Wyoming Mail


1h 27m 1950

Brief Synopsis

In 1869, the United States begins a railroad mail service to the West Coast which proves highly tempting to train robbers, in particular an organized gang with one of the mail's supposed guardians in their pay. Prizefighter Steve Davis, a former army intelligence man, is hired to track down the gang and save the Territorial Mail Service. Steve goes undercover in territorial prison, leans Morse Code from a fellow prisoner, breaks jail, infiltrates the gang...and finds time to romance dance-hall singer Mary, who proves to have hidden depths...

Film Details

Release Date
Oct 10, 1950
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,811ft

Synopsis

In 1869, after Assistant United States Postmaster George Armstrong starts the "post office on wheels," delivering the mail by train, the mail is constantly stolen by a well-organized gang. In reaction, Congress gives Armstrong and Charles De Haven, the district superintendent, three months to prove that they can adequately protect the mail. Determined to maintain the program, Armstrong hires former Secret Service operative Steve Davis to work undercover. Using the name Steve Porter, Steve heads for Wyoming, where he tries to contact Edmund, another undercover postal inspector working as a telegraph dispatcher. Steve finds Edmund's body and near it, a horseshoe with a distinctive mark. From the local blacksmith, Steve ascertains that the shoes were made in the territorial prison. Having met attractive singer Mary Williams, Steve then visits the town music hall where she is performing. There, he learns that a horse wearing the distinctive shoes belongs to Haynes, the prison warden. Convinced that Haynes is the key to the crimes, Steve poses as a fugitive bank robber. Masquerading as a bounty hunter, Indian Joe, Steve's contact, then delivers him to prison. Once inside the prison, Steve contrives to meet Sam Wallace, a bank robber whose money was stolen by Haynes. Wallace, a former telegrapher, teaches Steve how to communicate using Morse code. Steve then signals Indian Joe, who helps him and Wallace break out of prison. During the escape, Wallace is wounded and, before he dies, begs Steve to visit Cavanaugh in Crystal City and obtain his share of the loot from an earlier robbery. In Crystal City, Steve is surprised to see that Mary is also there. Steve tries to contact Cavanaugh, and uses the marks made by his prison chains on his arms and legs to convince the gang that he is an ex-convict. Now that he has been accepted, Steve learns that Mary is also part of the gang. Cavanaugh gets him a job as a railroad telegrapher, and Steve is ordered to send a telegraph that will cause the next mail train to slow down near the location where the gang is waiting. He gets the information to Indian Joe, who then sends a telegraph to the marshal, not realizing that Ben, the telegrapher, is a member of the gang. Ben shoots Indian Joe and dispatches Mary to tell Cavanaugh that Steve is working undercover. Mary, however, has fallen in love with Steve and privately tells him what has transpired. Meanwhile, a severely wounded Joe escapes from the storeroom where Ben has confined him and struggles to reach the train. When Steve learns that despite Mary's efforts, Cavanaugh knows his real identity, he tries to telegraph the marshal. Cavanaugh shoots at him, but Steve manages to jump into a river and swim away. On the train, Joe successfully contacts the government men, among whom is De Haven. Unknown to Joe, De Haven is also a gang member and allows the train to stop. During the ensuing attack by the bandits, De Haven escapes from the train along with Cavanaugh, whom he then kills to keep his connection to the gang a secret. In the meantime, Steve, who has stolen a horse from one of the robbers, follows De Haven to the hideout. During the ensuing shootout, Mary is wounded and De Haven falls to his death. Later, after Mary is pardoned, she and Steve are wed and leave for a new life in San Francisco, where he plans to work as a postal supervisor.

Film Details

Release Date
Oct 10, 1950
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,811ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

General George Armstrong, known as "the father of the United States Railway Mail Service," was promoted to the position of assistant postmaster in 1854. In 1864, he initiated the railroad postal system on the Northwestern Railroad, which operated between Chicago, IL and Clinton, IA. Some scenes in the picture were filmed on location in Sonora, California. Mexican movie star Armando Silvestre made his American screen debut in this film, although he had appeared in the RKO American-Mexican co-production, Mystery in Mexico, in 1948. Ed Begley was given the role of "Warden Haynes" after Charles Kemper was killed in an automobile accident.