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The Painted Desert (1931)

Passed | | Western | 7 March 1931 (USA)
Two men find an abandoned baby and fight over the ownership of the child resulting in lifelong rivalry.

Directors:

Howard Higgin, Tom Buckingham (uncredited)

Writers:

Tom Buckingham (story), Howard Higgin (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Boyd ... Bill Holbrook (as Bill Boyd)
Helen Twelvetrees ... Mary Ellen Cameron
William Farnum ... Cash Holbrook
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Jeff Cameron
Clark Gable ... Rance Brett
Charles Sellon ... Tonopah
Hugh Adams Hugh Adams ... Dynamite
Wade Boteler ... Bob Carson
Will Walling ... Kirby
Edmund Breese ... Judge Matthews
Edward Hearn ... Tex (as Guy Edward Hearn)
William Le Maire William Le Maire ... Denver (as William LeMaire)
Richard Cramer ... Provney
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Storyline

Western pardners Jeff and Cash find a baby boy in an otherwise deserted emigrants' camp, and clash over which is to be "father." They are still bitterly feuding years later when they own adjacent ranches. Bill, the foundling whom Cash has raised to young manhood, wants to end the feud and extends an olive branch toward Jeff, who now has a lovely daughter. But during a mining venture, the bitterness escalates. Is Bill to be set against his own adoptive father? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Feindschaft See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pathé Exchange See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (copyright length) | (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The first sound film in which Clark Gable appeared, although his voice was heard in Du Barry, Woman of Passion (1930). See more »

Quotes

Bill Holbrook: Mary Ellen, look out there across the desert. As far as you can see, way off there in the distance... you see those big lonesome pinnacles? When I was a little boy, I used to lie out there evenings, watching the shadows pass over 'em. I used to imagine they were all sorts of things... dragons fighting... giants lying there sleeping... and great big monsters that might come down after it got dark and get me.
Mary Ellen Cameron: [giggle] I know. I used to think that way, too.
Bill Holbrook: You got over it, though.
Mary Ellen Cameron: Over it? Sure! ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Going Hollywood: The '30s (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh! Susanna
(1848)
Written by Stephen Foster
In the score during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Incomplete But Still Good
26 October 2009 | by FightingWesternerSee all my reviews

Two men traveling west find a baby boy in the desert and quarrel over which one will raise him. One steals away with the boy and becomes a wealthy rancher while the other stays put beside a waterhole and remains an impoverished homesteader.

Years later the boy has grown up to become a fair-minded man who tries to reconcile the two bitter enemies, partnering with his father's old friend in a mining operation beset by mistrust due to unexplained sabotage.

The Painted Desert is mostly remembered nowadays for featuring future Hopalong Cassidy star William Boyd and the first talking performance by Clark Gable.

Though undoubtedly harmed by having nearly all it's action sequences carved up as stock footage for later films, it's still worth watching and has a nice Hollywood sheen not seen in later B-westerns.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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