'Shea ...
Train Conductor
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Stockholder
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Storyline

It is 1892 in Death Valley and the yields from the Borax ore are getting so small that refining it is a losing proposition. The only thing that will save the company is a new deposit of high grade Borax, and Bill has a pouch of it that he got from a dead prospector that he buried on the road. Roper knows the value of the strike could be worth millions, but he needs Bill to find the prospectors' claim so they can record it and become rich partners. While Roper has no intention of cutting Bill in on the millions, he also has his eye on young Jean. Josie sees Roper for the scalawag that his is and it means trouble in Furnace Flat. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

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Roaring ! Out Of Death Valley - the hell-hole of creation comes Beery's greatest hit ! See more »

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Western

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Approved | See all certifications »
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3 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Twenty Mule Team  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anne Baxter's first movie. See more »

Quotes

Skinner Bill Bragg: Let's scratch some sand over him and keep the buzzards from picking him to pieces.
Piute Pete: Pretty soon wind comes some more, blow sand off and coyotes dig him up just the same.
Skinner Bill Bragg: Ain't you got no respect? It's the idea of the thing. Now get to scratching.
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Connections

Featured in Hollywood: Style Center of the World (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cornering the Borax Market
5 January 2017 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

20 Mule Team is one of the few westerns to deal with the mining of alkali salt in the place which is best known for it continental USA, Death Valley, California. It's the lowest point on the North American continent with heat the equivalent of what our troops are dealing with now in the Middle East.

Wallace Beery plays a former outlaw who has been living in the area around Death Valley and eking out a living as a miner of this salt with sidekick Leo Carrillo. But one day along comes Douglas Fowley who's an outlaw from the old days now with a confidence scheme in mind to corner the market in Death Valley and he wants Beery in on it lest he rat him out to the law because Beery has a price on his head.

Bilking the suckers isn't all Fowley has in mind. He's also on the make for Anne Baxter who is the daughter of saloon owner Marjorie Rambeau who Beery has an on again off again thing going. Kind of like his relationships with Marie Dressler and Marjorie Main in other films.

The location shooting in Death Valley is the best thing the film has going for it, especially the climatic shootout with Beery and Fowley.

What truly spoils 20 Mule Team is an obviously tacked on ending which made it a happy one. I can't say more, but if you watch 20 Mule Team I'm sure you'll agree.


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