Sugarfoot


1h 20m 1951

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 10, 1951
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Calabasas--Warner Ranch, California, United States; Simi Valley--Ray Corrigan Ranch, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Sugarfoot by Clarence Budington Kelland (New York, 1942).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

After the Civil War, Southern aristocrat Jackson Redan takes a wagon train west to Prescott, Arizona, hoping to rebuild his lost family fortune in the new land. Also on the wagon train is Jacob Stint, who is as unscrupulous as Jackson is honorable, and when the party reaches its destination, the two men are relieved to part ways. In Prescott, Jackson's polished and amiable manner wins him a warm welcome from the community, which includes the owner of the Diana saloon and gambling establishment, J. C. Crane, and Mary, a boardinghouse owner who dubs him "Sugarfoot." Only the attractive singer at the Diana, Reva Cairn, remains aloof. To help Jackson establish himself, the local merchant, community-minded Don Miguel Wormser, asks for his help in buying and delivering merchandise from an auction in the town of La Paz and gives him $5,000 for expenses. However, before leaving Prescott, Jackson is knocked out and robbed. The forgiving Don Miguel gives Jackson another $5,000, and this time before leaving, Jackson hires an eccentric, but savvy, prospector, Fly-up-the-creek Jones, to assist him. On the trip, Fly-up-the-creek teaches the green Jackson how to survive in the West, providing colorful lessons about rattlesnakes and getting along with the Apaches. Upon arriving in La Paz, they are approached by Asa Goodhue, a carpet-bagger who tries to bribe Jackson out of the bidding. Heeding Fly-up-the-creek's warning that Asa, a "rattlesnake without the rattles," will work up the auction bid and then drop out, Jackson and Fly-up-the-creek trick Asa into missing the auction. Later, seeing Jackson leave with the auctioned goods, Asa decides that he, too, will go to Prescott. In Prescott, guessing that Stint stole the original $5,000, Jackson publicly confronts him at the Diana and retrieves Don Miguel's moneybag, but this leads to a showdown set for noon the next day. Although skillful with a gun and armed with Fly-up-the-creek's shrewd advice regarding gunfights, Jackson is winged in the shoot-out by a small gun that Stint secretly carries in his left hand. Afterward, Don Miguel, Fly-up-the-creek and Reva, who slowly warms up to Jackson, nurse him back to health. However, during this time, Asa and Stint become acquainted. While Jackson convalesces, Don Miguel tells him how the corrupt Army quartermaster, whose palms have been greased by Asa, has canceled grain contracts with local ranchers and is delivering grain from California for the Army's needs. Although the ranchers have decided against seizing and burning the imported grain, Jackson thinks that Asa is planning an attack on his own shipment to make the ranchers look guilty and prompt Army retaliation. Early one morning, Jackson and Fly-up-the-creek follow Stint and his thugs to La Paz and witness Stint leading the ruffians in an attack against the Army. At Fly-up-the-creek's suggestion, they ambush and capture Stint and one of his cohorts, Billings, in a nearby canyon, and take them to Prescott to await trial, but Asa frees them during the night and they flee. By now, Reva and Jackson are in love, but Jackson is too proud to marry until he is financially secure. He wants to build a house, but the town has no sawmill, and his gentlemanly upbringing precludes him from using the money Reva has saved. Instead, he secures a loan from Don Miguel and Crane, and proceeds with Fly-up-the-creek to Tucson to buy the lumber and equipment. Meanwhile, Reva orders Asa to keep Stint away from Jackson, or Johnny-behind-the-stove, her friend and co-worker at the Diana, will kill him. On the trip, Jackson finds Stint and Billings surrounded by Apaches and insists, to Fly-up-the-creek's dismay, that the law should not be cheated out of hanging them and helps fight off the Apaches. The task of bringing the villains to justice, however, is interrupted by the arrival of Asa, who again helps his cohorts get away. Later, when Jackson and Fly-up-the-creek return to Prescott with lumber and equipment, Mary unwittingly blurts out that the borrowed money was really Reva's. Jackson and Reva quarrel over his hurt pride, and later, at the boardinghouse, he informs her that they must break up, as he loves her and has failed her in many ways. They manage to reconcile just as Asa, Billings and Stint show up, armed for a shoot-out. In a flurry of gunfire, Jackson shoots two of them, and Stint misfires and kills Asa. Prescott is now free of the conniving villains, and Jackson and Reva continue with their plans to marry.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 10, 1951
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Calabasas--Warner Ranch, California, United States; Simi Valley--Ray Corrigan Ranch, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Sugarfoot by Clarence Budington Kelland (New York, 1942).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

I knew this town wasn't big enough to hold the two of us.
- Jacob Stint

Trivia

Notes

Voice-over narration at the beginning of the film describes the men who surmounted hardships and rode 2,000 miles to start new lives in the West, and introduces characters "Jacob Stint" and "Jackson Redan." According to a January 1950 Hollywood Reporter news item, Patricia Neal was initially cast as the female lead opposite Randolph Scott. Sammy Cahn and Ray Heindorf wrote two songs for the character "Adele" to sing, but only one song was used in the final film. Portions of the film were shot at the Warner Ranch in Calabasas, CA and at the Ray Corrigan Ranch in Simi Valley, CA, according to February 1950 Hollywood Reporter news items. A modern source adds Ben Corbett to the cast. In 1957, the ABC television network launched a Warner Bros.-produced series titled Sugarfoot, starring Will Hutchins, but that show does not appear to have been based on the Clarence Budington Kelland novel.