The Rainbow Trail


60m 1932

Film Details

Also Known As
Zane Grey's The Rainbow Trail
Release Date
Jan 5, 1932
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Rainbow Trail by Zane Grey (New York, 1915).

Technical Specs

Duration
60m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,420ft (6 reels)

Synopsis

In Arizona, in 1885, Shefford takes a job on a pack train in order to discover the whereabouts of a secluded gold-filled gorge, "Surprise Valley," where a group of travelers were trapped fifteen years earlier while trying to elude Dyer, an infamous outlaw. The pack train arrives at its destination, a settlement where Dyer and his men keep their "women folk," and Shefford meets a young woman who, unknown to him, is Fay Larkin, one of the Surprise Valley dwellers who has been brought against her will to Dyer's quasi-brothel. Shefford tells her about Surprise Valley and his desire to find and help the people trapped there. Fearing for the safety of the couple who adopted her, Jane Withersteen and Jim Lassiter, Fay tells Shefford that "Fay" is dead and urges him to leave the area. Shefford later saves an Indian girl from the clutches of Willets, one of Dyer's outlaws, and he asks the girl's appreciative brother, Lone Eagle, if he knows about Surprise Valley. When Shefford returns to camp, Willets recognizes him and orders him to be tied up and led to a cliff's edge, but Lone Eagle arrives and threatens that the Navajos will declare war on Dyer's settlement if Shefford is not set free. After Lone Eagle tells Shefford that the young woman whom he met is really Fay Larkin, Shefford promises her that he will rescue Jane and Lassiter. Fay tells him that the valley is marked by a red stone shaped like a rainbow. Shefford goes to the valley, sees Lassiter below and throws him a note stating his promise to return the next day to rescue them. Shefford then returns to the settlement to discover Dyer stabbed. Wearing Dyer's mask and coat, Shefford escapes the area with Fay. Lone Eagle helps Shefford throw ropes down to Jane and Lassiter, as Dyer's men pursue them. Once Jane and Lassiter have been pulled out of the valley, the group heads toward the river in order to escape Dyer's men. They cross a narrow chasm over a fallen tree before disengaging it from the hillside, and thus elude their pursuers. Lone Eagle confesses that he killed Dyer and says that by protecting Fay from Dyer's advances, he was paying Shefford back for saving the woman that he loves. Fay and Shefford embrace.

Film Details

Also Known As
Zane Grey's The Rainbow Trail
Release Date
Jan 5, 1932
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Rainbow Trail by Zane Grey (New York, 1915).

Technical Specs

Duration
60m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,420ft (6 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The credits were taken from a screen credits sheet in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, and the plot summary was based on a screen continuity in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, both of which are at the UCLA Theater Arts Library. The title card of this film reads "Zane Grey's The Rainbow Trail." The novel originally appeared in serial form under the title The Desert Crucible in Argosy Magazine, May-September 1915. This film was a sequel to the 1931 Fox film Riders of the Purple Sage, which was also based on a Zane Grey novel, and which starred George O'Brien in the role of "Lassiter" (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.3749). Reviews praise the picture's views of the Grand Canyon, where some scenes were shot. New York Times notes that at the film's New York showing at the Roxy Theatre, it was shown on an enlarged screen. Hollywood Reporter erroneously states that this was David Howard's first film as a director; while it was his first feature-length English-language film as a director, he had in the previous year directed a number of Spanish-language films for Fox, most of which were also made in English-language versions by other directors.
       Fox made films based on the same source in 1918 and 1925; the 1918 film was directed by Frank Lloyd and starred William Farnum (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.3634), while the 1925 film was directed by Lynn Reynolds and starred Tom Mix (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.4438). Variety commented concerning the three versions and their stars, "In the lead role O'Brien probably resembles Farnum more than Mix. The latter made Rainbow Trail a fast-moving chase film. O'Brien is more suggestive of power than action. He's the best built guy in Hollywood and his thin jersey shirt always shows it."