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Bells of San Fernando (1947)

Passed  -  Drama | History | Western  -  1 March 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 31 users  
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Mendoza ruthlessly controls the valley of San Fernando and his men guard the only entrance. When Mendoza announces he will marry Michael's girl friend Maria, Michael plans an escape. He ... See full summary »


(as Terry Morse)


(story), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: Bells of San Fernando (1947)

Bells of San Fernando (1947) on IMDb 5.6/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Woods ...
Gloria Warren ...
Maria Garcia
Byron Foulger ...
Francisco Garcia, Mission Blacksmith
Shirley O'Hara ...
Juan Mendoza, Overseer
Monte Blue ...
Governor Don Sebastian Fernando
Paul Newlan ...
Gueyon, Garcia's Assistant
David Leonard ...
Father Xavier
Gordon B. Clarke ...
Henchman Enrico (as Gordon Clarke)
Frank Cody ...
Henchman Junipero
Lusita Triana ...
Spanish Dancer
Felipe Turich ...
Pablo, the traitor
Claire Du Brey ...
Gil Frye ...
Governor's Secretary (as Drew Allan)
Ray Dolciame ...
1st Clerk, Governor's Office


Mendoza ruthlessly controls the valley of San Fernando and his men guard the only entrance. When Mendoza announces he will marry Michael's girl friend Maria, Michael plans an escape. He hopes to reach the Governor and bring back the troops. Written by Maurice VanAuken <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

valley | governor | escape | torture | peon | See more »


The bells that rang out gold . . . romance . . . oppression!


Drama | History | Western


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 March 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El oro de las campanas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Green Grow the Rushes, O
Sung by Donald Woods
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User Reviews

"Take the route by the falls into the big dry wash, then whistle twice like a quail."
7 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was my first look at Donald Woods in any kind of role, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't representative of his usual kind of character. In the story he portrays Michael O'Brien, undoubtedly Irish, but living in a Mexican village in Paradise Valley, whose residents remain virtual prisoners of an evil overseer named Juan Mendoza (Anthony Warde). There were times when it sounded like O'Brien's accent wavered between Mexican and a traditional Irish brogue, so that seemed a little distracting. Realistically, it didn't make much sense that an Irishman would be in love with the daughter of a Mexican blacksmith; his role would probably have been better served by casting Duncan Renaldo or Gilbert Roland. But maybe they were busy.

Anyway, that was one twist the movie had to offer. There was another idea in the picture that I hadn't seen before as well, which turned out to be fairly clever. When some gold nuggets turn up in the valley, O'Brien and blacksmith Garcia (Byron Foulger) hit upon the idea of smelting the gold and casting it into the bells he's about to make. It all comes in handy for the film's dramatic finale when the village strongman Gueyon (Paul Newlan) brings the curtain down on Mendoza's villainy.

Oh yes, can't forget the ladies. O'Brien's love interest in the picture is Maria Garcia, ably portrayed by Gloria Warren. The smarmy Mendoza has designs on marrying Maria, but doesn't mind being distracted by a dancing senorita named Nita (Shirley O'Hara). I couldn't imagine what Nita saw in Mendoza, but they say love is blind.

It's unlikely "Bells Of San Fernando" would ever find it's way to a cable channel, probably your best bet is to pick it up as I did as part of a two hundred fifty Western movie collection from Mill Creek Entertainment. The set contains a bunch of titles I'd never heard of and seems to be a great sampler for cowboy actors like Donald Woods that you might not ever get a chance of seeing. It also contains a lot of the public domain titles of John Wayne, Roy Rogers and others you've probably seen already if you're a fan, but having them all together in one place is a convenient way to go.

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