Sand


1h 18m 1949

Brief Synopsis

Jeff Keane's expensive showhorse escapes from a train and runs wild in the Colorado wilderness. Keane searches for the horse while the horse learns the ways of the wild.

Film Details

Also Known As
Will James' Sand
Release Date
Jul 1949
Premiere Information
World premiere in Denver, CO: 28 Jun 1949
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Durango, Colorado, United States; Pagoda Springs, Colorado, United States; San Juan National Forest, Colorado, United States
Screenplay Information
Inspired by the novel Sand by Will James (New York, 1929).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,990ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

One night, after a cattle roundup and branding on the Hartley ranch in Colorado, a wild stallion lures away Lady, a pinto mare belonging to foreman Chick Palmer. Chick shoots at the stallion, but hits Lady by mistake and has to destroy her. Chick wants to go after the stallion, but Joan Hartley tells him that the horse might be a show stallion that recently fled from a fire aboard a train passing through the area. Joan decides to notify the owner, Jeff Keane, who arrives by air a few days later. Jeff, who runs one of the country's largest stables of show horses, takes Joan and her grandfather over the area in his light plane to see if they can spot the horse. They eventually find the horse and Jeff is able to identify it as his show horse, Jubilee. Joan invites Jeff to stay at the ranch, and over dinner he tells Joan and her grandfather about Jubilee's life. He explains that he was present when Jubilee was born and that the horse was being shipped West when the railroad car in which he was traveling caught fire. When the train was halted and the door opened, Jubilee headed for the hills. Jeff went after him on another horse but couldn't find him. Meanwhile, Jubilee encountered a mountain lion cub and was chased off by its mother then two Indians found Jubilee and tried to brand him but lost him. After dinner, Joan introduces Jeff to Chick, who tells him about the incident with Lady and requests compensation from Jeff for his loss. Jeff refuses when he learns that Chick shot at Jubilee. However, he does offer Chick $2,500 if he can bring the horse in. As the ranch is still busy with the cattle roundup, Joan and Gramps show Jeff how to reach the meadow where they believe Jubilee might be, and he heads off alone on horseback. Jeff finds Jubilee quickly but the horse is seriously spooked and runs off. Using wood from a nearby beaver dam, Jeff repairs an abandoned corral and tethers the mare he has been riding inside it. At night Jubilee comes to visit and enters the corral, but attacks Jeff when he approaches and runs off with the mare. As soon as the cattle roundup finishes, Joan assigns some of the ranch hands to help Jeff. Later, Jeff, Chick and two of the hands spot the horses, catch the mare and use her again to try to trap Jubilee. Chick succeeds in roping the horse, which attacks him and runs off. When Chick tries to shoot Jubilee, Jeff deflects his aim. They fight and Jeff is knocked unconscious when he falls against a rock. The others then arrive and Chick tells them that Jeff fell from his horse but they don't believe him. Back at the ranch, Joan, who has fallen in love with Jeff, dismisses Chick, who then threatens to go after Jubilee again. Taking the threat seriously, Jeff and Joan ride off to find Jubilee. Meanwhile, Jubilee has a fight with a wild stallion and kills him. Jeff and Joan encounter an old prospector who claims he was bitten by Jubilee. That night Jubilee comes into Jeff and Joan's camp, approaches the sleeping Joan and is about to stomp her when Jeff chases him off. Jeff realizes that Jubilee has gone almost completely wild and that it may not be possible to rehabilitate him. When Joan and Jeff spot Chick stalking Jubilee with his rifle, Jeff disarms him but asks him to help catch Jubilee by roping him. Although they manage to rope Jubilee, Jeff is unable to settle him down. Fearing that if they turn him loose he may kill someone, Jeff very reluctantly decides to shoot Jubilee. However, at the very last moment, Jubilee allows Jeff to touch and ride him. Chick then decides to move on to Texas, while Jeff, Joan and Jubilee head back to the ranch together.

Film Details

Also Known As
Will James' Sand
Release Date
Jul 1949
Premiere Information
World premiere in Denver, CO: 28 Jun 1949
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Durango, Colorado, United States; Pagoda Springs, Colorado, United States; San Juan National Forest, Colorado, United States
Screenplay Information
Inspired by the novel Sand by Will James (New York, 1929).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,990ft (8 reels)

Award Nominations

Best Cinematography

1949

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's title card reads: "Will James' Sand." A written acknowledgment at the end of the film reads: "Grateful acknowledgement is made to the Forest Service and the State of Colorado for assistance in photographing this picture in the beautiful location in San Juan National Forest and in the State of Colorado." According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, after the great success of Fox's 1946 film Smoky, producer Robert Bassler persuaded studio head Darryl F. Zanuck to acquire another Will James story. In September 1947, the studio bought rights to Sand from Will James's literary heirs for the sum of $8,500, but the film bears little resemblance to the novel.
       Exterior filming for Sand was done on a ranch leased from J. R. Stevens of Pagoda Springs CO., and on the R. E. Hutchenson ranch near Durango. Jubilee was played by Sun's Red Shadow but various doubles were used for fighting, jumping, bucking, etc. The horses were supplied by the Clarence Y. "Fat" Jones livery stable. A studio publicity release dated February 1949 includes Jay Silverheels and Harry Cheshire in the cast, but neither actor was spotted in the print viewed. Sand was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography.