Red Canyon (1949)

82-84 mins | Western | April 1949

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Black Velvet . The onscreen title card reads: "Zane Grey's Red Canyon ." Location shooting took place at various locations in and around Kanab, UT, including Paria Canyon, Mirror Lake, Duck Creek, Tibbet Valley and the Kanab racetrack. In late Feb 1949, HR announced that the world premiere of the picture would take place on 17 Mar 1949 in Salt Lake City, UT, but that premiere date has not been confirmed. Zane Grey's novel was first adapted in 1922 by Benjamin B. Hampton for Goldwyn Pictures. Eliot Howe, Jean Hersholt and Charles O. Rush directed the silent film, titled When Romance Rides , starring Claire Adams, Carl Gantvoort and Hersholt (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; ... More Less

The working title of this film was Black Velvet . The onscreen title card reads: "Zane Grey's Red Canyon ." Location shooting took place at various locations in and around Kanab, UT, including Paria Canyon, Mirror Lake, Duck Creek, Tibbet Valley and the Kanab racetrack. In late Feb 1949, HR announced that the world premiere of the picture would take place on 17 Mar 1949 in Salt Lake City, UT, but that premiere date has not been confirmed. Zane Grey's novel was first adapted in 1922 by Benjamin B. Hampton for Goldwyn Pictures. Eliot Howe, Jean Hersholt and Charles O. Rush directed the silent film, titled When Romance Rides , starring Claire Adams, Carl Gantvoort and Hersholt (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.6246). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
12 Feb 1949.
---
Daily Variety
2 Feb 49
p. 3.
Film Daily
2 Feb 49
p. 5.
Harrison's Reports
5 Feb 49
p. 22.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 48
p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 48
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 48
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 48
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 49
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 49
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Feb 49
p. 4485, 4487
New York Times
28 Apr 49
p. 28.
Variety
2 Feb 49
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Horse trainer
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Wildfire by Zane Grey (New York, 1916).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Zane Greys Red Canyon
Black Velvet
Release Date:
April 1949
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 1 April 1949
New York opening: 27 April 1949
Production Date:
mid June--23 July 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
15 March 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2271
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
82-84
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the southern Utah town of Bostel's Crossing, founding father and leading citizen Mathew Bostel, a horse-breeder and cattleman, prepares for his daughter Lucy's eighteenth birthday party. Spirited Lucy is much admired by the local men, but widower Bostel permits only horseman Joel Creech to court her. In defiance of her father, whose rule over the town has been almost autocratic since his wife was killed years before by the horse-thieving Cordt gang, Lucy takes Sage King, his favorite horse, for a ride before the party. Lucy is determined to prove her horsemanship, but just as she has about mastered the strong stallion, she spots a bedraggled figure trudging through the brush and stops to talk. The stranger, Lin Slone, a wild horse tracker, explains that, the night before, he was tracking the infamous wild stallion Black Velvet when the Cordt gang ran off with his horse. Lucy allows Lin to borrow Sage King long enough to rope one of her father's horses in a nearby herd, but while he is paying her for the animal, Sage King bolts for home. Furious, Lucy insists that Lin accompany her home to explain to her father that she was not thrown by Sage King, but Lin refuses. Through a ruse, Lucy tricks Lin into swimming in a lake and then steals his clothes and horse in order to force him to follow her to her ranch. Later, when Lin finally reaches Bostel's Crossing on foot, he, Lin and Bostel begin to argue with one another. In the heat of the moment, Lin boasts that he can capture Black Velvet in time to beat Sage King in ... +


In the southern Utah town of Bostel's Crossing, founding father and leading citizen Mathew Bostel, a horse-breeder and cattleman, prepares for his daughter Lucy's eighteenth birthday party. Spirited Lucy is much admired by the local men, but widower Bostel permits only horseman Joel Creech to court her. In defiance of her father, whose rule over the town has been almost autocratic since his wife was killed years before by the horse-thieving Cordt gang, Lucy takes Sage King, his favorite horse, for a ride before the party. Lucy is determined to prove her horsemanship, but just as she has about mastered the strong stallion, she spots a bedraggled figure trudging through the brush and stops to talk. The stranger, Lin Slone, a wild horse tracker, explains that, the night before, he was tracking the infamous wild stallion Black Velvet when the Cordt gang ran off with his horse. Lucy allows Lin to borrow Sage King long enough to rope one of her father's horses in a nearby herd, but while he is paying her for the animal, Sage King bolts for home. Furious, Lucy insists that Lin accompany her home to explain to her father that she was not thrown by Sage King, but Lin refuses. Through a ruse, Lucy tricks Lin into swimming in a lake and then steals his clothes and horse in order to force him to follow her to her ranch. Later, when Lin finally reaches Bostel's Crossing on foot, he, Lin and Bostel begin to argue with one another. In the heat of the moment, Lin boasts that he can capture Black Velvet in time to beat Sage King in an upcoming $2,500 race. With help from Bostel's discharged stagecoach driver, Jonah Johnson, Lin follows Black Velvet's trail for days and, by ingeniously trapping him in a ring of fire, finally succeeds in capturing him. As he and Jonah set out for their camp, they run into the Cordt gang, which is headed by Lin's father Floyd and his brother Virgil. Lin, who broke from his family and changed his name years before out of disgust for their thievery, refuses to turn Black Velvet over to them and shoots one of their henchmen in the hand. Lin then starts to train Black Velvet in secret, but one day, while shopping for supplies in Bostel's Crossing, Jonah inadvertently reveals Lin's activities to Lucy. Aided by her aunt Jane, Lucy goes to Lin's camp, arriving just in time to see him sprain his back while tangling with Black Velvet. As Black Velvet will allow only Lucy to tame him, she takes over his training, without her father's knowledge, and over the next few weeks, she and Lin fall in love. On the eve of the race, Bostel finds out what Lucy has been up to and, afraid both for his daughter's safety and for his chances of winning the race, forbids her to compete. Lucy, however, is determined to go through with her plan to ride Black Velvet, even after Lin, who has overheard Bostel force her to choose between Lin and her family, admits that he is a Cordt. Although he reminds her that their life together will include constant suspicion that he is an outlaw, Lucy nonetheless takes her place at the starting gate. Just before the start of the race, the Cordt gang drifts into town and informs the sheriff about Lin's identity. Lucy wins the race, beating Sage King as well as Joel's horse, but as Lin is about to collect his prize, the sheriff tells Bostel about Lin's former life. When Bostel, who has offered a large reward for the apprehension of the Cordt gang, challenges Lin to a gunfight, Lin wings him and then flees the sheriff's posse. While doubling back to elude the posse, Lin sees Floyd and Virgil stealing not only Black Velvet, but Sage King and the other race horses as well, and starts a shootout with them. Jonah joins in the gunfight, and together he and Lin kill the entire gang. Now convinced of Lin's sincerity, Bostel allows him to go free. As Lin takes Lucy in his arms, they decide that Black Velvet also deserves to be free and return him to the wild herd. +

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.