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California (1947)

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Epic account of how California became a state, featuring a wagon train, the Gold Rush, a wicked saloon queen, and an evil profiteer.

Director:

John Farrow

Writers:

Frank Butler (screenplay), Theodore Strauss (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ray Milland ... Jonathan Trumbo
Barbara Stanwyck ... Lily Bishop
Barry Fitzgerald ... Michael Fabian
George Coulouris ... Capt. Pharaoh Coffin
Albert Dekker ... Mr. Pike
Anthony Quinn ... Don Luís Rivera y Hernandez
Frank Faylen ... Whitey
Gavin Muir ... Booth Pennock
James Burke ... Pokey
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Padre
Roman Bohnen ... Col. Stuart
Argentina Brunetti ... Elvira
Howard Freeman ... Sen. Creel
Julia Faye ... Wagon Woman
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Storyline

"Wicked" Lily Bishop joins a wagon train to California, led by Michael Fabian and Johnnny Trumbo, but news of the Gold Rush scatters the train. When Johnny and Michael finally arrive, Lily is rich from her saloon and storekeeper (former slaver) Pharaoh Coffin is bleeding the miners dry. But worse troubles are ahead: California is inching toward statehood, and certain people want to make it their private empire. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Fabulous, Fantastic West! WHERE A MAN'S PLEASURE COSTS HIM HIS GOLD TREASURE! (original print media ad - many caps) See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 February 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kalifornia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 30, 1950 with Ray Milland reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

A number of the pistols used by characters appear to be cartridge revolvers, rather than cap-and-ball. See more »

Quotes

Pokey: I thought this was God's country.
Mr. Pike: Not no more it ain't!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shadows of Suspense (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

CALIFORNIA OR BUST
Music by Earl Robinson
Lyrics E.Y. Harburg
Sung by chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Handsome Production Values, Disappointing Results
25 July 2011 | by FightingWesternerSee all my reviews

Army deserter Ray Milland leads a wagon train, including woman-of-easy-virtue Barbara Stanwyck, on its way to California, only to find the gold rush in full effect and the territory overrun by scoundrels, like megalomaniac slave-ship captain Barry Fitzgerald.

The excellent photography, with equally excellent use of Technicolor, good direction by John Farrow, and Milland's brooding can't quite overcome the overly talky script, the datedness of the songs, and the fact that Stanwyck's character is quite unappealing most of the time.

However, for those of us who grew up watching Ray Milland playing old curmudgeons in various B-movies of the sixties, seventies, and early eighties, it's interesting to see him in his prime, playing a rugged leading man.


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