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Daughter of the West (1949)

Approved | | Western | 15 February 1949 (USA)
Lolita Moreno leaves the Mission San Juan Capistrano, where she has been raised by the Sisters and Father Vallejo under a mystery surrounding her family and goes to the Navajo Indian ... See full summary »



(story), (adaptation) (as Irwin R. Franklyn) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Navo White Eagle (as Philip Reed)
Marion Carney ...
Okeeman (Atoka)
Chief Wykomas
Jed Morgan (as James J. Griffith)
Father Vallejo
Luz Alba ...
Tony Barr ...
Yuba (as Anthony Barr)
Helen Servis ...
Mrs. Beggs
Mr. Beggs


Lolita Moreno leaves the Mission San Juan Capistrano, where she has been raised by the Sisters and Father Vallejo under a mystery surrounding her family and goes to the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona to teach school. There she meets Navo White Eagle, who has just returned from Carlisle, and who plans to restore the reservation through irrigation and planting of citrus groves. Navo makes his goals and then discovers the land contains a tremendous copper lode which he intends to develop to help the tribe. Jim Connors, the white Indian agent, plans to steal it and, to get rid of Navo who is the only other one who knows about the copper, he murders an Indian named Yuba and blames it on Nova. Nova is given a trial by fire by the tribe and vindicated. Lorita rides to the Army post and gets the Colonel to arrest Connors and his henchman Morgan. Lorita learns that she is the daughter of the legendary Ramona and marries Navo, who is made agent for the reservation. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Plot Keywords:

copper | murder | navajo | See All (3) »


Boldly it sweeps... Across the screen! See more »








Release Date:

15 February 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Daughter of Ramona  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Positive look at Indian reservation life
19 April 2014 | by See all my reviews

"Daughter of the West" is an unusual film. It is mostly about Native Americans. It takes place mostly on an Indian reservation. And, it is a generally positive look at the efforts of an Indian nation to adapt to farming and land management using skills and knowledge of the white man. Many Western movies either have denigrated the Native Americans, or have focused on their plight in being forced onto reservations. So, this movie is a look at one reservation's efforts to become self-sufficient.

It takes place in the late 19th century. The hero, Navo White Eagle is played by Phillip Reed. He has just returned from Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, where he studied basic agriculture, geology and other courses that could help his people. The heroine is Lolita Moreno, played by Martha Vickers. She grew up as an orphan in the Mission San Capistrano in California, and leaves there to become a school teacher at the Navajo reservation.

The plot involves some bad guys who try to swindle the Indians out of their valuable mineral rights. The opening credits are quite crude, but then the production value improves. This is a poverty row production, with little known actors. But they do well enough to keep one's interest. James Griffith is recognizable from a lot of Westerns where he played mostly bad guys. Vickers was a somewhat better actress who had some nice minor roles. She might have done more but she died of cancer at age 46. She is also known as the second wife of Mickey Rooney.

This movie most likely was filmed somewhere in California – the film credits don't say where. Had it been shot on the actual Navajo Reservation, it might have had some scenes that would be familiar to many movie buffs. The Navajo lands are the largest Indian Reservation in the U.S. Their 27,425 square miles spread across NE Arizona, SE Utah and NW New Mexico. Since 1939, movie buffs have become familiar with some of the landmarks of the Navajo territory. That's when John Ford filmed his classic Western, "Stagecoach" in Monument Valley. The valley is completely located within the Navajo lands in Arizona and Utah. Ford made many more Westerns there, and many other films have since been made with scenes of the famed buttes and spires that rise above the desert floor.

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