Massacre River (1949)

78 mins | Western | 1 April 1949

Director:

John Rawlins

Writer:

Louis Stevens

Cinematographer:

Jack MacKenzie

Production Designer:

Lucius O. Croxton

Production Company:

Windsor Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title for this film was When a Man's a Man . The opening credits include the following written acknowledgment: "The exterior scenes of this motion picture were photographed thru the courtesy and cooperation of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Park Service and the Office of Indian Affairs." According to HR production charts, interiors were shot at Monogram Studios. A HR production news item indicated that portions of the film were shot in Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Northern Arizona. A HR news item dated 6 Oct 1948 reported that two endings of the film were to be shot and shown to test audiences to determine which to ... More Less

The working title for this film was When a Man's a Man . The opening credits include the following written acknowledgment: "The exterior scenes of this motion picture were photographed thru the courtesy and cooperation of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Park Service and the Office of Indian Affairs." According to HR production charts, interiors were shot at Monogram Studios. A HR production news item indicated that portions of the film were shot in Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Northern Arizona. A HR news item dated 6 Oct 1948 reported that two endings of the film were to be shot and shown to test audiences to determine which to use. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Apr 1949.
---
Daily Variety
29 Mar 49
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Apr 49
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Sep 48
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Oct 48
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 48
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 49
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Apr 49
p. 4566.
New York Times
15 Jul 49
p. 17.
Variety
6 Apr 49
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam movements
Cam movements
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
Assoc ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Men's ward
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus score
Mus score
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel When a Man's a Man by Harold Bell Wright (New York, 1916).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
When a Man's a Man
Release Date:
1 April 1949
Production Date:
early September--mid October 1948 at Monogram Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Windsor Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 April 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2412
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
sepia
Duration(in mins):
78
Length(in feet):
6,992
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At an Army post near the Wachupi River, Chief Yellowstone visits Col. James Reid to discuss their new treaty. Just as the chief is urging Reid to respect their agreement, a lieutenant enters with news that several white buffalo hunters have been found scalped near the Wachupi, which has become known as "Massacre River" for the many bloody clashes that have occurred there. When Reid asks the chief what he knows about these killings, he explains that his rebellious braves are anxious for war. Later, soldiers Phil Acton and Larry Knight, best friends and suitors for the hand of Reid's daughter Kitty, learn from her brother Randy that she will be hosting a party that evening before her departure for St. Louis. At the party, Phil asks Kitty to marry him, but she tells him that she loves Larry. Later, Reid sends Phil and Larry out on patrol but warns them not to cross the Wachupi into Indian territory. When the stagecoach arrives at the fort, passenger Sgt. Johanssen explains that the suitcase he is carrying belongs to Laura Jordon, the woman with whom he had shared the stagecoach. He states that she inadvertently left the suitcase on board and asks Phil to take it to her at the Blue Star Hotel. Meanwhile, Laura tells Blue Star owner Burke Kimber that her deceased husband left his stake in the hotel to her. When Burke insists that he is the sole owner of the hotel, the sheriff shows him the deed proving her claim. Later, while out on patrol, Randy becomes separated from his unit and is shot by Indian braves, who then quickly ... +


At an Army post near the Wachupi River, Chief Yellowstone visits Col. James Reid to discuss their new treaty. Just as the chief is urging Reid to respect their agreement, a lieutenant enters with news that several white buffalo hunters have been found scalped near the Wachupi, which has become known as "Massacre River" for the many bloody clashes that have occurred there. When Reid asks the chief what he knows about these killings, he explains that his rebellious braves are anxious for war. Later, soldiers Phil Acton and Larry Knight, best friends and suitors for the hand of Reid's daughter Kitty, learn from her brother Randy that she will be hosting a party that evening before her departure for St. Louis. At the party, Phil asks Kitty to marry him, but she tells him that she loves Larry. Later, Reid sends Phil and Larry out on patrol but warns them not to cross the Wachupi into Indian territory. When the stagecoach arrives at the fort, passenger Sgt. Johanssen explains that the suitcase he is carrying belongs to Laura Jordon, the woman with whom he had shared the stagecoach. He states that she inadvertently left the suitcase on board and asks Phil to take it to her at the Blue Star Hotel. Meanwhile, Laura tells Blue Star owner Burke Kimber that her deceased husband left his stake in the hotel to her. When Burke insists that he is the sole owner of the hotel, the sheriff shows him the deed proving her claim. Later, while out on patrol, Randy becomes separated from his unit and is shot by Indian braves, who then quickly return to their side of the Wachupi. Randy struggles back to the fort, where Laura removes the bullet and dresses the wound. Later, Larry arrives and tells Laura that he loves Kitty. In the hotel saloon, Larry overhears Laura talking about their love triangle and realizes that he actually loves her. When Phil senses Larry's change of heart, he visits Laura and tries to seduce her to prove that she is a tramp, but Laura perceives his purpose and asks him to leave. Later, Burke arrives and asks her to sell her interest in the hotel, but she declines. In desperation, Burke threatens to kill her, and when Larry arrives, the two men grab their guns. Larry, however, is quicker on the draw and shoots Burke first. When Reid tries to question Larry about the incident, he does not respond except to say that he is resigning from the Army. Randy then finds Phil with Laura and fires at them, but Larry shoots Randy, killing him, and reports to Reid that he shot Randy in self-defense. Larry tells Laura that he killed Randy, and she reaffirms her feelings for him and warns him to avoid Phil. Larry and Laura then elope, and Phil tracks them for days. He finally catches up to them and begins fighting with Larry. Just then, the entire tribe attacks, and Laura is shot and killed. Some time later, after Laura is buried and Larry has left the fort, Kitty and Phil are married. +

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

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