Take Me to Town


1h 20m 1953

Brief Synopsis

Saloon entertainer Vermilion O'Toole and her former partner in crime Newt Cole escape from a train ride to prison and hide out in logging town Timberline. Meanwhile, the three 'cute' sons of widower Will Hall come to town in search of a wife for their dad, and pick our heroine. Vermilion needs to lay low to escape the marshal, so she accepts the boys' offer to visit pioneer community Pine Grove. Once there, she annoys local Mrs. Grundys but eventually starts to fit in. But what is that blackhearted villain Newt Cole up to?

Film Details

Also Known As
Flame of Timberline, Vermilion O'Toole
Release Date
Jun 1953
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 12 Jun 1953; New York opening: 19 Jun 1953
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

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

Synopsis

In the late 1800s, on a train bound for the Denver jail, May Madison, who has been wrongfully convicted of crimes perpetrated by her ex-boyfriend and fellow prisoner, Newton Cole, jumps out the window. Unknown to May, Cole then knocks out the marshal transporting them, Ed Daggett, and trails her to the town of Timberline. There, May, under the name Vermilion O'Toole, finds a job singing at her old friend Rose's dance hall and attracts the attention of the men from the nearest small town, Pine Top. Pine Top is also home to widower lumberjack Will Hall and his three small sons, Cornelius, Petey and Bucket. After Will heads off for logging camp, leaving his sons alone for a week, the boys realize that spinster Mrs. Edna Stoffer has her sights set on marrying Will, and rush to Timberline to procure a better prospect. Meanwhile, Vermilion discovers Cole in her dressing room and throws him out, and although he laughs at her, he spots Daggett outside the dance hall and quickly goes into hiding. Just then, the boys sneak into the dance hall and, seeing Vermilion perform, declare her perfect for Will. Vermilion gently discourages their subsequent proposition of wife- and motherhood until she notes Daggett's presence and chooses Pine Top as a convenient hideout. Vermilion is spied by Edna, who races to Will's camp to inform him of his visitor. He returns to Pine Top and, though impressed with Vermilion's cooking, remains impervious to her charms and instructs her that she must leave the next day. As soon as Will departs in the morning, Corney tells a half-dressed Vermilion that Bucket has been cornered by a bear. While she rushes to him with a rifle, Corney, who has arranged the incident, also seeks help from his father. Vermilion joins Petey in a tree, and watches as Bucket wanders out of safety and into the path of the bear. Vermilion closes her eyes and shoots, killing the bear. As soon as she and Petey make sure Bucket is safe, Vermilion faints. A grateful Will arrives and carries her home, entreating her to stay on until he returns. Before leaving, Will discusses his late wife, and Vermilion, envious of the depth of their love, realizes that she has not demanded enough from the men in her life. That night, Rose informs Vermilion that she has fallen in love with Daggett and plans to convince him to give up his badge and settle down. By the time Will returns from logging camp, the town spinsters have united against Vermilion. Will, however, enters town just in time to watch her swim with the boys in suits she has sewn. That Sunday, she learns that Will is also the town preacher. He brings her to the clearing that currently serves as a church, where many of the townspeople disdain Vermilion. When Will hears one man call her a tramp, he beats him up and then delivers a sermon on tolerance. Apparently unimpressed, Edna and her friends visit his home later and implore Will to set a better example for the town. Although Will sticks up for Vermilion, she overhears them and prepares to leave, admitting to him that she is wanted by the law. Will is disappointed in her past but urges her to stay and prove she can become the person she wants to be. She agrees and soon attends the women's meeting to raise money for a new church. Her suggestion that they raise money by putting on a show is met with horror by Edna but excitement by the rest of the community. As rehearsals progress, Will grows more impressed with Vermilion's leadership skills, and that night, he takes her in his arms and asks her to marry him. Although she is worried about her past affecting them, she accepts, to the joy of the boys. The day of the show, Rose informs Vermilion that Daggett is turning in his badge. He shows up, however, and refuses to believe that Vermilion knows nothing about Cole's whereabouts. When she enters her dressing room, Cole is there, and Daggett finds them and attacks Cole. Vermilion holds Cole at gunpoint but he escapes into the hills, knocking out Daggett. Will, hearing a gun go off, races backstage and chases Cole into the hills. The two struggle but Will finally knocks out Cole, who tumbles down the hill to his death. Within weeks, Vermilion is married to Will, and cherishes her new identity as schoolteacher and mother.

Film Details

Also Known As
Flame of Timberline, Vermilion O'Toole
Release Date
Jun 1953
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 12 Jun 1953; New York opening: 19 Jun 1953
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

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

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were Flame of Timberline and Vermilion O'Toole. According to a March 1952 Los Angeles Times article, Universal originally considered Jeff Chandler for the role of "Will Hall." An October 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item adds Mike McHale to the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Take Me to Town marked the final film of long-time Universal dance director Hal Belfer before his resignation. Los Angeles Times reported in August 1959 that producer Ross Hunter wanted to buy the rights to the film's story from Universal in order to revise it as a stage musical. According to the article, Hunter planned to star Ann Sheridan in the theatrical production in the fall of 1960. No additional information about the production has been found. Modern sources add Bernard Herzbrun (Art Director) to the crew credits.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer June 1953

Began shooting October 1952.

Completed shooting November 1952.

The song "Holy, Holy, Holy" is not credited.

Released in United States Summer June 1953