Silver City


1h 30m 1951

Film Details

Also Known As
High Vermilion
Release Date
Dec 1951
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: week of 20 Dec 1951
Production Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Sonora, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel High Vermilion by Luke Short (Boston, 1948).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Film Length
10 reels

Synopsis

While mining company president Charlie Storrs and his engineer, Larkin Moffatt, discuss the promising results of a new assay report, Charlie's office is held up by two men, who demand the report and a bag of money. Larkin pursues the thieves and ends up fighting with them on top of a logging train. After reclaiming the money bag, Larkin jumps from the train as it passes over a river. Sometime later, Charlie, who has not seen Larkin since the robbery, writes letters to every mining company in the West, informing them that Larkin is dishonest. As hoped, Larkin, whose former lover Josephine is now married to Charlie, is fired and refused work everywhere he applies. Larkin finally opens his own assay office in Silver City and one day reports to Candace Surrency that the mine sample she submitted to him is loaded with silver. Although Candace is pleased, she tells Larkin that her father Dutch leases the mine, the Big Jay, and has only twelve days to get the ore out before the mining rights revert to the owner, the greedy R. R. Jarboe. Candace asks Larkin to help her mine the ore, but Larkin declines without explanation. Larkin does advise Candace not to refine the ore at Jarboe's mill, where Jarboe can overcharge her, but dump the raw silver on neighboring land. The next day, at the Silver City saloon, Candace's foreman, Spence Fuller, starts hiring miners for the job, and when he rejects a drunken man named Arnie, Arnie pummels him. Although he recognizes Spence as one of the holdup men from Charlie's office, Larkin intercedes and ends the fight. Spence's injuries prevent him from working, however, and a now desperate Candace again asks Larkin for help. Once again, Larkin refuses, but goes to see Arnie and forces him to reveal that Jarboe's henchman, Bill Taff, hired him to beat up Spence. Later, as he is packing up his office, Larkin is visited by Jarboe and Taff, who try to bribe him to turn over the Surrency assay report. The next day, at the local hotel, Candace meets Charlie, who has come to Silver City with Josephine to investigate the Surrencys' strike. Unable to extract much information out of Candace, Charlie visits Jarboe and accompanies him to the assay office. Charlie is startled to see Larkin and immediately tells Jarboe that Larkin was the "inside man" on the office holdup. After Larkin leaves without defending himself, Charlie uses Larkin's assaying equipment to determine the Big Jay's worth and watches as Jarboe and Taff wreck Larkin's office. With time running out, Candace tracks Larkin to another town and, after telling him about Charlie's involvement, beseeches him one more time to join her. Larkin finally agrees and, once back in Silver City, runs into Josephine. In her hotel room, the spoiled Josephine admits that she married Charlie for his money and now feels neglected by him. Just then, Charlie, Taff and Jarboe burst in and confront Larkin. After a gun-toting Candace appears and defuses the situation, Larkin explains that while he did arrange for the holdup of Charlie's office, he returned the stolen money and never collected his payoff. Later, at the Surrencys', Larkin reveals that he planned the robbery to keep Josephine happy but changed his mind when he saw how low he was willing to stoop to please her. Larkin, who has refused Charlie's sale offer, then hears that Taff is buying his miners drinks at the saloon. Larkin tricks the drunken men into brawling, and soon they are all thrown out. Later, at the Big Jay, Taff and his men destroy the chute that Larkin built to dump the ore, and another brawl erupts. When Jarboe later hears that Larkin is rebuilding the chute, he hires Taff to kill him in exchange for half the mine's worth. To safely accomplish his task, Taff tells Charlie that he saw Josephine coming out of Larkin's office earlier and sends him an anonymous note instructing him to go to a spot near the Surrencys' to discuss the matter. He then pays Arnie $200 to shoot Larkin at the Surrencys', intending to frame Charlie. Instead, Larkin shoots at Arnie, who flees. Later at the hotel, Josephine accuses Charlie of Larkin's attempted murder and, sensing that his wife is still in love with his rival, Charlie pays her to leave town. Candace, meanwhile, tells Jarboe that she will give up the mine if he stops his assault on Larkin. Jarboe agrees, but when he instructs Taff to retrieve Larkin, Taff, suspecting a double-cross, shoots Jarboe. Larkin, meanwhile, has tracked Arnie to a lumber mill and gives chase. Larkin eventually corners and kills Arnie, but is targeted by Taff. Before Taff can get his shot off, Charlie rides up and takes aim at him. Although Taff outdraws Charlie, fatally wounding him, Larkin kills Taff. With his dying breath, Charlie asks Larkin to forgive him, after which Larkin embraces a relieved Candace.

Film Details

Also Known As
High Vermilion
Release Date
Dec 1951
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: week of 20 Dec 1951
Production Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Sonora, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel High Vermilion by Luke Short (Boston, 1948).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Film Length
10 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was High Vermilion. Luke Short's novel was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post between 31 May and July 5, 1947. In March 1951, Rhonda Fleming was announced as Edmond O'Brien's co-star in a Los Angeles Times news item. A Hollywood Reporter news item adds Myron Geiger to the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a Variety news item, exterior filming took place in Sonora, CA.