Nevada Smith


2h 8m 1966
Nevada Smith

Brief Synopsis

A part-Indian cowboy avenges his parents' murder.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Action
Western
Release Date
Jan 1966
Premiere Information
Miami, Florida, opening: 10 Jun 1966
Production Company
Embassy Pictures; Solar Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Inyo National Forest, California, USA; Owens Valley, California, USA
Screenplay Information
Based on a character in the novel The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins (New York, 1961).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 8m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1, 2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Max Sand is a young halfbreed living in the mountain and desert West of the 1890's. One day three gunslingers torture and kill his parents. Swearing an oath of vengeance, Max makes a funeral pyre out of the family shack and sets out to track down the killers. He is befriended by Jonas Cord, a traveling gunsmith and ammunition maker, who tries to dissuade him from his mission but, failing that, teaches him how to defend himself with a gun. Searching town after town, Max eventually finds one of his parents' murderers, Jesse Coe, and kills him in a brutal knife fight. After his own wounds have been cared for by Neesa, a Kiowa girl, Max heads for Louisiana, where a second killer is serving a prison sentence. Max stages a fake holdup, is thrown into jail, feigns friendship with the man, Bill Bowdre, and joins him in an escape. Aided by an amorous Cajun girl, the two men make their way through the swamps. As they reach freedom, Max reveals his true identity and guns down Bowdre; the girl also dies from a snakebite. Five years have passed since Max began his vendetta, and he has changed from a naive cowhand into a hardened criminal. Finally, Max finds the last man, Tom Fitch. In the showdown, Max shoots his opponent in both legs but is unable to kill him. He throws away his guns and rides off to ask Jonas Cord for a job; calling himself Nevada Smith, he hopes to make a new life for himself.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Action
Western
Release Date
Jan 1966
Premiere Information
Miami, Florida, opening: 10 Jun 1966
Production Company
Embassy Pictures; Solar Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Inyo National Forest, California, USA; Owens Valley, California, USA
Screenplay Information
Based on a character in the novel The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins (New York, 1961).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 8m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1, 2.35 : 1

Articles

Nevada Smith


A follow-up to The Carpetbaggers (1964), Nevada Smith (1966) finds McQueen in the Alan Ladd role, but traces his background in a manner that we'd today call a "prequel." Young Nevada finds his parents brutally slain by a gang of thugs (led by Martin Landau), then teams up with an aging gunfighter (Brian Keith) to learn the skills of gunplay and find the men who murdered his family. A fairly routine story is given life by McQueen's flinty screen presence, with Suzanne Pleshette cast improbably as a Cajun farm worker and character actors like Pat Hingle, Howard Da Silva, Gene Evans and Lyle Bettger rounding things out.

Hathaway was faced with staggering logistical problems, with the movie set amidst 42 locations (in the California mountain ranges of the Long Pine, Bishop and Mammoth mountains) and with 68 speaking parts to contend with. Cinematographer Lucien Ballard used the spectacular scenery to full advantage; Hathaway had used the mountains so many times before that Ballard's camera never catches the same place twice.

Interestingly, McQueen's role is quite similar to his character on the then-popular TV series Wanted: Dead Or Alive, with the exception being that bounty hunter Josh Randall stalked men for money while Nevada Smith hunted them for vengeance. Still, it's intriguing to think of McQueen's volatile nature running up against Henry Hathaway's authoritarian direction in this film.

Producer/Director: Henry Hathaway
Screenplay: John Michael Hayes
Cinematography: Lucien Ballard
Editor: Frank Bracht
Art direction: Hal Pereira, Tambi Larsen, Al Roelofs
Music: Alfred Newman
Cast: Steve McQueen (Nevada Smith/Max Sand), Karl Malden (Tom Fitch), Brian Keith (Jonas Cord), Arthur Kennedy (Bill Bowdre), Suzanne Pleshette (Pilar), Pat Hingle (Big Foot Work Camp Trustee), Raf Vallone (Father Zaccardi), Martin Landau (Jesse Coe), Howard De Silva (Warden of Work Camp), Paul Fix (Sheriff Bonnell), Gene Evans (Sam Sand).
C-131m. Closed captioning.

by Jerry Renshaw
Nevada Smith

Nevada Smith

A follow-up to The Carpetbaggers (1964), Nevada Smith (1966) finds McQueen in the Alan Ladd role, but traces his background in a manner that we'd today call a "prequel." Young Nevada finds his parents brutally slain by a gang of thugs (led by Martin Landau), then teams up with an aging gunfighter (Brian Keith) to learn the skills of gunplay and find the men who murdered his family. A fairly routine story is given life by McQueen's flinty screen presence, with Suzanne Pleshette cast improbably as a Cajun farm worker and character actors like Pat Hingle, Howard Da Silva, Gene Evans and Lyle Bettger rounding things out. Hathaway was faced with staggering logistical problems, with the movie set amidst 42 locations (in the California mountain ranges of the Long Pine, Bishop and Mammoth mountains) and with 68 speaking parts to contend with. Cinematographer Lucien Ballard used the spectacular scenery to full advantage; Hathaway had used the mountains so many times before that Ballard's camera never catches the same place twice. Interestingly, McQueen's role is quite similar to his character on the then-popular TV series Wanted: Dead Or Alive, with the exception being that bounty hunter Josh Randall stalked men for money while Nevada Smith hunted them for vengeance. Still, it's intriguing to think of McQueen's volatile nature running up against Henry Hathaway's authoritarian direction in this film. Producer/Director: Henry Hathaway Screenplay: John Michael Hayes Cinematography: Lucien Ballard Editor: Frank Bracht Art direction: Hal Pereira, Tambi Larsen, Al Roelofs Music: Alfred Newman Cast: Steve McQueen (Nevada Smith/Max Sand), Karl Malden (Tom Fitch), Brian Keith (Jonas Cord), Arthur Kennedy (Bill Bowdre), Suzanne Pleshette (Pilar), Pat Hingle (Big Foot Work Camp Trustee), Raf Vallone (Father Zaccardi), Martin Landau (Jesse Coe), Howard De Silva (Warden of Work Camp), Paul Fix (Sheriff Bonnell), Gene Evans (Sam Sand). C-131m. Closed captioning. by Jerry Renshaw

Quotes

Trivia

The name Nevada Smith was the inspiration for the name Indiana Jones.

In the scene in the cattle pens when Max ('Steve McQueen' ) fights Jessie Coe (Martin Landau), Max crouches behind a fence and opens the gate to let the cattle out. Some cattle come out the gate while others knock down the fence, and Max must dodge the flailing legs and hooves of the stampeding cattle. The knocking down of the fence was accidental, and Steve McQueen was very nearly trampled for real. Shots of Max rolling clear of the hooves were added when it was decided to use the accidental footage.

Notes

Copyright length: 139 min. Location scenes filmed in the Inyo National Forest and in Owens Valley, California.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States December 31, 1965

Released in United States Summer June 10, 1966

This was sort of written as a sequel to "The Carpetbaggers" by basing the film on the character from the predecessor.

Released in USA on video.

Released in United States December 31, 1965 (Miami)

Released in United States Summer June 10, 1966