6.8/10
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Garden of Evil (1954)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 9 July 1954 (USA)
A trio of American adventurers marooned in rural Mexico are recruited by a beautiful woman to rescue her husband trapped in a cave in Apache territory.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Hooker
...
Leah Fuller
...
Fiske
...
John Fuller
...
Luke Daly
...
Cantina Singer
Víctor Manuel Mendoza ...
Vicente Madariaga (as Victor Manuel Mendoza)
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Storyline

Three Americans are headed by ship around the cape to the California gold fields when they are put ashore for several weeks in a sleepy little Mexican village. While there, they are offered the job of following a lady deep into the indian infested mountains of Mexico to rescue the ladies husband trapped by a cave-in at their gold mine. For the job they are promised two thousand dollars each. While each contemplates their own chances for getting the lady and /or the gold mine, if they can survive to enjoy it. Written by Ronnie L. Hyde

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gold | mine | mexico | gold mine | apache | See All (37) »

Taglines:

Takes you beyond the land of the Black Sand!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 July 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Volcano  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,070,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (Western Electric Recording) (35 mm optical prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the fourth film telecast on "NBC Saturday Night at the Movies", the first television program to exclusively broadcast post-1948 theatrical films on US network television. This one was first telecast 14 October 1961, and like the opener of the series, How to Marry a Millionaire, and several others which followed, had been filmed in CinemaScope, at its original 2.55:1 ratio, and so had to be "formatted to fit your screen" i.e. shown pan/scan in the conventional 4:3 TV ratio, losing nearly half of the image in the process, and literally destroying the composition of each scene. But viewers didn't seem to mind. The idea proved so successful that NBC soon followed it up with another series with the identical format, "Monday Night at the Movies", and it wasn't long before the format was taken up by both CBS and ABC. See more »

Goofs

The firearms being used belong to the period from about 1870 to 1880. If this film was set during the California gold rush period of 1849 the weapons should all be percussion cap and black powder. Repeating rifles weren't developed until late in the Civil War. See more »

Quotes

Hooker: She's tryin' to prove that one of us is a hero or a fool or both.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Verifica incerta - Disperse Exclamatory Phase (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

La Negra Noche
by Emilio D. Uranga
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User Reviews

 
A well-done character piece, concentrating on the evil influence of gold..

While Cooper's career spanned ninety-two feature films, in which he appeared as everything from a masked Cossack to an Italian Renaissance explorer, a foreign legionnaire, a baseball great and countless sophisticated romantic adventurers, he is best remembered as a Western star...

'Garden of Evil' tells the story of three American adventurers (Cooper, Widmark, and Mitchell) who are stranded in a Mexican fishing village after the ship that was taking them to California is put out of commission...

All three were headed for the Californian gold rush... Instead, they are now in Puerto Miguel, approached by a woman in trouble, a Spanish-speaking American woman, Leah Fuller (Susan Hayward), who offers to pay them handsomely if they escort her through hazardous Indian territory to rescue her husband who is hurt and trapped in a gold mine up there in the hills...

The mention of gold makes them agree and, together with a Mexican macho man named Vicente (Victor Manuel Mendoza), begin their long, arduous journey...

Emotions become tense when Leah discovers Vicente marking trails and, later, finds herself fighting off the crude advances of one of the three soldiers of fortune...

When the group arrives at what the Indians call the Garden of Evil, a sacred grounds atop a high mountain where the mine is located, they found Fuller (Hugh Marlowe) still alive, but embittered and with a broken leg...

The group's troubles grow when they discover they are in danger, practically harassed by savage Indians...

"Garden of Evil" was Cooper first motion picture in CinemaScope... Along the way, he proves himself a powerful leader with a commanding performance...

Susan Hayward kept her thoughts and her affections pretty much of a secret, remaining skeptical about her motives... This was her second movie with Gary Cooper since her appearance in William A. Wellman's superb, high adventure 'Beau Geste,' and her third with director Hathaway...

Richard Widmark proceeds his ways of gambling with a neat line in cynical cracks; Cameron Mitchell fails in his unwelcome sexual advances; Hugh Marlowe uses a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with his angry feelings; Victor Manuel Mendoza gets intensely angry after being hit; and Rita Moreno delights the environment with her sweet voice...

Hathaway was one of the great Hollywood veterans still in harness, a versatile director whose Westerns have been as variable in quality as his other films... Filmed on location in Mexico, his 'Garden of Evil' is a beautiful spectacle to behold... The vistas are strikingly clear and vivid... The film is a well-done character piece, concentrating on the relationships of the characters as on the evil influence of gold...


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