Trail Street (1947)

83-84 mins | Western | 19 February 1947

Director:

Ray Enright

Producer:

Nat Holt

Cinematographer:

J. Roy Hunt

Editor:

Lyle Boyer

Production Designers:

Albert D'Agostino, Ralph Berger

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

William Corcoran's novel was published as a serial in Cosmopolitan under the title Trail Street . RKO sound man Jean L. Speak's name was incorrectly listed as James L. Speak in the opening credits. As depicted in the film, Kansas became a wheat producing state after a heat resistant strain was introduced to the land. The strain, which was brought in by Mennonite settlers, was called Turkey Red. The real Bat Masterson was the sheriff of Dodge City from 1877 to 1879. After he was voted out of office, he went to Tombstone, AZ, with Wyatt Earp, but returned to Dodge City in 1883 to help gambler friend Luke Short fight local reformers in the "Dodge City War." From then until the end of the century, Masterson was a professional gambler in Colorado. As depicted in the film, Masterson aspired to a writing career and, at the end of his life, became a drama critic and sports reporter in New York. For more information about Masterson, See Entry for the 1943 United Artists release The Woman of the Town .
       According to HR news items, Barbara Hale and Lawrence Tierney were first cast as the picture's stars. Lee Frederick , an ex-serviceman and a former pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, was announced as a cast member in HR , but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. In Aug 1946, HR announced that five hundred extras had been hired for the fight scene between the farmers and the trail riders. The Liberal, KS premiere featured a four-mile parade with ... More Less

William Corcoran's novel was published as a serial in Cosmopolitan under the title Trail Street . RKO sound man Jean L. Speak's name was incorrectly listed as James L. Speak in the opening credits. As depicted in the film, Kansas became a wheat producing state after a heat resistant strain was introduced to the land. The strain, which was brought in by Mennonite settlers, was called Turkey Red. The real Bat Masterson was the sheriff of Dodge City from 1877 to 1879. After he was voted out of office, he went to Tombstone, AZ, with Wyatt Earp, but returned to Dodge City in 1883 to help gambler friend Luke Short fight local reformers in the "Dodge City War." From then until the end of the century, Masterson was a professional gambler in Colorado. As depicted in the film, Masterson aspired to a writing career and, at the end of his life, became a drama critic and sports reporter in New York. For more information about Masterson, See Entry for the 1943 United Artists release The Woman of the Town .
       According to HR news items, Barbara Hale and Lawrence Tierney were first cast as the picture's stars. Lee Frederick , an ex-serviceman and a former pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, was announced as a cast member in HR , but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. In Aug 1946, HR announced that five hundred extras had been hired for the fight scene between the farmers and the trail riders. The Liberal, KS premiere featured a four-mile parade with twelve bands, Indians from the Annadarko reservation, soldiers from Fort Riley, as well as cowboys, stagecoaches and other western regalia. Modern sources note that the film made $365,000 at the box office.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
1 Mar 1947.
---
Daily Variety
20 Feb 1947.
---
Film Daily
6 Mar 47
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 46
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 46
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 46
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 46
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 46
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 46
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 46
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 46
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Feb 47
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Mar 47
p. 4.
Independent Film Journal
3 Aug 46
p. 51.
New York Times
10 Apr 47
p. 35.
Variety
27 Feb 47
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Golden Horizons by William Corcoran (Philadelphia, 1937).
SONGS
"You May Not Remember," words and music by Ben Oakland
"She's Not the Only Pebble on the Beach," words and music by Stanley Carter and Harry Braisted.
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 February 1947
Premiere Information:
Liberal, KS premiere: 25 March 1947
Production Date:
26 July--mid September 1946
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 March 1947
Copyright Number:
LP920
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
83-84
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11865
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the late nineteenth-century, the town of Liberal, Kansas is under siege by trail riders, outlaws who have been hired by cattlemen to terrorize farmers and drive livestock across their parched fields. At the request of Allen Harper, the area's biggest land investor, Billy Burns has written to his friend, U.S. Marshal Bat Masterson, for help. Allen and Billy hope that the legendary lawman will assume the job of sheriff and bring law and order to the town. Allen also hopes that his sweetheart, Susan Pritchard, will not return to the East with crooked cattleman Logan Maury as she has threatened, but will brave the tough times in Liberal with him. When Lance Larkin, one of Maury's henchmen, begins beating up a farmer in the middle of the street, Allen comes to his rescue and is aided by Bat, who has just arrived in town. Liberal's mayor formally appoints Bat sheriff, and Bat makes a reluctant Billy his deputy. As Bat, Billy and Allen then discuss farmer Tim McKeon's secret plans to grow drought-resistant crops, Larkin listens from his jailhouse cell and relays the news to Maury. When Allen and Billy visit the feisty Tim, who was injured battling the trail riders, Allen insists that he borrow his gun for protection. In town, meanwhile, Maury tries to bribe Bat to take his side, but Bat stoutly refuses and easily thwarts Maury's attempt on his life. Later, Allen is visited at home by Ruby Stone, a saloon singer who is in love with Maury. Jealous of Susan, Ruby, who has known Allen since childhood, warns him about her involvement with Maury and ... +


In the late nineteenth-century, the town of Liberal, Kansas is under siege by trail riders, outlaws who have been hired by cattlemen to terrorize farmers and drive livestock across their parched fields. At the request of Allen Harper, the area's biggest land investor, Billy Burns has written to his friend, U.S. Marshal Bat Masterson, for help. Allen and Billy hope that the legendary lawman will assume the job of sheriff and bring law and order to the town. Allen also hopes that his sweetheart, Susan Pritchard, will not return to the East with crooked cattleman Logan Maury as she has threatened, but will brave the tough times in Liberal with him. When Lance Larkin, one of Maury's henchmen, begins beating up a farmer in the middle of the street, Allen comes to his rescue and is aided by Bat, who has just arrived in town. Liberal's mayor formally appoints Bat sheriff, and Bat makes a reluctant Billy his deputy. As Bat, Billy and Allen then discuss farmer Tim McKeon's secret plans to grow drought-resistant crops, Larkin listens from his jailhouse cell and relays the news to Maury. When Allen and Billy visit the feisty Tim, who was injured battling the trail riders, Allen insists that he borrow his gun for protection. In town, meanwhile, Maury tries to bribe Bat to take his side, but Bat stoutly refuses and easily thwarts Maury's attempt on his life. Later, Allen is visited at home by Ruby Stone, a saloon singer who is in love with Maury. Jealous of Susan, Ruby, who has known Allen since childhood, warns him about her involvement with Maury and angrily leaves. Ruby's departure is witnessed by Hannah, Allen's nosey neighbor, and when Susan sees Hannah the next day, she gleefully informs her about the visit. Susan, who is unaware that Allen's parents adopted Susan as a child, snubs Allen at her birthday party that night and dances with Maury. Later, Susan refuses to listen to Allen's explanations and informs him that she is leaving the next day with Maury. Bat, meanwhile, learns that Tim has been murdered with Allen's gun and that a mob, led by crooked saloon keeper Carmody, is forming to lynch Allen. Sure that Larkin, whom he released earlier from jail, is the killer, Bat rushes to Allen's and, after deputizing him, sends him to the next county to find Larkin. To Carmody's chagrin, Bat, who has issued a "no gun" ordinance in Liberal, then deflates the mob. Allen, meanwhile, captures Larkin at a farmhouse and learns that the farm couple's son has planted winter wheat in the blazing Kansas sun and has successfully raised a crop. Ecstatic, Allen rides back to Liberal with Larkin and a bag of wheat seed, but soon discovers that most of the poor farmers have just sold their mortgages to Maury. When the townspeople and farmers become aware of Maury's legal "cheat," they eagerly align themselves with Bat, who plans to trap Maury by announcing his intention to try Larkin for Tim's murder. As predicted, Maury rallies his men to attack Liberal and free Larkin, but they are stopped by Bat, Allen, a forgiving Susan and an army of angry farmers. Ruby, who is no longer in love, then informs Maury that she burned his unrecorded land sales receipts and has consequently made his purchases null and void. Furious at Ruby's betrayal, Maury shoots her in the back, but is then killed by his own men, who condemn him as a "woman killer." With law and order installed in Liberal, Bat heads for the East to become a journalist, while Susan and Allen marry and Billy is named the new sheriff. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.