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Virginia City (1940)

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Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writer:

Robert Buckner (original screen play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Errol Flynn ... Kerry Bradford
Miriam Hopkins ... Julia Hayne
Randolph Scott ... Vance Irby
Humphrey Bogart ... John Murrell
Frank McHugh ... Mr. Upjohn
Alan Hale ... Olaf Swenson
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... 'Marblehead'
John Litel ... Marshall
Douglass Dumbrille ... Maj. Drewery (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Moroni Olsen ... Cameron
Russell Hicks ... Armistead
Dickie Jones ... Cobby
Frank Wilcox ... Union Soldier
Russell Simpson ... Gaylord
Victor Kilian Victor Kilian ... Abraham Lincoln
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Storyline

During the American Civil War, Captain Kerry Bradford escapes from a notorious confederate prison. He and two of his men are sent to Virginia City where Confederate sympathizers are prepared to donate $5 million dollars to the cause of Southern independence. The war is going badly for the Confederacy and money may tip the war in their favor. On the stagecoach to Virginia City, Bradford meets and falls in love with Julia Hayne not realizing that she is one of the conspirators. When he gets to Virginia City, he also runs into Confederate Captain Vance Irby who has been sent to collect and safely deliver the gold. Irby manages to get out of the city but the Union cavalry is in hot pursue. When Bradfoed catches up with them, he not only has to fight Irby but also John Murrell, a bandit who has his own plans for the gold. He also Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Go West!...to Virginia City...for excitement, for adventure, for primitive romance!!!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 March 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Goldschmuggel nach Virginia See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the 1956 Dominant rerelease Randolph Scott was given top billing with Humphrey Bogart as co-star. The names of Errol Flynn and Miriam Hopkins were demoted beneath the title. See more »

Goofs

In one scene in Virginia City a speaker tells the crowd the current news. He mentions Vicksburg being captured at the same time Savannah was. Vicksburg was captured in 1863 while the battle of Gettysburg was fought. See more »

Quotes

Kerry Bradford: [to Murrell] Don't reach for that. Put 'em up! I thought that little Deringer of yours looked a little too well used for a sample, Mr. Murrell. In any case, I didn't like your face. As a matter of fact, I still don't.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Errol Flynn (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

We Will Hang Jeff Davis to a Sour Apple Tree
(uncredited)
(Sung to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic")
Sung by Union troops and northern sympathizers in Virginia City
See more »

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User Reviews

Standard Flynn Western, with Offbeat Bogart Portrayal...
22 February 2004 | by cariartSee all my reviews

VIRGINIA CITY, the "non-sequel" to Errol Flynn's big 1939 hit, DODGE CITY, gives the impression that the Warner Brothers were suffering from a shortage of good Western scripts in 1940. The film 'borrows' much of Max Steiner's DODGE CITY musical score, reunites Flynn with DODGE CITY costars (and friends) Alan Hale and Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams (playing virtually the same characters, with different names), and attempts the visual 'sweep' of DODGE CITY, in black and white, with a smaller budget. What is most memorable about the film, however, are two truly offbeat casting choices; Humphrey Bogart as a half-breed Mexican bandit, and tone-deaf Miriam Hopkins as a saloon singer. Bogart did NOT want to do the film (he felt himself miscast in westerns), but faced suspension if he didn't 'show up' for work, and his unconvincing Mexican accent and forced performance give clear evidence to his unhappiness with the role. Hopkins, whose reputation had been established in pre-Production Code sex comedies and dramas of the early thirties, was, at 38, already past her prime, and unbelievable as a love interest for either Flynn, or Randolph Scott. As a 'sexy' chanteuse, her singing is so incredibly bad that it must be heard to be believed!

The plot, of an undercover Union captain (Flynn) attempting to wrest a shipment of southern gold from a wagon train headed by the Confederate colonel (Scott) who had run the prison camp he'd previously escaped from, gets bogged down in subplots, and, in trying to appease viewers from both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, makes everyone so noble that you wonder why there was a Civil War! Certainly, in Randolph Scott's case, the role wasn't much of a stretch, and would be one he would repeat frequently, with minor variations, for the next twenty years. Tasmanian Flynn, however, appears more comfortable in the Western genre than he had in DODGE CITY, and, after the on and off-screen battling with Bette Davis in his previous film, THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX, it must have felt like a vacation (even with hated director Michael Curtiz helming the project!)

VIRGINIA CITY is, ultimately, a 'B' movie with an 'A'-list cast and crew, and while the end result isn't terrible, it isn't a film that either Flynn or Bogart would list as among their best efforts.


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