Klondike Kate


1h 4m 1943

Brief Synopsis

Molly (Glenda Farrell) and her troupe of dancing girls and "entertainers", sent for by saloon owner "Sometime" Smith, arrive in a Klondike mining town by train. Smith is out of town and rival saloon owner Jefferson Braddock (Tom Neal) signs the girls up to work in his saloon. Also arriving is Katherine (Kate) O'Day, with a deed of ownership, willed her by her father, to Braddock's saloon. She hires attorney and self-appointed Judge Horace Crawford (George Cleveland) to handle her ownership claim, but she soon sees that the deck has been stacked against her when Crawford works the trial as the judge and also the lawyer for both sides. She takes a job as singer in the saloon, replacing Lita (Constance Worth) both as star and Braddock's "favorite." Lita helps Smith win a crooked-and-staged game of "High Card" giving Smith ownership of Braddock's saloon. But Smith double-crosses her and she shoots him somewhat dead, and Braddock is accused of the killing, and is about to be lynched.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 16, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,514ft

Synopsis

In 1897, in the the lawless, bawdy world of the Klondike, the town of Totem Pole goes mad one afternoon when word spreads that a troupe of showgirls is arriving from San Francisco. On the same train as the entertainers is Kathleen O'Day, who has come to the Klondike to take possession of a piece of property left to her by her late father. Jefferson Braddock, proprietor of the great Northern Lights Hotel and Dance Hall, meets the girls at the train and offers the troupe's manager, Molly, twice the money they were originally promised by his competitor, "Sometime" Smith, to work at his establishment instead. After engaging Judge Horace Crossit as her attorney, Kate learns that the property willed to her is the hotel and dance hall owned by Jeff. When confronted with the deed, Jeff claims that he bought the property from a man named Wilkins and suggests they take the case to court. Kate soon learns that Klondike justice is a rough-and-ready affair. During the trial, which is held at the dance hall the next morning, Judge Crossit functions as Kate's attorney, as well as the presiding judge and Jeff's lawyer. Disgusted by the sham, Kate marches out of the room. Over the following days, Jeff becomes romantically interested in Kate. She exploits his interest by asking for a job as a singer and then becomes a smash hit, thus engendering the jealousy of Lita, Jeff's former sweetheart and featured singer. Meanwhile, Smith has neither forgotten nor forgiven Jeff for stealing his showgirls. After secretly arranging for Lita to plant a marked deck of cards on the premises, Smith makes Jeff a sporting proposition: his place against Jeff's on the turn of a card. When Jeff accepts, Smith calls for a deck of cards, and Lita brings him the marked one. After losing, Jeff carefully inspects the cards and discovers the markings. When he challenges Smith to a duel, Kate, who has fallen in love with Jeff, urges that any gunplay between the two be conducted according to the law: the one killed will be buried, the other hanged. After the grizzled miners overwhelmingly pass Kate's edict, the gunfight is called off. When Lita demands $10,000 for her role in cheating Jeff, Smith refuses to pay her, and she shoots him. After Smith is found murdered, his henchmen incite a mob to storm Jeff's place and enforce Kate's law. Convinced of Jeff's innocence, Kate sends a faithful employee to the mine for reinforcements. In the ensuing battle, an oil lamp is overturned, and Jeff's place is razed by fire. Ruefully, Kate and Jeff stare at the gutted ruins and then decide to rebuild their lives together.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 16, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,514ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although onscreen credits note that this film was suggested by "the life of Kate Rockwell Matson, the original 'Klondike Kate,'" the Hollywood Reporter review claims that the picture bears little resemblance to Matson's life. The film opens with a written preface that places the town of Totem Pole within the rough-and-ready milieu of the Klondike.