8 user 3 critic

The Naked Hills (1956)

Approved | | Western | 17 June 1956 (USA)
In 1849, an Indiana farmer develops a life-long gold fever and an obsession with finding the 'mother lode' in the Californian hills.


Josef Shaftel


Helen S. Bilkie (story), Josef Shaftel (screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
David Wayne ... Tracy Powell
Keenan Wynn ... Sam Wilkins
James Barton ... Jimmo McCann
Marcia Henderson ... Julie
Jim Backus ... Willis Haver
Denver Pyle ... Bert Killian / Narrator
Myrna Dell ... Aggie
Lewis L. Russell Lewis L. Russell ... Baxter (as Lewis Russell)
Frank Fenton ... Harold
Fuzzy Knight ... Pitch Man
Jim Hayward Jim Hayward ... Counter Man
Christopher Olsen ... Billy as a Boy (as Chris Olsen)
Steven Terrell Steven Terrell ... Billy as a Young Man


Tracy Powell, an Indiana farmer, gets the gold fever and heads for Stockton, California in 1849. There, he abandons his first partner, Bert Killian, and teams up with Sam Wilkins, a claim jumper employed by Willis Haver. Six years later, Powell returns to Indiana and his sweetheart, Julie. They marry and he tries farming again but, on the night their son is born, he takes off again searching for gold. This time he heads for the hills with an inveterate prospector, Jimmo McCann. A decade later, the two are still hunting for their big strike when McCann is killed in an accident. Powell returns home with news of a big strike but the deserted Julie will have nothing to do with him. His friend Killian will not believe him but Haver, now a banker gives him a small loan and then beats him out of his claim. Many years pass before he comes home, now sixty-years-old, and this time, his wife and son open their home to him. But he vows to go prospecting come next spring. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the golden hell of the High Sierras !




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 June 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Four Seasons See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

La Salle Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


David Wayne (Tracy Powell) and Keenan Wynn (Sam Wilkins) both later played Willard "Digger" Barnes, the father of Pamela Barnes Ewing and Cliff Barnes, in Dallas (1978): Wayne during its first two seasons and Wynn during its third. See more »


Sam Wilkins: [Sam has run two Mexican prospectors off their gold claim at gunpoint] Say, you're gonna' do all right, boy. Look at those fools down by the river, scratchin' for a little dust. You just keep your eye on a Mexican. He'll show you where you can get real hunks of gold, right in these hills.
Tracy Powell: I wasn't figurin' on no claim jumping.
Sam Wilkins: Well, what's a matter? You wanted to come outta' here with some gold, didn't ya? You can't have a weak stomach and get rich!
See more »


The Four Seasons
Music by Herschel Burke Gilbert
Lyrics by Bob Russell
Sung by James Barton
See more »

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User Reviews

Naked you Come
16 September 2017 | by Richie-67-485852See all my reviews

Here is a nice little gem of a story that was out there all this time until I discovered it on TCM. Most excellent story-telling that uses 'gold" to capture and awaken the viewers emotions and wonder what it was like to mine for gold and start from scratch. There are many riches in the world and gold continues to have the allure especially when it was discovered and then mined for the first time. The idea of working hard to strike it rich is not far-fetched. People liked to work and wanted to work so why not work at finding gold? The thing is there were many working to take your hard work and claim it for themselves. Good movie to study human nature by. Greed! That's what does it to all! Here a man stays focused which is a good thing but then it turns into an obsession forsaking what is a true riches for the promise of earthly riches. The main character paid a steep price as did others to find out what the true riches are and were and will always be. This lesson goes on to this day and people still don't get it. It all stays here. Naked you come and naked you go so there must be a reason to be here. If it was just for gold etc., we would have known that deep reason by now. The movie brings the point home really nice. Some good moving scenes too. Reminds me of all the billionaires that have more money then they could ever possibly spend turning a blind eye and ear to those around them that could use a helping hand. What is the point of accumulating billions if not to spend it on worthy causes? Good movie to eat a snack and have a tasty drink while one reflects on it all. This is true story-telling as it is told by one man about another that went through life together. That be all of us...yes?

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