A bookish historian is married to a steely Southern belle who raises horses, an animal that he doesn't care for. However, the cute young neighbor girl doesn't feel that way about him and makes no bones about letting him know it.
In Hoyt City, a statue of founder Ethan Hoyt is dedicated, and 100 year old Hannah Sempler Hoyt (who lives in the last residence among skyscrapers) is at last persuaded to tell her story to a 'girl biographer'. Flashback: in 1848, teenage Hannah meets and flirts with pioneer Ethan; on a sudden impulse, they elope. We follow their struggle to found a city in the wilderness, hampered by the Gold Rush, star-crossed love, peril, and heartbreak. The star "ages" 80 years. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
To practice for her role as a woman of 107, Barbara Stanwyck visited several retirement homes and interacted with the elderly women to emulate their mannerisms. See more »
When the Hoyts stand at the sight of their future city, they're at the foot of a hill, but moments later they're on top of a hill. See more »
Men were different in those days. Men like Ethan. A drink in one hand and luck in the other.
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Battle Hymn of the Republic
Music by William Steffe and lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1862)
Based on melody from "John Brown's Body"
Sung on soundtrack during Hoyt's death scene and under end titles. See more »
Such undeserved condescension on the part of most of your reviewers! I thought it was an absorbing romantic drama in which Stanwyck was at her very best. As she turned from youthful sparkly-eyed amused flirt in her first scenes with McCrea into the mature more gray-haired woman seriously urging him to do his political best for those whom he represented, her virtuosity as an actress of transformations came greatly to the fore. It was a pleasure to respond to her in her various moods of youthful love, a stunned mother's loss of her two babies, her vigorous denunciation of her father in his unconscionable request of her, and finally the resignation of old age in which she at last destroys the long-lived marriage certificate she's been carrying around through most of the story.
McCrea was also very good, especially in the scene in which he confesses himself guilty of the same kind of corruption so rife in the American West at that railroad-building time.
The story seemed to echo the true events of The Ballad of Baby Doe (opera) in its background of silver mining and marital troubles; and it certainly resembled Edna Ferber-Abby Mann's Cimarron in retelling the story of a marriage in which the husband spends years on the road away from his wife.
The 19th-century flooding in Sacramento was certainly up to date given the similar events happening in that city in our own times as well.
A great movie. Pay no attention to those detractors.
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