Firecreek (1968)

104 mins | Western | 24 January 1968

Director:

Vincent McEveety

Writer:

Calvin Clements

Producer:

Philip Leacock

Cinematographer:

William H. Clothier

Editor:

William Ziegler

Production Designer:

Howard Hollander

Production Company:

Warner Bros.--Seven Arts, Inc.
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HISTORY

The 2 Nov 1966 Var announced that veteran stars James Stewart and Henry Fonda were teaming up for the first time in Warner Bros.’s Fury at Firecreek, the working title of what became Firecreek. Actually, the actors had appeared together as musicians in a 1948 comedy called A Miracle Can Happen (see entry), also known as On Our Merry Way. For Fury at Firecreek, they played opposite each other: Stewart as the hero and Fonda the main villain. Principal photography was originally scheduled to begin 28 Nov 1966 in Sedona, AZ, but according to items in the 21 Nov 1966 and 2 Dec 1966 issues of DV, the start of filming was moved back to 5 Dec 1966. The 28 Dec 1966 DV reported that the company had returned to California, where they began filming on location in Thousand Oaks, and then moved to the back lot at Warner Bros. Studios. An item in the 8 Feb 1967 DV hinted that filming had recently been completed.
       Jacqueline Scott, who portrayed James Stewart’s character’s pregnant wife, was herself expecting a child in Mar 1967, according to the 14 Dec 1966 Var.
       The 17 Mar 1967 DV noted that Warner Bros. made Firecreek as a co-production with CBS-Television’s new film division. Firecreek producer Philip Leacock was also the co-producer of CBS’s Gunsmoke program. The budget of Firecreek was around $2.5 million.
       The premiere was set to be held at the Plaza Theatre in El Paso, TX, on 24 Jan 1968, according ... More Less

The 2 Nov 1966 Var announced that veteran stars James Stewart and Henry Fonda were teaming up for the first time in Warner Bros.’s Fury at Firecreek, the working title of what became Firecreek. Actually, the actors had appeared together as musicians in a 1948 comedy called A Miracle Can Happen (see entry), also known as On Our Merry Way. For Fury at Firecreek, they played opposite each other: Stewart as the hero and Fonda the main villain. Principal photography was originally scheduled to begin 28 Nov 1966 in Sedona, AZ, but according to items in the 21 Nov 1966 and 2 Dec 1966 issues of DV, the start of filming was moved back to 5 Dec 1966. The 28 Dec 1966 DV reported that the company had returned to California, where they began filming on location in Thousand Oaks, and then moved to the back lot at Warner Bros. Studios. An item in the 8 Feb 1967 DV hinted that filming had recently been completed.
       Jacqueline Scott, who portrayed James Stewart’s character’s pregnant wife, was herself expecting a child in Mar 1967, according to the 14 Dec 1966 Var.
       The 17 Mar 1967 DV noted that Warner Bros. made Firecreek as a co-production with CBS-Television’s new film division. Firecreek producer Philip Leacock was also the co-producer of CBS’s Gunsmoke program. The budget of Firecreek was around $2.5 million.
       The premiere was set to be held at the Plaza Theatre in El Paso, TX, on 24 Jan 1968, according to the 27 Dec 1967 Var. The film opened in Los Angeles and New York City on 21 Feb 1968. The 22 Feb 1968 NYT gave Firecreek faint praise, calling it “a good, sturdy and occasionally powerful little Western” and an “unpretentious little color movie which looks as though it cost a dime” and “is almost exactly right every step of the way.” The 24 Jan 1968 Var felt the movie would need “a hard-sell campaign” because it “lack[ed] the dash and action of a slam-bang western.” The 22 Feb 1968 LAT deemed the film a “workmanlike but wearily familiar western, quilted from so many other westerns including High Noon.”
       After NBC-Television aired Firecreek in 1972 and early 1973, television producer Quinn Martin planned to create a “nonviolent oater [series] based on the Jimmy Stewart film,” according to the 19 Jun 1975 DV, but nothing became of the project.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Nov 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
25 Nov 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
2 Dec 1966
p. 11.
Daily Variety
7 Dec 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
8 Dec 1966
p. 15.
Daily Variety
28 Dec 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Jan 1967
p. 18.
Daily Variety
8 Feb 1967
p. 2.
Daily Variety
17 Mar 1967
p. 21.
Daily Variety
19 Jun 1975
p. 33.
Los Angeles Times
6 Feb 1968
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
22 Feb 1968
Section D, p. 15.
New York Times
22 Feb 1968
p. 36.
Variety
2 Nov 1966
p. 17.
Variety
14 Dec 1966
p. 15.
Variety
27 Dec 1967
p. 16.
Variety
24 Jan 1968
p. 6, 15.
Variety
17 Jan 1973
p. 35.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Philip Leacock-John Mantley Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam
Stills
Gaffer
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Supv hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Dial supv
Loc auditor
First aid
Unit pub
Loc mgr
Transportation capt
Animal safety supv
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Fury at Firecreek
Release Date:
24 January 1968
Premiere Information:
El Paso, Texas, premiere: 24 Jan 1968; New York and Los Angeles openings: 21 Feb 1968
Production Date:
5 Dec 1966--late Jan or early Feb 1967
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros.--Seven Arts, Inc.
Copyright Date:
24 November 1967
Copyright Number:
LP35847
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
104
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Five freebooting adventurers from the Missouri range wars--Larkin, Earl, Drew, Norman, and Willard--enter the frontier town of Firecreek and decide to remain there until Larkin recovers from a wound. Fearing trouble, the local parttime sheriff, Johnny Cobb, leaves his nearby farm and his pregnant wife, Henrietta, to spend the night in town. While Larkin is recuperating at a boardinghouse run by Mr. Pittman, he considers the arguments against lawlessness voiced by the old man's granddaughter, Evelyn. Larkin's men, however, continue to terrorize the town and disrupt church services held by itinerant Preacher Broyles. The townspeople plead with Cobb to drive the gang out of town, but instead he tries to reason with them. His efforts prove to be futile when Arthur, a simpleminded stableboy, attempts to prevent Drew from raping an unwed Indian mother, Meli, and accidentally kills the gunman. Although Cobb jails Arthur for the boy's protection before returning to his farm to look after his wife during her labor, the gang members force the townsfolk to attend a wake for Drew and then coldbloodedly hang Arthur. Aware that Larkin and his men stayed in Firecreek because it was a town of self-defeated men who would not compete, Cobb at long last decides to stand up to the lawbreakers. Taking his gun, he kills Earl, Norman, and Willard but is, in turn, wounded by Larkin. Refusing to concede defeat, Cobb reaches for the gun which was shot out of his hand by Larkin. He is saved from certain death by Evelyn, who kills Larkin with a rifle ... +


Five freebooting adventurers from the Missouri range wars--Larkin, Earl, Drew, Norman, and Willard--enter the frontier town of Firecreek and decide to remain there until Larkin recovers from a wound. Fearing trouble, the local parttime sheriff, Johnny Cobb, leaves his nearby farm and his pregnant wife, Henrietta, to spend the night in town. While Larkin is recuperating at a boardinghouse run by Mr. Pittman, he considers the arguments against lawlessness voiced by the old man's granddaughter, Evelyn. Larkin's men, however, continue to terrorize the town and disrupt church services held by itinerant Preacher Broyles. The townspeople plead with Cobb to drive the gang out of town, but instead he tries to reason with them. His efforts prove to be futile when Arthur, a simpleminded stableboy, attempts to prevent Drew from raping an unwed Indian mother, Meli, and accidentally kills the gunman. Although Cobb jails Arthur for the boy's protection before returning to his farm to look after his wife during her labor, the gang members force the townsfolk to attend a wake for Drew and then coldbloodedly hang Arthur. Aware that Larkin and his men stayed in Firecreek because it was a town of self-defeated men who would not compete, Cobb at long last decides to stand up to the lawbreakers. Taking his gun, he kills Earl, Norman, and Willard but is, in turn, wounded by Larkin. Refusing to concede defeat, Cobb reaches for the gun which was shot out of his hand by Larkin. He is saved from certain death by Evelyn, who kills Larkin with a rifle shot. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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