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9 user 3 critic

Seven Cities of Gold (1955)

In 1769, a Spanish expedition to California seeks to conquer the land and discover its famed gold treasures while missionaries aim to gain new converts and establish a network of Catholic missions.

Director:

Robert D. Webb

Writers:

Richard L. Breen (screenplay), John C. Higgins (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Egan ... Jose Mendoza
Anthony Quinn ... Capt. Gaspar de Portola
Michael Rennie ... Father Junipero Serra
Jeffrey Hunter ... Matuwir
Rita Moreno ... Ula
Eduardo Noriega ... Sergeant
Leslie Bradley ... Galves
John Doucette ... Juan Coronel
Víctor Junco ... Lt. Faces
Julio Villarreal ... Pilot Vila (as Julio Villareal)
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Storyline

In the eighteenth century, a Spanish expedition is looking for seven cities of gold in a territory now known as California. A very difficult task due the opposition of the aborigines, but perhaps a divine intervention could help the Spaniards to save the life. Written by Luis Carvacho <lcarvach@lascar.puc.cl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the story of the making...and the forging...of California...when men chose gold or God...the sword or the Cross! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 February 1956 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gun and the Cross See more »

Filming Locations:

Topanga Canyon, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Studio publicity material credited René Cardona as co-director and Jorge Stahl Jr. as Lucien Ballard's camera operator, but it is unknown if they ever worked on this picture and likely that they had been only hired to make sure union requirements were fulfilled. See more »

Goofs

Two historical characters' names were misspelled: Faces should have been Fages; and Galves should have been Galvez. See more »

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User Reviews

 
His real faith
2 May 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

If you want to know about the founding of the city I consider the most beautiful in America, San Diego, than Seven Cities Of Gold is the film for you. It's a reverential account from a historical novel with the central figures Gaspar DePortola the soldier/conquistador who took care of the military end of things and Father Junipero Serra who handled the spiritual details. His mission which became the center of San Diego was the first of many he would found in the conquest of California.

Anthony Quinn is Portola and he's certainly my idea of a Spanish conquistador. He's a believer, but has more faith in his ammunition and artillery than in the maxim of the Lord will provide.

The figure of Father Junipero Serra is a controversial one in terms of the damage he did to the Indian culture. But the Catholic church in the Spanish and Portugese conquests also had a role in blunting somewhat the impact of the gold hungry conquistadors, it did shield their converts from the seamier depredations of European society. Serra who is played by Michael Rennie is done in the same saintly manner that Rennie played St. Peter in The Robe and Demetrius And The Gladiators. By all accounts Serra was a spartan figure for a priest.

Jeffrey Hunter plays a new young Indian chief who is not crazy about these people invading his neighborhood. That concern is heightened exponentially after his sister Rita Moreno is despoiled by one of the Spanish soldiers looking for a little action. In fact it throws the fate of the whole expedition in doubt.

Richard Egan is the despoiler who has some big decisions to make. Egan who was a serious Catholic in real life makes a decision commensurate with his real faith.

Real historians might have trouble with Seven Cities Of Gold. But as entertainment, especially if one is Catholic, this should please you.


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