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Raiders of Old California (1957)

Approved | | Drama, History, Western | 1 November 1957 (USA)
At the end of the Mexican-American War, a crooked U.S. Cavalry Captain and his men force a captive Mexican officer to sign the deeds to his vast lands and large hacienda over to the Captain.

Director:

Albert C. Gannaway

Writers:

Samuel Roeca (as Sam Roeca), Tom Hubbard (as Thomas G. Hubbard)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Jim Davis ... Capt. Angus Clyde McKane
Arleen Whelan ... Julie Johnson
Faron Young ... Marshal Faron Young
Marty Robbins ... Cpl. Timothy Boyle
Lee Van Cleef ... Sgt. Damon Pardee
Louis Jean Heydt ... Judge Ward Young
Harry Lauter ... Lt. Scott Johnson
Douglas Fowley ... Sheriff
Lawrence Dobkin ... Don Miguel Sebastian (as Larry Dobkin)
Bill Coontz ... Turk
Don Diamond ... Pepe
Rick Vallin ... Burt (as Ric Vallon)
Tom Hubbard Tom Hubbard ... Emmet
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Storyline

Following the Mexican-American War, a small group of discharged U. S. Cavalrymen, led by Angus McKane (Jim Davis), stays on in California after the war and, through treachery, seizes a Spanish land grant, thereby gaining control of a vast area of what became the states of Arizona and California. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They Plundered for Power Across a Fabulous Empire!

Genres:

Drama | History | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gun and the Gavel See more »

Filming Locations:

Kanab, Utah, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Glen Glenn Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Although called "Raiders of Old California", it was set in the Texas/New Mexico area. See more »

Quotes

Don Miguel Sebastian: No my child. The land belongs to the people who live on it. And with your help, this time we will make it legal.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Six Gun Theater (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quite a surprise, and a very pleasant one
19 December 2015 | by morrisonhimselfSee all my reviews

Never having heard of producer-director Albert C. Gannaway, I wasn't sure what to expect, even though I am a long-time fan of Jim Davis.

In addition, I had never seen Faron Young in a movie, either, and again had no idea what to expect.

Faron Young, whom I remember from my childhood as a singer, turns out to be one good action hero, an excellent cowboy movie star.

Director Gannaway was an absolute master of camera placement.

So I was not only surprised, I was exceedingly pleased by what I saw in "Raiders of Old California."

The script has some flaws. I never heard of Comanches in California, but except for the title, California doesn't seem to have anything to do with this. It seems, except for the title, to be in Texas and maybe Arizona. "Seems" because of a discussion about the boundaries of the land in question.

But the story moves otherwise beautifully, with superb action, highly professional stunts, and plenty of them, and, again, lots of action, with Faron Young playing his part as if he had made a hundred movies.

Harry Lauter gets one of his best roles, and plays it perfectly. He was an actor! And deserved more and bigger roles.

Jim Davis has never been more evil. Another truly great actor.

Douglas Fowley gives what must be his most unusual performance, as a crusty desert-rat kind of sheriff. Another truly great actor, he more often played a villain, and usually a city slicker, but his characterization here is just eye-popping.

Lee Van Cleef also gives an excellent performance as a nasty character, and his eventual switch to hero roles was gratifying to his fans, and impressive to his audience. He was paid, according to reports, with satchels and briefcases full of money to make a series of Italian westerns, and he earned every penny.

Everything -- except for the occasional script and/or title flaw -- about "Raiders" is excellent. For a very little known western, it is more than excellent, and I highly recommend you give it a look. There is a first-quality print available at YouTube, where I saw it. I hope you like and admire it as much as I do.


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