Copper Canyon


1h 24m 1950

Brief Synopsis

During post civil war, southern veterans move wet to find money to rebuild their homes and are continuously harassed.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adventure
Western
Release Date
Oct 1950
Premiere Information
New York opening: 15 Nov 1950
Production Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,510ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

Shortly after the Civil War, out West, suave vaudevillian Johnny Carter is displaying his sharpshooting skills during one of his shows, when he is spotted by former Confederate soldiers Bill Newton, Jeb Bassett and Scamper, who believe that Johnny is actually a Confederate colonel named Desmond. The veterans ask his help in defending them against discrimination in Coppertown, where they stand to lose their mining claims because they are Southerners. Johnny denies that he is Desmond and refuses to help. Meanwhile, Coppertown marshal Lane Travis and his deputy, Bat Laverne, are paid by an Eastern syndicate to run roughshod over the Southerners and prevent them from gaining a foothold in the copper mines. As a result, mine owner Moss Balfour refuses to hire any Southerner or smelt any ore belonging to a "Reb." Balfour's stance hurts mine owner Theodosius Roberts, because he is forced to send his ore out to be smelted and his wagon trains are always attacked. Roberts, who is Desmond's brother-in-law, receives a visit from Cavalry Lt. Ord, who is seeking Desmond for escaping from a Union prison with $20,000. Desmond's daughter Caroline, a war widow, defends Desmond although she has never met him, and strongly rebuffs Ord's attempt at kindness. Johnny, meanwhile, joins a vaudeville show which performs in Coppertown, and secretly works on behalf of his fellow plighted Southerners. Upon discovering that saloon hostess Lisa Roselle is involved in the plot against the Southerners, Johnny purposely pits himself against Travis as his rival for Lisa's affection. Jeb's outspokenness against Travis and Balfour leads to his murder, as well as his sons's, and there are no recriminations against Travis. Despite the violence, Roberts refuses to join the other frightened Southerners leaving Coppertown, and accepts Johnny's help in planning a safe route for his ore wagons. On the chosen night, Travis orders Lisa to distract Johnny, but he manages to ride out in time to protect the ore train and thwart Travis' ambush. Lisa, who has fallen in love with Johnny, lies to protect him from Travis, but Johnny still distrusts her. Lisa then breaks her contract with the Eastern syndicate, which is run by a man named Henderson, as a protest against Travis' brutality. Although Roberts' ore train successfully reaches the smelter, they are robbed of the proceeds and Johnny is framed for the crime. Ord and Caroline, who have fallen in love, beseech Johnny to admit he is Desmond and give himself up to the federal warrant so that Travis will not kill him, but Johnny refuses and implies that the money Desmond "stole" originally belonged to him. After his arrest, Johnny sends for Balfour from his jail cell, and using a quote from Abraham Lincoln, convinces him that discrimination is morally wrong. Travis' brutal murder of Balfour shortly after causes the remaining Southerners to panic, and they begin to sell their claims to Henderson. Freed from jail by Lisa, Johnny shreds the deeds and goes after Travis, who has fled with his gang. Johnny's military training proves invaluable as he directs two troops of volunteers to hunt down Travis' gang. Johnny is forced to kill Travis during a lengthy gunfight, after which the volunteers arrest the outlaws. Peace is restored to Coppertown, and after Caroline and Ord announce their engagement, Johnny and Lisa leave together for San Francisco.

Cast

Ray Milland

Johnny Carter

Hedy Lamarr

Lisa Roselle

Macdonald Carey

Lane Travis

Mona Freeman

Caroline Desmond

Harry Carey Jr.

Lt. Ord

Frank Faylen

Mullins

Hope Emerson

Ma Tarbet

Taylor Holmes

Theodosius Roberts

Peggy Knudsen

Cora

James Burke

Jeb Bassett

Percy Helton

Scamper

Philip Van Zandt

Sheriff Wattling

Francis Pierlot

Moss Balfour

Erno Verebes

Professor

Paul Lees

Bat Laverne

Robert Watson

Bixby

Georgia Backus

Martha Bassett

Ian Wolfe

Mr. Henderson

Bob Kortman

Bill Newton

Nina Mae Mckinney

Theresa

Betty Hannon

Showgirl/Townswoman

Joanne Linville

Showgirl

Dorothy Abbott

Showgirl

Mary Brewer

Showgirl

Marguerite Campbell

Showgirl

Marion Colby

Showgirl

Maxine Gates

Showgirl

John Sheehan

Bookeeper

Bill Steele

Roper

Buddy Roosevelt

Lew Partridge

Jacqueline Park

Showgirl on stagecoach

Julia Faye

Proprietor's wife

Joe Whitehead

Proprietor

Blayney Lewis

Boy

Ann Cavendish

Girl

Roscoe Behan

Dealer

Henry Guttman

Croupier

Harry Cording

Miner

William Haade

Miner

Earle Hodgins

Miner

Robert Stephenson

Miner

Raymond Bond

Miner

Harry Templeton

Miner

John Sheehan

Miner

Len Hendry

Bartender/Smelter guard/Deputy/Southerner

Stanley Andrews

Bartender

Ethan Laidlaw

Deputy

Russell Kaplan

Deputy

John Marchek

Bassett boy

Johnny Michaels

Bassett boy

Geraldine E. Jordan

Townswoman

Geraldine Farnum

Townswoman

Alyn Lockwood

Townswoman

Dorothy Barrett

Townswoman

Jeanne Roberts

Townswoman

Sally Yarnell

Townswoman

Alan Dinehart Iii

Youngest Bassett boy

John Trebach

Waiter

Les Gotcher

Square dance caller

Carl Myles

Square dance caller

Erville Alderson

Southerner

Trevor Bardette

Southerner

Rex Lease

Southerner

Frank Cordell

Southerner

James Cornell

Southerner

John Sheehan

Southerner

Ray Bennett

Southerner

Don House

Southerner

Lester Dorr

Guard

Stuart Holmes

Townsman/Barber

Frank Hagney

Travis man

Jimmie Dundee

Travis man

Herman Nowlin

Wagon driver

Kit Guard

Storekeeper/Miner

Gerry Ganzer

Pat Lane

William Hamel

Connie Montoya

Hank Bell

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adventure
Western
Release Date
Oct 1950
Premiere Information
New York opening: 15 Nov 1950
Production Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,510ft (9 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Paramount postponed the release of this film to coincide with the release of the song "Copper Canyon." Some scenes were shot on location near Flagstaff, AZ, and at Vasquez Rocks in Chatsworth, CA.