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A Day in Death Valley (1944)

A tour of the arid, inhospitable region of the southern California desert known as Death Valley, originally named because of the many travelers in the 1840s who died of thirst, starvation and/or exposure trying to cross it.


James A. FitzPatrick (uncredited)


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Complete credited cast:
James A. FitzPatrick ... Narrator / Himself (voice)
Walter Scott Walter Scott ... Himself
Albert Johnson Albert Johnson ... Himself


This Traveltalks visit to California's Death Valley begins at Badwater, a small salt lake that is 282 feet below sea level, the lowest point in North America. We then travel by car to the resort at Furnace Creek, where many tourists are seen using the facility's swimming pool. We are then taken to Ryan, a mining town that flourished in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries because of its borax deposits. It is now a tourist resort where visitors can see the sights in Death Valley by riding the railroad that originally transported the borax. The last four minutes showcase the estate known as Scotty's Castle, the home of Walter Scott, known as Death Valley Scotty, and his benefactor, Albert Johnson. Narrator James A. FitzPatrick is seen arriving at the estate by car with two female companions. He introduces us to Scott and Johnson. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@verizon.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short








Release Date:

22 January 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

James A. FitzPatrick's Traveltalks: A Day in Death Valley See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Narrator FitzPatrick identifies the remaining credited cast. See more »


Home on the Range
Music by Daniel E. Kelley
Performed by the studio orchestra
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

27 November 2009 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Day in Death Valley, A (1944)

** (out of 4)

A rather too laid back and bland entry in MGM's TravelTalks series takes us to Death Valley where we learn it got its name from a pioneer who, once leaving the place, looked back at all the death it causes and called it "Death Valley". The first half of the film takes us to a Borax mine where we get to see various mines and forms of transportation that were used to get around. We learn about everyone who went there looking for gold but turned up empty handed. Once again there really aren't any major surprised in this entry but that's to be expected considering all of these had one thing in mind and that was to show places to people across the country who would never have another chance to see them for themselves. On that level this series has always worked but this here isn't one of the better entries. I thought the film wasted way too much time at the mines because we really don't learn too much and there are several small sequences where nothing is being said. The visuals here are certainly the main reason to watch the film as those deadly valleys certainly look great in Technicolor.

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