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Fighting Caravans (1931)

A young frontier scout helps guide a freight wagon train across the country, fighting off Indians and evil traders, while his two crusty companions try and save him from falling in love.

Writers:

Zane Grey (novel), Edward E. Paramore Jr. (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gary Cooper ... Clint Belmet
Lili Damita ... Felice (as Lily Damita)
Ernest Torrence ... Bill Jackson
Tully Marshall ... Jim Bridger
Fred Kohler ... Lee Murdock
Eugene Pallette ... Seth
Roy Stewart ... Couch
May Boley May Boley ... Jane
Eve Southern ... Faith
Frank Campeau ... Jeff Moffitt
Charles Winninger ... Marshall
Frank Hagney ... Renegade
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Storyline

A young frontier scout helps guide a freight wagon train across the country, fighting off Indians and evil traders, while his two crusty companions try and save him from falling in love. Written by Rick Johnson <rickdjohnson@seanet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Men of valor! Women of high courage! The Founders of the new American empire beyond the frowning Rockies! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 February 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blazing Arrows See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although this film was re-released theatrically under its original title, it was re-titled 'Blazing Arrows' when it was sold to television, most likely to protect the theatrical re-release which was still in progress in many territories. One of its earliest television broadcasts occurred 12 September 1953 in Seattle on KING-TV (Channel 5); in Albuquerque, it was chosen to be the first program broadcast on the newly launched KOOL-KOY (Channel 10) Saturday 24 October 1953; in Detroit it was was first telecast Friday 16 October 1953 on WXYZ (Channel 7), in New York Monday 1 February 1954 on KCBS (Channel 2) and in Los Angeles Saturday 4 July 1954 on KNBH (Channel 4). In San Francisco, it hit the airwaves Wednesday 22 June 1955 on KPIX (Channel 5). See more »

Quotes

Clint Belmet: I'm asking you a question and the answer can't be maybe. I'm asking you straight out - will you marry? Yes or no?
Felice: Oui, Monsieur!
Clint Belmet: Huh?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening card: "In the days of the Civil War, the hard-won frontier country west of the Mississippi needed supplies. There were no railroads. Shipping had been tied up by the war. The burden of Transportation was taken up by trains of freight wagons - - Fighting Caravans banded together for the dangerous trip to California." See more »

Connections

Referenced in No Limit (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Westward Ho, the Wagons
15 August 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In the early days of sound Paramount purchased a number of Zene Grey stories to be filmed, mostly as B picture attractions and done by their rising new B picture cowboy, Randolph Scott. Fighting Caravans however got the A picture treatment and starred Gary Cooper.

Cooper plays a young hell raising scout who's been taught the ways of the woods by two grizzled old timers, Ernest Torrence and Tully Marshall. All three of them sign on to guide a wagon train in the 1860s west. Adding to the attraction for Cooper is pretty young Lily Damita who earlier on pretended to be his wife to get him out of trouble with a sheriff.

A lot of the same ground was covered by Twentieth Century Fox the year before with The Big Trail and its new star John Wayne. The Big Trail however failed to find its audience, but Fighting Caravans with proved box office star Cooper showed a respectable profit for Paramount-Publix as the white mountain studio was called at that time. Of course both films owe plenty to James Cruze's silent classic, The Covered Wagon.

Like in The Big Trail the villain here is a renegade white man, stirring up the Indians. The very rousing attack on the wagon train during the climax had elements of it borrowed over 20 years later in the James Stewart western, Bend of the River.

A whole lot of Gary Cooper's early sound films for some reason are never shown. Possible that prints no longer exist. Though Fighting Caravans is not a great film, it's an entertaining one. In fact a few years later it was remade by Randolph Scott in Wagon Wheels where that film used all kinds of stock footage from this one.


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