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California Conquest (1952)

Passed | | Adventure, History, Romance | 4 July 1952 (USA)
In the 1840s, most Californians want their state to break-away from Mexico and possibly join the USA but Russia, Britain and France aim to grab California for themselves.

Director:

Lew Landers

Writer:

Robert E. Kent (original story and screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Cornel Wilde ... Don Arturo Bordega
Teresa Wright ... Julia Lawrence
Alfonso Bedoya ... José Martínez
Lisa Ferraday ... Helena de Gagarine
Eugene Iglesias ... Ernesto Brios
John Dehner ... Fredo Brios
Ivan Lebedeff ... Alexander Rotcheff
Tito Renaldo Tito Renaldo ... Don Bernardo Mirana
Renzo Cesana ... Fray Lindos
Baynes Barron ... Igna'cio
Rico Alaniz ... Pedro
William Wilkerson ... Fernando (as William P. Wilkerson)
Edward Colmans ... Juan Junipero
Alex Montoya Alex Montoya ... Juan
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Storyline

The period is the 1840's and California is part of Mexico. Many of the citizens wish to become part of the United States. Other countries are also interested and the Russians have established bases in the northern part of the territory. To further their hold they have stolen guns and Don Arturo Bordega, a leader of those wanting statehood, is out to recover them. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

California's fight for freedom...Told in Color by TECHNICOLOR!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cornel Wilde's flogging scene is unusual in that he's lashed across his chest rather than his back. See more »

Goofs

California would not have has short horn Hereford cattle in the 1840s. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Éden (2011) See more »

User Reviews

 
"The Czar has no territorial ambitions"
18 May 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

California Conquest was a film of its times at the height of the Cold War and the McCarthy period when some in Hollywood felt it was their duty to show the Russians for the grasping imperialists they were even before Karl Marx drew breath. Cornel Wilde plays a California Don already looking forward to statehood with USA and Teresa Wright is the daughter of an American settler in California who has a dry goods business.

I'm of the opinion that a lot of Hollywood players to make themselves blacklist proof did films like California Conquest. Wilde himself was a person of no political leanings that I've discovered took a film like this so that no one would question his patriotism in those times.

As history records the last Russian settlement in California closed up shop in 1841 that being Fort Ross which was mentioned here. It is here though that Ivan Lebedeff and Lisa Ferraday are the Czar's agents weaving a plot to bring all of California into the Russian fold. As their agents they have Alfonso Bedoya bandit leader in the Gold Hat tradition and the ambitious John Dehner who is setting himself as a Quisling.

No mention here of the Mexican War to come or of that phrase that had a lot of currency back in those days about American 'Manifest Destiny' to spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific and if you don't agree too bad.

Don't get me wrong there were some good anti-Communist films of the time. California Conquest just isn't one of them.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 July 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Crimson Mask See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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