34 user 18 critic

The Proud Rebel (1958)

Approved | | Western | 1 July 1958 (USA)
A Confederate veteran living in the Yankee North struggles with his son's shock induced muteness and the hate of the Northerners.


Michael Curtiz


Joseph Petracca (screenplay), Lillie Hayward (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Alan Ladd ... John Chandler
Olivia de Havilland ... Linnett Moore
Dean Jagger ... Harry Burleigh
David Ladd ... David Chandler
Cecil Kellaway ... Dr. Enos Davis (Quaker)
Harry Dean Stanton ... Jeb Burleigh (as Dean Stanton)
James Westerfield ... Birm Bates
Henry Hull ... Judge Morley
Tom Pittman Tom Pittman ... Tom Burleigh (as Thomas Pittman)
Eli Mintz ... Mr. Gorman
John Carradine ... Traveling Salesman
King King ... Lance, David's Dog


With his home burned to the ground, his wife killed, and his 10-year-old son, David, rendered mute after witnessing the traumatizing incident, the former Confederate soldier, John Chandler, arrives in a small, post-Civil War Illinois community. Eager to move on with his life, and desperate to find an effective treatment for the boy, instead, John finds himself drawn into a fight with the two sons of the ruthless and unscrupulous sheep-farmer, Harry Burleigh, facing a severe $30 fine or thirty days of incarceration. As the strong, kind, and compassionate rancher, Linnett Moore, decides to intervene for the sake of David, providing food and shelter, before long, John will find himself involved in a long-standing feud. Now, faced with a cruel dilemma, John must choose between running away or putting down roots. But, can a proud Rebel find peace and love in Yankee territory? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THERE ARE NO WORDS...To express this boy's devotion to the proud man and woman he loved...and the emotional impact of the words he longed to tell them! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The $1,600,000 ($13,350,000 in 2016) budget of the film was financed by producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. through a personal loan of $1,200,000 from the Bank of America, co-signed by his father, and the rest from himself. See more »


The silver candlestick has a modern green felt bottom. See more »


Dr. Enos Davis (Quaker): Mr. Chandler, sometimes I wish I was a minister instead of a doctor. A minister can give you hope, a doctor can only give you facts.
John Chandler: Is it hopeless?
Dr. Enos Davis (Quaker): No. No. There is always hope... and faith. Does he have faith Mr. Chandler?
John Chandler: Some...
Dr. Enos Davis (Quaker): Cause they need a lot of it, though they can become awfully bitter. and bitterness can become a bad habit.
John Chandler: Same as in war.
See more »


Referenced in Breach (2007) See more »

User Reviews

This film has stood the test of time well and will grow in popularity
8 March 2003 | by marxsarxSee all my reviews

Alan Ladd plays a widower whose wife died in a fire during the Civil War. His young son (played by his real life son, David Ladd) has not been able to speak after he saw his mother die. Alan Ladd's character is trying to find a doctor to help his son. Ladd ends up with a thirty day jail sentence after being unfairly fined for a brawl which the two sons of an ambitious sheep rancher (wonderfully played by Dean Jagger) intentionally initiate. Olivia DeHavilland is a local unmarried woman who sees the predicament Alan Ladd and his son are in, and she pays the fine so that Ladd will not have to spend thirty days in jail, provided he works it off for thirty days on her farm. Michael Curtiz did a fantastic job of directing this beautiful film. Alan Ladd, Olivia DeHavilland and David Ladd are all terrific. This movie is a bit different than Ladd's classic film,"Shane", although there are some similarities. Ladd is once again the strong silent type, although he is more human in this film. David Ladd is perfectly cast as his son who can't speak. Olivia DeHavilland has just the right touch as a lonely but strong woman who quickly gets attached to the two new men in her life. The chemistry between the three leads in this film is tough to beat. The supporting actors are very good, including Cecil Kellaway, Dean Jagger, the ubiquitous film star John Carradine and Harry Dean Stanton. This movie works as a family film, which is in the end uplifting. The photography is just beautiful in this movie. "The Proud Rebel" is definitely an overlooked minor classic in the same genre as "Old Yeller", "The Yearling" and even "Shane." It has stood the test of time very well and I truly expect it will begin to grow in stature if it is shown on cable channels and available on DVD. Well worth watching for fans of the Western and Family Film genre. 90/100. Buy it if you have kids! Heck, buy it even if you don't!

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Release Date:

1 July 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Proud Rebel See more »

Filming Locations:

Kanab, Utah, USA See more »


Box Office


$1,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Formosa Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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