skip navigation
The Squaw Man

The Squaw Man(1931)


TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

In England, the wealthy Capt. James Wyngate contributes £100 to a collection for orphans of the regiment to which his cousin Henry, Earl of Kerhill, belonged. When Henry, who has been embezzling the funds, learns that his accomplice Hardwick committed suicide after being caught stealing the money, he too decides to kill himself. Henry attempts suicide, but is talked out of it by James, who is in love with Henry's wife Diana and sets himself up as the embezzlement suspect in order to save Diana from shame. When an announcement is made of the missing money, James plans an immediate departure for America. Diana tries to stop him from leaving and pleads with him to stay and prove his innocence, but her protestations prove to be ineffective, and he leaves. In America, James adopts a new name, Jim Carsten, and takes up residence on a ranch in Arizona. However, he soon finds himself at odds with a local tough named Cash Hawkins, who wants to buy Jim out and get his land. Jim and his friends, Shorty and Big Bill, manage to ward off an unfriendly visit by Hawkins and his entourage, who have come to persuade Jim to sell to them. Later, at a local tavern, the unscrupulous Hawkins nearly gets an Indian, Tabywana, to give him his cattle by bribing him with liquor, until Naturich, an Indian girl who witnesses the offense, tears up the contract. Hawkins grabs Naturich by the hair, but she is saved by Jim. After Hawkins receives a mild reproach for his crime from the sheriff, he swears revenge upon Jim. Meanwhile, when Jim reads an article in an English journal containing highlights of the polo season, he sees a picture of Diana, becomes melancholy and gets drunk. When the angry Hawkins shows up at Jim's looking for trouble, Jim is so drunk and upset that he shows little interest in the outlaw's murder threats. As Hawkins prepares to shoot Jim, who makes no attempt to defend himself, a shot rings out and Hawkins is killed. The sheriff arrives, and although he sniffs everyone's guns looking for the killer, he is unable to find the murder weapon. Later, when Jim goes into the desert, he is followed by Naturich, who confesses that she killed Hawkins out of gratitude. Seven years after Jim's departure from England, Henry dies in a riding accident, and Diana learns that he had been unfaithful to her. When Diana receives word of Jim's whereabouts from the Baldwin Investigating Co., which she had commissioned to find him, she and her brother, Sir John Applegate Kerhill, go to America to find him. Upon their arrival, John and Diana discover that Jim has married a squaw and that he had a child named Little Hal. John tells Jim that, before his death, Henry told the truth about his embezzlment scheme and the cover-up, and that he is now a hero in London. Though Jim is eager to return to England, he refuses to leave Naturich, who would have no place there. Instead, he agrees to let John and Diana take the boy back with them in order to give him a proper upbringing. Naturich resists the visitors' attempts to take her child away and is forced into hiding when the sheriff comes looking for her with evidence that she murdered Hawkins. Naturich shoots herself after watching her son being taken away by the foreigners, and Jim holds her until she dies.