6.4/10
231
6 user 1 critic

20 Mule Team (1940)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 3 May 1940 (USA)
In California's Death Valley, in 1892, Borax ore miners scratch a hard living until a map pinpointing the location of high-grade Borax ore surfaces, sending prospectors and crooks alike into a gold-rush-like frenzy.

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writers:

Owen Atkinson (story), Robert C. DuSoe (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Wallace Beery ... Skinner Bill Bragg, an Alias of Ambrose Murphy
Leo Carrillo ... Piute Pete
Marjorie Rambeau ... Josie Johnson
Anne Baxter ... Jean Johnson
Douglas Fowley ... Stag Roper
Noah Beery Jr. ... Mitch
Berton Churchill ... 'Jackass' Brown
Arthur Hohl ... Salters
Clem Bevans ... Chuckawalla
Charles Halton ... Henry Adams
Minor Watson ... Marshal
Oscar O'Shea ... Train Conductor
Lloyd Ingraham ... Stockholder
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Storyline

It is 1892 in Death Valley and the yields from the Borax ore are getting so small that refining it is a losing proposition. The only thing that will save the company is a new deposit of high grade Borax, and Bill has a pouch of it that he got from a dead prospector that he buried on the road. Roper knows the value of the strike could be worth millions, but he needs Bill to find the prospectors' claim so they can record it and become rich partners. While Roper has no intention of cutting Bill in on the millions, he also has his eye on young Jean. Josie sees Roper for the scalawag that his is and it means trouble in Furnace Flat. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ROARING DRAMA OF DEATH VALLEY DAYS! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its initial television broadcast in Los Angeles Friday 15 February 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Chicago Wednesday 27 February 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), and by Philadelphia Wednesday 6 March 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6); it first aired in Altoona PA 20 March 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Seattle 25 March 1957 on KING (Channel 5), in New York City 29 March 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Portland OR 6 May 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), in Albuquerque 7 May 1957 on KOAT (Channel 7), in Tucson 15 May 1957 on KVOA (Channel 4), in Minneapolis 12 July 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Norfolk VA 22 July on WTAR (Channel 3) and in San Francisco 7 February 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie when Bill goes into the Saloon and orders a beer its three-quarters full when he starts to drink, but, Josie grabs it and in the next shot of the three of them and the bartender the glass is three-quarters empty. See more »

Quotes

Skinner Bill Bragg: Let's scratch some sand over him and keep the buzzards from picking him to pieces.
Piute Pete: Pretty soon wind comes some more, blow sand off and coyotes dig him up just the same.
Skinner Bill Bragg: Ain't you got no respect? It's the idea of the thing. Now get to scratching.
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Connections

Featured in Hollywood: Style Center of the World (1940) See more »

User Reviews

 
A great western--and unique to the genre.
19 July 2005 | by RebHarknessSee all my reviews

I agree completely that Beery's westerns deserve reassessment. All reviews are, of course, subjective so w/ that said, I stand up and cheer for this movie. It may be "formula" but that don't mean it's just another western (didn't I hear somewhere that there are really only seven basic plots anyway?).. Beery as a western hero is like no other: big, brawling, boozing, foolish, canny, tougher than leather, dedicated, out for himself, loyal to his friends, don't ever mistreat the weak in his presence, funny as hell, and, you know it, mighty darn good with a gun. And Leo Carrillo is the perfect partner/sidekick. Yeah, the plot focus could've easily been gold or silver, or even oil--happens to be borax in Death Valley and Beery & Carrillo are muleskinners. It's how the story is told. This movie's a humdinger. BEERY's WESTERNS DESERVE TO BE ON DVD! Oh yes--and Tugboat Annie, Min and Bill, Stablemates, Hell Divers........


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Twenty Mule Team See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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