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The Big Bonanza (1944)

Captain Jed Kelton (Richard Arlen), Union Army officer, unfairly tried for cowardice in battle during the Civil War, escapes from custody while being transported to Fort Leavenport in ... See full summary »

Director:

George Archainbaud

Writers:

Dorrell McGowan (screenplay), Stuart E. McGowan (screenplay) (as Stuart McGowan) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Arlen ... Captain Jed Kilton
Robert Livingston ... Sam Ballou
Jane Frazee ... Chiquita McSweeney
George 'Gabby' Hayes ... Hap Selby
Lynne Roberts ... Judy Parker
Bobby Driscoll ... Spud Kilton
J.M. Kerrigan ... Judge Jasper Kincaid
Russell Simpson ... Adam Parker
Frank Reicher ... Dr. Ballou
Cordell Hickman Cordell Hickman ... Abraham
Hayward Soo Hoo ... Jimmy
Roy Barcroft ... Sheriff Dan Pendleton
Fred Kohler Jr. ... Henchman Roberts
Monte Hale ... Saloon Singer
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Storyline

Captain Jed Kelton (Richard Arlen), Union Army officer, unfairly tried for cowardice in battle during the Civil War, escapes from custody while being transported to Fort Leavenport in Kansas. After a brief visit home, Jed and his grizzled old friend, Hap Shelby (George "Gabby" Hayes), go to Nevada Springs, Nevada, where Spud (Bobby Driscoll), the eight-year-old brother who idolizes Jed, is living with Sam Ballou (Robert Livingston), Jed's best friend in their early boyhood days, Jed finds that Sam is now owner of the Silver Queen saloon and dance hall. Sam is greedy for wealth and power, and not particular how he gets it, even at the expense of others. Chiquata McSweeney (Jane Frazee), beautiful singing star at the Silver Queen, and sweetheart of Sam, is sincerely fond of young Spud, but Jed thinks that a saloon is the wrong place to keep a child and he arranges for Spud to live at the home of Judy Parker (Lynne Roberts), the well-bred Sunday School teacher whose father, Adam Parker (... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@sudddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FRONTIER SUSPENSE! ROMANCE! THRILLS! (original print ad-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 December 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Grande Bonança See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Film debut of Monte Hale. See more »

Quotes

Spud Kilton: [Spud is keen to introduce his friends to his big brother, the Army man] I want you to meet my brother, Jed. Jed, this is Jimmy.
Captain Jed Kilton: Hello, Jimmy.
Spud Kilton: His mother and father are Chinese.
Jimmy: Yes.
Spud Kilton: [then he turns to his black friend] And this is Abraham.
Abraham: My ma and pa are Republicans.
[everyone laughs]
See more »

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Hastings
Lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compare and contrast to HBO's Deadwood
23 June 2004 | by mmtoucanSee all my reviews

This is a bigger-budget Republic western redeemed by director George Archainbaud's handling of the action scenes. It has strikingly similar plot elements to HBO's Deadwood series, chiefly that of the cutthroat, goldmine stealing, whoremongering, saloonkeeper played by former good guy actor, Robert Livingston, who has it in for the kid who witnessed his henchmen commit murder. The latter is not a typical plot element of this era's westerns. Unlike Ian McShane in Deadwood, there's no psychological depth, just the novelty of a former white hat hero playing a very black hat villain. The child, so quiet and watchful in Deadwood, here is a shrill and unnatural Bobby Driscoll.


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