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.
"Wicked" Lily Bishop joins a wagon train to California, led by Michael Fabian and Johnnny Trumbo, but news of the Gold Rush scatters the train. When Johnny and Michael finally arrive, Lily is rich from her saloon and storekeeper (former slaver) Pharaoh Coffin is bleeding the miners dry. But worse troubles are ahead: California is inching toward statehood, and certain people want to make it their private empire. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In Feb. 1958, a reissue of this film was in wide release by Paramount on a double bill with another western, Desert Fury (1947). See more »
A number of the pistols used by characters appear to be cartridge revolvers, rather than cap-and-ball. See more »
He was a gambler. He played the Mississippi boats. He always used to say, 'It's your cheat who's most afraid of being cheated.' You better stay on your horse after this, Trumbo. It makes you look more important than you really are. Another thing my father told me: 'Always leave a man burying money.'
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Army deserter Ray Milland leads a wagon train, including woman-of-easy-virtue Barbara Stanwyck, on its way to California, only to find the gold rush in full effect and the territory overrun by scoundrels, like megalomaniac slave-ship captain Barry Fitzgerald.
The excellent photography, with equally excellent use of Technicolor, good direction by John Farrow, and Milland's brooding can't quite overcome the overly talky script, the datedness of the songs, and the fact that Stanwyck's character is quite unappealing most of the time.
However, for those of us who grew up watching Ray Milland playing old curmudgeons in various B-movies of the sixties, seventies, and early eighties, it's interesting to see him in his prime, playing a rugged leading man.
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