Grand Canyon


1h 5m 1949

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 12, 1949
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Lippert Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Screen Guild Productions, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,864ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

Movie cowboy Tex Hartford and his costar, Terry Lee, discuss with their director, Mitch Bennett, the artificiality of one of their film's sets, which is supposed to represent part of the Grand Canyon. Mitch decides to approach producer Robert L. Lippert about making the film on the actual location and convinces him to let them film there. Cowboys Mike Adams, Windy and Halfnote, who work as mule wranglers escorting tourists into the Canyon, first encounter the movie people when Tex attempts to drive his convertible down a mule trail and gets stuck. After Windy charges them fifty dollars to pull the car out with his mules, he makes a deal to rent the company ten mules. On the first day of filming, Tex complains that a mule supplied for a scene looks half asleep and demands one with more "zip." However, Mitch will not allow them to substitute an untrained animal. Once the scene, which involves Tex grooming and singing to the mule, begins, Windy fires a slingshot at the mule to liven it up, but the animal kicks Tex and sends him flying through the air. He lands awkwardly on a leg and breaks it. As Tex has to wear a cast for at least two weeks, Mitch is faced with the dilemma of being unable to shoot on an expensive location. While Mitch contemplates his problem, a gunfight is heard outside, and Halfnote, dressed as a two-gun cowboy, enters the lodge. Windy is promoting him as a substitute for Tex, but Mitch realizes that Mike really fits the bill and they could begin the picture again with him. At first, Mike tells Mitch that he has no interest in being an actor, but when Windy convinces him that the five hundred dollars per week Mitch is offering could eliminate their debts, he finally agrees. The next day, for the first take of a love scene with Terry, Mike's acting is very wooden. Mitch tries to relax him without success, so Terry suggests that they postpone that scene and work on another. After Mike invites Terry for a drive and shows her various areas of the Canyon, the arrogant Tex proposes to Terry, but she turns him down. Mike then begins filming a fight sequence, which does not go well, and that night he dreams of a long fight scene, which he wins. Several days later, Mike finally clicks and there is talk that he will be offered a term contract by Lippert. During a drive together, Mike thanks Terry for her help and they begin to fall in love. Although he has had his cast removed, Tex is still on the location and jealously arranges with Rocky Thompson, a stunt double who is to fight Mike, to make it real. A long brawl between Rocky and Mike ensues and Mike finally is victorious. However, the love scene is scheduled for the following day and Mitch arranges for Terry to take Mike to a spot where the the camera and microphones will be concealed and play the scene as if she meant it. Terry is not sure how Mike will react, but agrees to try. The small crew hides while Terry leads Mike into the set-up and begins to romance him. Mike responds well by delivering romantic dialogue, and they kiss. Later, however, Terry regrets having tricked Mike and goes to tell him, but ends up kissing him again. They are soon interrupted by Tex, who tells Mike about the trick played on him. Mike hits him and walks away from Terry. The next day, Terry tells Mitch that she really is in love with Mike. Bert, the assistant director, mentions the plot of a picture, Romance on the Range , which they made the year before, and gives Mitch an idea. He hires two "heavies" from that picture to kidnap Terry. Mike thinks the abduction is real and chases after them. A gunfight ensues and Windy reaches Mike in time to substitute Mike's gun for one loaded with blanks, which the "kidnappers" are also firing. After a brief fistfight, the villains give up, but Mike will not give Terry a rescue kiss as he has guessed their ruse, having seen Romance on the Range six times. Finally, however, they kiss.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 12, 1949
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Lippert Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Screen Guild Productions, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,864ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

An opening title reads: "The producers of this motion picture gratefully acknowledge the splendid co-operation given them in filming actual scenes of Grand Canyon at the Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. We wish to thank the Department of Interior, National Park Service and Dr. Harold C. Bryant, Superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz." Executive producer Robert L. Lippert and his assistant, Murray Lerner, appear in a brief prologue to the film which is included in the film's cutting continuity, but was missing from the viewed print. In the prologue, Lippert decides not to film at the Grand Canyon due to bad weather reports. Lippert and Lerner can also be glimpsed in one shot during a montage depicting the production's progress. The fight scene featured in "Mike's" dream was taken from The Return of Wildfire (see below), another Arlen/Lippert film. Arlen's opponent in the fight is Reed Hadley, his "director" in Grand Canyon.