Michigan Kid


1h 9m 1947

Film Details

Also Known As
Rex Beach's Michigan Kid
Release Date
Mar 1947
Premiere Information
New York opening: 21 Feb 1947
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Suggested by the short story "The Michigan Kid" by Rex Beach in Goose Woman, and Other Stories (New York, 1925).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 9m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Cinecolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Upon his discharge from the Cavalry, Indian fighter Jim Rowen, the illustrious ex-lawman from Nevada known as "The Michigan Kid," bids farewell to his friends, Lanny Slade, Dave Boyd and Steve Randolph, and heads for Rawhide, Arizona, where he plans to settle on a ranch he has just purchased. After Jim's horse goes lame, he flags down a stagecoach and meets driver Buster and passenger Pop Dawson, a kindly old man who has stashed $50,000 in his suitcase. When a gang of road agents led by Curley Davis attacks the stage, Dawson is wounded and jumps out of the carriage clutching his cash-laden suitcase. Jumping on one of the outlaws' horses, Jim routs the gang and thwarts the robbery. As he rides back toward the stage, Jim spots the dying Dawson slumped along the trail. After scratching a message onto the back of his pocket watch, Dawson hands the watch to Jim along with a letter addressed to his niece, Sue Dawson, and asks Jim to mail the letter and deposit the watch in the Rawhide bank under Sue's name. At the bank, Jim runs into Curley, who harbors a grudge against him for foiling a previous holdup. As revenge, Curley orders his men to torch Jim's ranch house. When the Rawhide sheriff responds with indifference to Jim's report of arson, Jim wires his old friends Lanny, Steve and Dave for help. Soon after, Sue arrives in town and bumps into Jim. When Sue appears at the bank to claim her uncle's watch, Porter, the teller who is in league with Curley to locate Dawson's lost suitcase, notifies Curley. Soon after, a masked Curley bursts into the bank, gun in hand, and steals the watch. Furious, the tomboyish Sue slugs Curley and then shoots it out with Porter. Drawn by the sound of gunfire, Jim runs into the bank, followed by the sheriff. After Curley escapes, Sue accuses Jim of being involved in the robbery and Porter testifies that Sue and Jim masterminded the theft. Confounded, the sheriff arrests Jim and Sue. As Lanny, Dave and Steve near town, they learn of Jim's arrest for robbery. Meanwhile, Porter and Buster, who is the real mastermind behind the outlaws, try to decipher the message that Dawson scratched onto the watch: "27 paces due south." Realizing that Sue's letter must provide the key to the puzzle, Buster decides to break Jim and Sue out of jail and tricks the sheriff into releasing his prisoners by telling him that the town is forming a lynch mob. After the sheriff loads Jim and Sue into his wagon and heads out of town, Curley and his gang ambush them. As the sheriff fends off their assailants, Jim and Sue leap into an onrushing river and then take refuge in a deserted cabin. When Sue declares that she can identify the man who stole her watch by his curly hair, Jim sneaks out of the cabin and kidnaps Curley. When Jim returns to the cabin with his captive, Sue, dressed in men's clothes, slips out the back and slashes the cinch on Jim's saddle. After handcuffing Curley to the rafters, Jim jumps onto his horse to follow Sue, but soon falls off along with his saddle. Meanwhile, Steve, Lanny and Dave arrive in town and pretend to be Jim's adversaries. Soon after, Sue rides into town and Porter immediately alerts the sheriff to her presence. While being pursued by the sheriff and his posse as well as Lanny, Dave and Steve, Sue meets Jim along the trail. After swapping horses with her, Jim sidetracks the posse and then welcomes his friends. Meanwhile, Buster catches up to Sue and, pretending to be her friend, learns that Curley is imprisoned in the cabin. As Jim nears, Buster rides off to free Curley. Upon returning to the cabin, Jim and Sue are taken prisoner by Curley and Buster, who then snatch Sue's letter. Directed to Lone Pine by the letter, Curley and Buster lash Jim and Sue to a rafter and then head out to find the treasure. Soon after, Steve, Dave and Lanny arrive at the cabin, followed by the sheriff and his posse. Pretending that Jim and Sue are their prisoners, Lanny, Steve and Dave turn them over to the sheriff and then hurry to Lone Pine. They arrive too late, however, because Buster and Curley have already claimed the cash and returned to town to deposit it in the bank. To create a diversion, Steve gallops into town with news of a rich gold strike. As the greedy citizenry frantically scrambles to leave town and claim their fortunes, Steve, Lanny and Dave sneak into the jail, free Jim and Sue and force the sheriff to help them rob the bank. At the bank, Jim produces Dawson's suitcase from behind the counter, thus proving his innocence. Just then, Curley and Buster burst in and after taking them prisoner, Jim pulls Dawson's watch and letter from Buster's pocket. After Porter breaks down and confesses all, the sheriff exonerates Jim and arrests the real outlaws. Hurrying out of town before the disappointed citizenry returns, Jim and Sue embark on a contentious married life together.

Film Details

Also Known As
Rex Beach's Michigan Kid
Release Date
Mar 1947
Premiere Information
New York opening: 21 Feb 1947
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Suggested by the short story "The Michigan Kid" by Rex Beach in Goose Woman, and Other Stories (New York, 1925).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 9m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Cinecolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

This was Universal-International's first Western.

Notes

In the film's onscreen credits, the title card reads: "Rex Beach's Michigan Kid." Although the film was photographed in color, the viewed print was in black and white. An April 1946 Hollywood Reporter production chart places William Ching in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The 1928 Universal-Jewell film of the same title, directed by Irvin Willit and starring Renée Adorée and Red Esmelton, was also based on Beach's story (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.3577).