Jubilee Trail

1h 43m 1954

Brief Synopsis

A pregnant widow ventures West in search of a new life.

Film Details

Release Date
May 15, 1954
Premiere Information
World premiere in New Orleans, LA: 15 Jan 1954; New York opening: 30 Apr 1954
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Jubilee Trail by Gwen Bristow (New York, 1950).

Technical Specs

1h 43m
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color (Trucolor)


In 1845, trader Oliver Hale is returning to California with his bride Garnet, whom he met during his business trip to New York. The newlyweds are dining in a New Orleans music hall, where Garnet is fascinated by the "shocking" performance of the show's star. When Oliver steps away briefly to converse with a colleague, the performer rescues Garnet from the advances of two presumptuous men, then introduces herself as Florinda Grove. Later, at their hotel, a New York detective who claims that Florinda is wanted for murder, is searching for her, but the Hales, believing her innocent, disguise and smuggle her aboard a riverboat headed for St. Louis. Eventually the newlyweds join a wagon train traveling the Jubilee Trail. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, they re-encounter Florinda, who now keeps house for "Deacon" John Bartlett, a mule trader who is nicknamed for the fiery sermons he preaches when drunk. While Oliver is away on a short business trip to Taos, Oliver's friend, John Ives, comes to town looking for him and before realizing who she is, kisses Garnet flirtatiously. Upon learning that Oliver is married, Ives waits for his return to deliver personally a letter from Oliver's brother Charles. The letter informs Oliver that, while he has been away, Charles has arranged for him to marry Carmelita Velasco, a girl he got pregnant, whose father owns a large Spanish land tract that Charles covets. After reading the letter, Oliver procrastinates telling Garnet about the problem, despite Ives's counsel to prepare her. Later, Florinda, dressed in a glittery dance hall costume, sings at a cantina, where the outraged Bartlett slaps her for being a "jezebel." An admiring gambler, Silky Van Dorn, comes to Florinda's defense, starting a cantina-wide brawl. Days later, when Ives and the Hales leave with a horse pack caravan, Silky and Florinda, who are now business partners destined for Los Angeles, join them. During the trip, Garnet discovers Charles' letter and Ives tries to console her, but attacking Indians interrupt their conversation. The group fends off the attackers, but Garnet is wounded in the battle and treated by Texas, a doctor who was dishonorably discharged from the Army for drunkenness. Watching Garnet's quiet display of courage, Ives's concern for her grows. Meanwhile, at the Hale ranch, the Velascos wait with Oliver's newborn son, but leave after learning that Oliver is married. After Oliver and Garnet arrive, the resentful Charles blames Garnet for ruining his plans to build an empire and takes every opportunity to insult her. Oliver admits that he never loved Carmelita, but Garnet feels only sorrow for the young woman and her baby. Meanwhile, the Siberian-born trapper Nicolai, a charming, heavy-drinking friend of the family, is introduced to Florinda, who nicknames him "Handsome Brute," and the caravan, with Ives, Florinda, Silky and Nicolai, resumes its course toward Los Angeles. However, after hearing from a scout that Carmelita has committed suicide, Ives returns to the ranch. That evening, Velasco family members kill Oliver and demand revenge on Garnet, but Ives stands them down and takes her to Los Angeles. Months later, Garnet, who is pregnant with Oliver's child, resides above Florinda and Silky's swanky saloon, and Ives and Nicolai remain close at hand. Texas remains sober, so that he is able to assist Garnet when her son Stephen is born. Observing Texas, Florinda says that everyone in the city seems to have a "past" that is better left behind. Later, California becomes part of the United States and Ives is hired to guide U.S. troops into Los Angeles. While he is away, Charles begins a series of attempts to take Stephen away. The second time he arrives with gunmen, but Ives shows up in time to stop them. Longing to be safe from Charles, Garnet considers returning to New York. Despite his suppressed passion for Garnet, Ives feels unable to settle down with her and explains how he spent his orphaned childhood feeling trapped amidst unloving relatives. Later, Charles finds Garnet and the toddler Stephen at the bedside of the dying Texas. Falsely claiming legal custody of Stephen, Charles tries to take the child away, but Texas shoots him from his bed. Capt. Brown of the U.S. Army, who investigates Charles' death, admires Garnet and later proposes to her. When Garnet tries to convince herself that she and Ives are not in love, Florinda finally confides how her own love, an abusive husband, killed himself and their child in a fire he started, and she was blamed for his death. Although she advises Garnet to forget about love and marry for comfort, Florinda is later upset to find herself in love with Nicolai. When gold is found at Sutter's Mill, Florinda decides to set up a restaurant there. Ives is also planning to go, but after a long trip away from Garnet, has realized how much he needs her, and asks her to come along. As they make new plans, Silky, Florinda, Nicolai, Ives and Garnet drink a toast to the future.


Vera Ralston

Florinda Grove

Joan Leslie

Garnet Hale

Forrest Tucker

John Ives

John Russell

Oliver Hale

Ray Middleton

Charles Hale

Pat O'brien


Buddy Baer

Nicolai, also known as Handsome Brute

Jim Davis

Silky Van Dorn

Barton Maclane

"Deacon" John Bartlett

Richard Webb

Capt. Brown

James Millican


Nina Varela

Doña Manuela

Martin Garralaga

Don Rafael Velasco

Charles Stevens


Jack Elam


Nacho Galindo


Don Beddoe

Mr. Maury

John Holland

Mr. Drake

William Haade


Alan Bridge

Mr. Turner

John Halloran

Turner man

Sayre Dearing

Turner man

Stephen Chase

Mr. Forbes

Daniel M. White


Eugene Borden


Don Haggerty


Morris Buchanan


Rodolfo Hoyos


Rico Alaniz


Bud Wolfe


Paul Stader


Marshall Reed


Maurice Jara


Rosa Turich

Senora Silva

Manuel Lopez

Senor Silva

Perry Lopez

Silva's son

Richard Dodge


Claire Carleton


Peter Ortiz


Victor Sen Yung


Edward Colmans

Orosco guest

George Navarro

Orosco guest

Frank Puglia


John Mooney


Grant Withers

Maj. Lyndon

Alma Beltran

Servant girl

Anna Navarro


Pepe Hern


Glenn Strange

Tom Branders

Joe Dominguez


Felipe Turich


Ted Smile

Velasco's son

Robert "buzz" Henry

Velasco's son

Gloria Varela


Linda Dangcil


Tex Terry


Rocky Shahan

Mexican rider

Chuck Hayward

Velasco rider

Bob Burrows

Velasco rider

Pilar Del Rey

Carmelita Velasco

James Lilburn

Sgt. Aherne

Jack O'shea


Tina Menard


Andy Brennan


Raymond Johnson


Manuel Paris


Brett Houston

Man at bar

Bill Chandler

Handsome man at table

Norman Kent

Drunk at table

Lee Van Cleef

Charles Hale's henchman

Frances Dominguez

Emil Sitka

Emmett Lynn

Joe Ploski

Film Details

Release Date
May 15, 1954
Premiere Information
World premiere in New Orleans, LA: 15 Jan 1954; New York opening: 30 Apr 1954
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Jubilee Trail by Gwen Bristow (New York, 1950).

Technical Specs

1h 43m
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color (Trucolor)




The opening title card reads: "Jubilee Trail Novel by Gwen Bristow." October and November 1951 Hollywood Reporter news items reported that Republic acquired Bristow's best-selling novel, Jubilee Trail, for an unusually high six-figure sum, and planned to cast John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in the lead roles. According to a February 1952 Daily Variety news item, Republic leased the property, paying Bristow an advance and agreeing to give her a straight percentage of the film's gross. The news item noted that this deal, which gave the writer a long-term opportunity to gain from the success of the film, rather than a flat sum, was the first of its kind made by Republic. Bristow's husband, writer-producer Bruce Manning, wrote the screenplay. A modern sources adds Charles Sullivan and Ralph Brooks to the cast. The world premiere of the film was held in New Orleans, Bristow's hometown.