Tide of Empire ()

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California's gold dicovery in 1848 draws a "tide of empire" to the area, which becomes ripe for bandits.


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Cast verified as complete

Josephita Guerrero
Dermod D'Arcy (as George Duryea)
Don Jose Guerrero
Romauldo Guerrero
B. Jabez Bejabbers Harmon
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rosita Delmar
Gold Miner with Whip (uncredited)
Townsman (uncredited)
Fred Burns ...
Vigilante (uncredited)
Fiddle Player (uncredited)
Raider (uncredited)
Carlos Montalvo (uncredited)
Raider (uncredited)
Drunk Cowboy Thrown Out of Saloon (uncredited)
Guerreros Servant (uncredited)
George Marion ...
Man at Wells / Fargo Arriving (uncredited)
Don Emilio (uncredited)
Indian Servant (uncredited)

Directed by

Allan Dwan

Written by

Peter B. Kyne ... (based upon the novel by)
Joseph Farnham ... (titles) (as Joe Farnham)

Music by

William Axt ... (music score) (as Dr. William Axt)

Cinematography by

Merritt B. Gerstad ... (photographed by)

Film Editing by

Blanche Sewell ... film editor

Art Department

Cedric Gibbons ... settings


Jay Wilsey ... stunts (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Ruth Harriet Louise ... still photographer (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

David Cox ... wardrobe

Music Department

Edward Cupero ... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Fritz Stahlberg ... composer: additional music (uncredited)

Script and Continuity Department

Waldemar Young ... continuity
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

The discovery of gold in California in 1848 brings a tide of gold seekers to the area, disrupting the lives of the Guerrero family who have owned nearby Rancho Chico for generations. Among these are Dermod D'Arcy, in partners with a jailer, Bejabbers. At a fiesta where horse races are traditionally run, a stranger notices Dermod's exceptionally fast horse, Pathfinder, and urges him to enter the horse in the race. It becomes a three-horse race, with Don José Guerrero betting his ranch that his horse will win. When Pathfinder wins, Dermod takes the ranch as his share of the winnings and gives it to Don José's daughter, Josephita, with whom he had fallen in love earlier, when he met her. Dermod and Bejabbers leave to search for gold, and the town grows rich as more and more gold is amassed. Meanwhile, a bandit chief, Cannon, met Josephita's brother, Romauldo, and forced him to join the gang, which planned to loot the town of its gold before Wells and Fargo shipped it east. As two of the gang set a fire to draw most of the townsmen to put it out, Dermod overhears them discussing the plan and warns the townsmen to stay put. The gang is captured, tried and sentenced to be hung. Dermod is convinced Romauldo is innocent and ponders how to save him. Written by Arthur Hausner

Plot Keywords
Taglines When Mr. Wells and Mr. Fargo started their first pony express from the gold fields of California-when love, hate, drama followed the tide of empire- this drama is laid. (Print Ad- Owosso Argus-Press,((Owosso, Mich.)) 11 May 1929) See more »
Parents Guide Add content advisory for parents »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • La naissance d'un empire (France)
  • Goldjäger in Kalifornien (Germany)
  • Gesto de hidalgo (Spain)
  • 侵略の潮 (Japan, Japanese title)
  • Suurvallan myrskyaalto (Finland)
  • See more »
  • 73 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Did You Know?

Trivia Director Allan Dwan recalled that Buster Keaton made an uncredited cameo appearance as a drunken cowboy getting tossed out of a saloon. The comedian visited the set one day and did the bit purely as a surprise gag; Dwan claimed he kept it in the film (while a couple of production stills showing Keaton (in costume and make-up) posing with the main cast survive, his scene has not been identified in existing prints) and said that Keaton, who had just signed with MGM and was about to begin work on "The Cameraman", the stunt "wasn't part of the scene at all . . . He did the stunt to amuse the Talmadge girls--he was married to Natalie Talmadge--who were on the set." See more »
Soundtracks Oh! Susanna See more »
Quotes Josephita Guerrero: In trouble again, Romauldo... so you come to your sister, eh? And what is it this time?
Romauldo Guerrero: I sold Father's sheep for him... and I lost the money on a cockfight.
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