7.3/10
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Devil's Doorway (1950)

Approved | | Romance, Western | 15 September 1950 (USA)
After the Civil War, a highly decorated Shoshone Indian veteran plans to raise cattle in Wyoming but white farmers plan to grab fertile tribal lands by pitting the whites against the Indians.

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Lance Poole
... Verne Coolan
... Orrie Masters
... Rod MacDougall
... Red Rock
... Zeke Carmody
... Scotty MacDougall
... Mrs. Masters
... Ike Stapleton
... Lt. Grimes
... Mr. Poole
Harry Antrim ... Dr. C.O. MacQuillan
... Thundercloud
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Storyline

Lance Poole, an Indian who won a Medal of Honor fighting at Gettysburg, returns to his tribal lands intent on peaceful cattle ranching. But white sheep farmers want his fertile grass range and manage to turn the ostensibly civilized white population against the tribes, with tragic results. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

M.G.M. presents a Great Drama of Flaming Frontiers !

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 September 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fluch des Blutes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,373,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,349,000, 31 December 1950

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,096,000, 31 December 1950
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After an unsuccessful May 1950 press preview, MGM shelved the film. The grim movie was superbly made, but its uncompromising, downbeat story seemed to spell box-office disaster. After the release of the more mainstream Broken Arrow (1950) the following fall, it did get some bottom-of-the-bill bookings in neighborhood grindhouses but did little business and has remained little seen. See more »

Quotes

Lance Poole: I envy you, ma'am., you being a lawyer.
Orrie Masters: Well, I...
Lance Poole: You got a faith, something to go by... like a religion. With you it's the law.
Orrie Masters: My father wanted me to study law. It means a great deal to me.
Lance Poole: Yes, it must. I've always wanted something like that. Something to tell me what's right or wrong.
Orrie Masters: I'm glad you feel the way you do.
Lance Poole: Because then you don't have to bother about your conscience. It's written out for you to follow... no matter what it does to people. It's the law. And changing the law is ...
See more »

Soundtracks

Indian Lament
(uncredited)
Music by André Previn
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User Reviews

 
It takes only one man to open the Devil's Doorway and hell to pour through.
22 May 2012 | by See all my reviews

This movie is in a remarkable contrast to Broken Arrow (released in the same year) insofar that in this movie one bad man (lawyer Verne Coolan) leads a whole community on the wrong path. It's not that the others are innocent sheep that can be led anywhere, but the racial, cultural prejudices are the preying grounds for the Devil to feed upon. And what better agent or instrument of the Devil than an evil lawyer, and an unjust law as the weapon? The hook or by crook manner in which the Native people in the new World were looted and stripped of all their rights is nowhere better exemplified than in this movie. Of course in this fictional (although in reality it was typical) case, the methodology is crude and overt because all that was needed was to push over one man who wanted to hold on to his land and to hold on to it even if he has to buy his own land if need be. But even that is denied to him because a new law framed by the government does not recognize an Indian as a valid citizen (and therefore cannot legally own any land even if bought by him). The far more sophisticated method was to simply pay a few dollars and bottles of whiskey to just one weak and drunkard Indian of the tribe, in return get a piece of paper signed by him selling all the land the tribe was living on, and loudly claim that they were now the owners of the land and the Indians had better push off or get killed by the 'volunteer army'. A further level of sophistication was required when the tribe was united under a strong Chief. In that case a treaty was made that promised protection to the Indians from further encroachment if the Indians gave up a large chunk of the land. Once that was accomplished, a slow process of gradual encroachment would begin, along with provocation upon provocation that would eventually elicit a retaliatory response. Once again a hue and cry would be raised that the Indians had broken the treaty. Naturally, the 'poor innocent settlers' were under grave threat to their lives and 'fully paid-up' property, and the 'poor innocent government' had no choice but to call in the 'highly disciplined' army to restore order in the land by wiping out the remaining Indians, and if some had still managed to survive, they would be confined to a 'reservation' where they would be slowly starved to death. Much later, even Hitler expressed his admiration for these sophisticated methods and advanced political science techniques used to find a 'solution' to the 'problem' of sub-humans. Such is the legacy of the 'conquest' and on such foundations 'the birth of The Nation' took place, The Nation that would claim to be the champion of 'human rights' and 'freedom of the individual' all over the world. Such ill-gotten power carries a terrible burden, and the telling of the story truthfully (in the general context) as this movie does, has substantial redeeming value, although what is done cannot be undone. Try to ignore it, try to forget it, and even that little window of redemption is shut for ever.


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