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Desert Killer (1952)

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A hunter tracks a sheep-killing cougar.



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Title: Desert Killer (1952)

Desert Killer (1952) on IMDb 5.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


Credited cast:
Art Gilmore ...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marvin Glenn ...
Himself - Rancher


Five year old native American, Surefoot, lives in the Arizona desert with his mother. He has become the man of the family following the death of his father. His mother is trying to supplement their meager sheep farming income by selling her handicrafts roadside. Despite those crafts being the best in the area, the cars just go whizzing by without stopping. Surefoot has taken over the sheep herding duties, which would be much easier if he had a sheepdog to help him, but they cannot afford one. One of the duties of a sheepdog would be to keep the mountain lions at bay from killing the herd. Even when Surefoot finds a puppy, his mother will not allow him to keep it. As such, Surefoot gives the puppy to neighboring rancher Marvin Glenn, known as the best lion killer of the area. So when news of a mountain lion killing some of Surefoot's herd comes to light, Marvin and his son Warren come to the rescue. However, Marvin believes there is a better use for the lion to help Surefoot's family ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Adventure | Drama





Release Date:

27 June 1953 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Narrator: Just goes to show there's more than one way to skin a cat... or, uh, maybe sometimes it's a whole lot smarter to leave the skin on. Ain't that right, Sure Foot... Huh?
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User Reviews

The "killer" is just one big pussycat.
19 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Five year old "injun" Little Sure Foot has trouble guarding his flock of sheep against a marauding mountain lion in the mountains of Arizona. His daddy passed away recently and mom is too busy trying to earn a meager living selling her beaded crafts to tourists. Using a roly-poly puppy as a "gift exchange", he gets help from his grown up friend Marvin Glenn and his teenage son Warner, professional puma patrol.

What results is a one-reel outing that closely resembles the couple "bring 'em back alive" shorts (also done by Warner Brothers, as well as Paramount) featuring Florida's Ross Allen roping bobcats in the Everglades. Then again, the Out West cougar seen here looks a trifle less ferocious (despite the dubbed African lion sounds) than those smaller Easterners, even if his prey comes from the sheep and cattle herds. As usual, he does what most felines do best: climb a tree to flee the hounds and chew off his ropes.

With hokey cowpoke narration by Art Gilmore (previously heard in Joe McDoakes comedies and other "Sports Parades"), you just know the kiddies in the movie audience were hardly frighten by the heart-stoppin' adventures here. (In fact, most of you will question why this actually got Oscar nominated.)

Won't spoil the ending, but let's just say that this was made by the same director as several fluffy Walt Disney pics, like STORMY, THE THOROUGHBRED WITH AN INFERIORITY COMPLEX and the Oscar winner THE WETBACK HOUND. He alternated between Disney and Warner Bros. during the early fifties, also doing for Warner a cute seal-and-girl story STRANGER IN THE LIGHTHOUSE and a less critter friendly, but another nominee two years later, BEAUTY AND THE BULL featuring bullfighter Bette Ford.

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