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The Burning Hills (1956)

Approved | | Romance, Western | September 1956 (USA)
When Trace Jordan's brother is murdered by members of the land-grabbing Sutton family he vows to report this injustice to the nearest Army fort.


Stuart Heisler


Irving Wallace (screenplay), Louis L'Amour (novel)




Complete credited cast:
Tab Hunter ... Trace Jordan
Natalie Wood ... Maria-Christina Colton
Skip Homeier ... Jack Sutton
Eduard Franz ... Jacob Lantz
Earl Holliman ... Mort Bayliss
Claude Akins ... Ben Hindeman
Ray Teal ... Joe Sutton
Frank Puglia ... Tio Perico
Hal Baylor ... Braun
Tyler MacDuff ... Wes Parker
Rayford Barnes ... Veach
Tony Terry Tony Terry ... Vincente Colton


Trace discovers the body of his brother Jerry and confronts Mr. Sutton, the crook responsible for his brother's death. In self-defense, Trace shoots Mr. Sutton. Sutton sends his henchmen to hunt and kill a wounded and fleeing Trace. Maria, a half-breed Mexican girl whose father was murdered by Sutton, becomes Trace's companion in flight. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


That shy guy from 'Battle Cry' and the girl from 'Rebel Without a Cause'! See more »


Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


According to Tab Hunter's autobiography, studio executives were so displeased by Natalie Wood's "Mexican" accent that they even considered dubbing in another actress's voice. See more »


During the Sutton gang's battle with the Native Americans, one of the gang is hit in the back with a thrown tomahawk and falls off his horse towards the camera. He falls off too late, and rolls right into the camera's shadow and seemingly knocks right into the camera itself. See more »


Maria Christina Colton: They think they can treat me like those girls in the dance hall.
Trace Jordon: I'm sorry. I know how you must feel.
Maria Christina Colton: You can't. You are a man.
See more »


Featured in Tab Hunter Confidential (2015) See more »

User Reviews

No Clear Title, No Legally Constituted Posse
14 September 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Louis L'Amour novels make good reading and fine western cinema and The Burning Hills is no exception. Tab Hunter and Natalie Wood who were a screen team and studio public relations created off screen romance star in this film which has Tab Hunter on the run and Natalie Wood helping him.

Hunter's got plenty of reason to run, his brother was killed and he shoots Ray Teal who is the overlord of the local Ponderosa. The wounded Teal who really doesn't have title to a lot of the land he runs roughshod over and he sends his rotten son Skip Homeier and foreman Claude Akins with some of his riders after him. At no time are they a legally constituted posse and Homeier and Akins can't stand each other and have many issues between them.

Skip Homeier ever since he shot Gregory Peck in the back in The Gunfighter made a good career of playing some really nasty punk villains and he's certainly at his nastiest here. Eduard Franz has a strange and interesting part also as a mixed race tracker that Akins insists on having in the posse. He's a person of interesting and shifting loyalties.

Wood and Hunter were certainly an attractive pair and the teens and Tweens in the audience got some thrills as Hunter had to appear topless as Wood nursed him with his injuries. The Burning Hills has a lot of tension in it as the posse closes in and Hunter is a pretty resourceful man. Wood has a few tricks of her own to baffle the posse and not all of them involve sex.

The Burning Hills is a nicely constructed western that I'm sure Louis L'Amour took some pride in the screen version of his work.

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Release Date:

September 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Burning Hills See more »

Filming Locations:

Keyesville,California,USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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