In Old California


1h 28m 1942

Brief Synopsis

Boston pharmacist Tom Craig comes to Sacramento, where he runs afoul of local political boss Britt Dawson, who exacts protection payment from the citizenry. Dawson frames Craig with poisoned medicine, but Craig redeems himself during a Gold Rush epidemic.

Film Details

Also Known As
Gold Runs the River
Release Date
May 31, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Big Tujunga, California, United States; Kernville, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 28m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,886ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

In the late 1840s, Boston pharmacist Tom Craig decides to move West to open a drugstore. On the way from San Francisco to Sacramento, he runs afoul of Britt Dawson, a gunslinger who owns a Sacramento saloon and terrorizes local ranchers into signing over their land to him. Tom also meets Dawson's fiancée, singer Lacey Miller, who is impressed by Tom's gentility. Upon reaching Sacramento, Tom discovers that Dawson has ordered the local storekeepers not to rent him space for his pharmacy. Tom convinces Lacey, who owns a space next to the saloon, to become his partner, however, and soon his store is doing good business. Tom is oblivious to Lacey's romantic interest in him, and falls in love with visiting San Francisco socialite Ellen Sanford. Ellen does not love Tom, but realizes that with her influential father's help, she can transform him into a prominent businessman in San Francisco. Lacey sees through Ellen's façade of sweetness and does everything she can to keep the pair apart, but to no avail, for Tom proposes as Ellen is leaving for home. Soon after, Tom and his friend, Kegs McKeever, are able to organize the ranchers and prevent Dawson and his brother Joe from taking over the Higgins farm. Although Lacey forbids Dawson from exacting revenge, he doctors one of Tom's tonics with laudanum, and Whitey, the town drunk, dies after drinking it. Dawson organizes a mob to lynch Tom, but he is forgotten when a miner rushes into town and declares that a huge gold strike has been found. Soon the town becomes almost deserted as everyone, including the Dawsons, hurries to stake a claim. Later, when the marshal refuses to let him reopen his store, Tom prepares to join Ellen in San Francisco. Before Tom can leave, however, Dawson returns and goads him into a fistfight. The marshal refuses to listen to Tom's side of the story and incarcerates him for sixty days. While he is in jail, Lacey comes to say goodbye to him before she travels to the camps to entertain the miners. Upon arriving at the camps, Lacey learns that almost everyone is ill with typhoid fever, and sends Kegs back to Sacramento to get Tom's help. Tom is released from jail, and after organizing a shipment of medical supplies, convinces those remaining in town to come with him to the camps to help the others. Ellen, who has arrived to take Tom back to San Francisco with her, warns him that their engagement will be over if he goes to the camps, but he leaves with Kegs anyway. Dawson, Joe and their gang attempt to hijack the medical supplies wagons so that they can sell them to the highest bidder, but when Dawson learns that Lacey is in one of the camps stricken with the fever, he helps the townsfolk fight off the gang. Dawson is shot by Joe during the fracas, and Tom takes him to Lacey. While he is dying, Dawson confesses that he poisoned Tom's tonic. Soon, the fever is contained, and Tom and Lacey embrace as they watch the healthy miners returning to Sacramento.

Film Details

Also Known As
Gold Runs the River
Release Date
May 31, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Big Tujunga, California, United States; Kernville, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 28m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,886ft (9 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Gold Runs the River, which was the title of J. Robert Bren and Gladys Atwater's original story. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, actor Albert Dekker was borrowed from Paramount for the production, and the picture was shot on location in Kernville and Big Tujunga, California. Hollywood Reporter also reported that locations in the Sherwood Lake region of Southern California were being scouted, but it has not been determined if any of the picture was filmed there. In Old California marked the motion picture debut of actress Rhonda Fleming. Modern sources include the following actors in the cast: Frank McGlynn, Jack Kirk, Horace B. Carpenter, Olin Howlin, Chester Conklin, Ralph Peters, Frank Ellis, Bud Osborne, Art Mix, Merrill McCormack, Ed Brady, and Bob Woodward.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1942

Released in United States 1942