Two marketing professionals hire a lookalike of classic western actor Smoky Callaway to impersonate the actor and make new films, but things go awry when the real Callaway, thought long missing, returns.
In the 1830's beaver trapper Flint Mitchell and other white men hunt and trap in the then unnamed territories of Montana and Idaho. Flint marries a Blackfoot woman as a way to gain entrance into her people's rich lands, but finds she means more to him than a ticket to good beaver habitat.Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lon Chaney Jr was up for the part eventually played by James Whitmore. Whitmore was cast because he was under contract to MGM and it was cheaper to hire contract players as opposed to Chaney who was a freelance actor. See more »
It's quite obvious that the papoose on the runaway horse is a doll. See more »
Trees lie where they fall, and men were buried where they died.
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Respectable effort to portray the life of the mountain man in the opening of the West.
This film does a good job of portraying the story of the mountain men who trapped beaver in the Rocky Mountains and played a significant role in winning the West. Clark Gable is the star of this film. He plays a trapper who falls in love with a Blackfoot maiden (Maria Elena Marquez). He buys her from a Nez Perce chief hoping to use her to get into the good graces of her grandfather, a Blackfoot leader. Ultimately, he falls in love with her.
The romance between Gable and Marquez is the real story of this film. It is much more believable than the relationship between James Stewart and Debra Paget in "Broken Arrow". In the first place, the two of them can't talk to each other. Gable needs an interpreter to talk to his wife. The relationship compares to the forced marriage between Robert Redford and a Flathead girl in "Jeremiah Johnson". Gable's affection for his Blackfoot wife is obvious throughout the film.
The film paints a much kinder picture of Native American life than many Westerns. Like Dewey Martin's character in "The Big Sky" Gable returns in the end to the Blackfeet. He has learned to value Indian life and wants to raise his son with her mother's people.
The film portrays the real life capture of fur trapper John Colter by the Blackfeet. Captured by a young chief named Iron Shirt Gable must run for his life. The film should have taken more time with this exciting scene. It is far too short and not nearly as exciting as it should have been. I enjoyed Henry Fonda's run for his life in "Drums Along the Mohawk", but it was very poorly done here. Colter's successful escape from his Blackfeet captors deserves a better rendering.
This film is worth watching for the beautiful high mountain scenery and the romance between Gable and Marques. The soundtrack is not particularly original, giving us constant variation on the old standard "Shenandoah", but it is pleasant listening. Enjoy it.
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