The Girl of the Golden West (1938)

120-121 mins | Western | 18 March 1938

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Cinematographer:

Oliver T. Marsh

Editor:

W. Donn Hayes

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Giacomo Puccini wrote an opera based on the David Belasco play entitled La Fanciulla del west , with a libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini, that had its premiere in New York on 10 Dec 1910. According to a news item in HR on 18 Dec 1936, when M-G-M purchased the rights to the Belasco play they decided against using the Puccini score in favor of completely new music by Sigmund Romberg, with lyrics by Gus Kahn. According to HR production charts and the Call Bureau Cast Service , Ray Bolger and Carol Tevis were originally cast in the picture, but they were not in the released film. A HR news item on 8 Nov 1937 noted that M-G-M was purchasing a song entitled "I Own a Palomino" to be sung by Buddy Ebsen in the film, however, it was not included in the released film. News items in MPD and IP noted that John M. Nicholaus and his staff were planning to introduce a new "toning effect," in a pastel shade, if the process were perfected in time for the picture's premiere. The film was released in Sepia, and according to the Var review, it was "mostly the warm browns to which Metro has been partial, but occasional indigo sepia tints are also spliced in." The review may be referring to the new Nicholaus process mentioned in IP and MPD . In an ad for the film that appeared in HR on 18 Mar 1938, a number of persons who worked on the production ... More Less

Giacomo Puccini wrote an opera based on the David Belasco play entitled La Fanciulla del west , with a libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini, that had its premiere in New York on 10 Dec 1910. According to a news item in HR on 18 Dec 1936, when M-G-M purchased the rights to the Belasco play they decided against using the Puccini score in favor of completely new music by Sigmund Romberg, with lyrics by Gus Kahn. According to HR production charts and the Call Bureau Cast Service , Ray Bolger and Carol Tevis were originally cast in the picture, but they were not in the released film. A HR news item on 8 Nov 1937 noted that M-G-M was purchasing a song entitled "I Own a Palomino" to be sung by Buddy Ebsen in the film, however, it was not included in the released film. News items in MPD and IP noted that John M. Nicholaus and his staff were planning to introduce a new "toning effect," in a pastel shade, if the process were perfected in time for the picture's premiere. The film was released in Sepia, and according to the Var review, it was "mostly the warm browns to which Metro has been partial, but occasional indigo sepia tints are also spliced in." The review may be referring to the new Nicholaus process mentioned in IP and MPD . In an ad for the film that appeared in HR on 18 Mar 1938, a number of persons who worked on the production were acknowedged with "thanks." Among the persons listed in the ad whose exact responsibilities on the picture have not been determined are, Jack Mackenzie, James Harper, Cliff Wright, Al White, Richard Hendrickson, Tommy Griffin, M. Cline, Ted Schilz, George Macon, Ted Tetrich, Olga Collins, Anne Lawson and James Keefe. Other film adaptations of the Belasco play include a 1915 Jesse L. Lasky production directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Mabel Van Buren and Theodore Roberts (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1. 1589); a 1923 Associated First National film directed by Edwin Carewe, with Sylvia Breamer and J. Warren Kerrigan; and a 1930 First National Picture, directed by John Francis Dillon, and starring Ann Harding and James Rennie (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2. 2098 and F2. 2099). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Mar 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
17 Mar 38
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Dec 36
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Nov 38
p. 1, 8
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 38
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 38
p. 6.
International Photographer
1 Mar 38
pp. 27-29.
Motion Picture Daily
12 Mar 38
p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily
14 Mar 38
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
5 Feb 38
pp. 16-17.
Motion Picture Herald
19 Mar 38
p. 40.
New York Times
25 Mar 38
p. 15.
Variety
16 Mar 38
p. 15.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Robert Z. Leonard Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Asst cam
Tinting and toning
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus presentations by
Orch and vocal arr
Orch and vocal arr
Orch and vocal arr
Orch and vocal arr
Dir of mus seq
Addl lyrics for "Mariache"
SOUND
Rec dir
Mus rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Mont eff
DANCE
Dances and ensembles created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Chief elec
Props
Chief Elec eng
Translator and instructor for Spanish lyrics
STAND INS
Singing double for Bill Cody, Jr.
Vocal stand-in for Miss MacDonald
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Girl of the Golden West by David Belasco (New York, 14 Nov 1905).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Soldiers of Fortune," "The Wind Is in the Trees," "Sun-Up to Sun Down," "Shadows of the Moon," "Señorita," "Mariache," "The West Ain't Wild Any More" and "Who Are We to Say," music by Sigmund Romberg, lyrics by Gus Kahn
"Liebstraum (Oh Dream of Love)," music by Franz Liszt, arrangements by Herbert Stothart, lyrics by Gus Kahn
and "Ave Maria," music by Charles Gounod, adapted from the First Prelude in The Well-Tempered Clavichord by Johann Sebastian Bach, lyrics traditional.
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 March 1938
Production Date:
8 November 1937--10 February 1938
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
14 March 1938
Copyright Number:
LP7896
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
120-121
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4096
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In Nineteenth century California, orphan Mary Robbins and her Uncle Davey cross the mountains into California and meet Father Sienna, who tells them about a bandit known as Ramerez. Ramerez, a white man who was reared by Indians, hears young Mary singing and is intrigued by her. Years later, Mary runs the Polka Saloon in the town of Cloudy Mountain. Sheriff Jack Rance, is in love with Mary, and has just given her a piano for her birthday, As "The Professor," an alcoholic old barfly plays, Mary sings for her customers, all of whom adore her. The next day, she goes by stage across the moutains to Monterey to see Father Sienna. While crossing the mountains, the coach is stopped by Ramerez, who is immediately attracted to the now grown Mary, and let's them pass unharmed. In Monterey, Mary learns that Father Sienna has been receiving mysterious, anonymous contributions for the church. The next day, as Mary sings the "Ave Maria" at Mass, a hidden Ramerez sees her and later overhears the Governor inviting her to a ball. The next night, using a uniform he has stolen from Mary's appointed escort, "Lieutenant Richard Johnson," Ramerez poses as the officer and calls for Mary to drive her to the ball. On the way, his attentions become too arduous and Mary slaps him, then drives off to the ball by herself. At the ball, Ramerez apologizes to Mary and they dance, then he rushes off, when the real Lieutenant Johnson arrives and reveals what has happened to him. After Ramerez leaves, Rance tells Mary that he has been trying to catch ... +


In Nineteenth century California, orphan Mary Robbins and her Uncle Davey cross the mountains into California and meet Father Sienna, who tells them about a bandit known as Ramerez. Ramerez, a white man who was reared by Indians, hears young Mary singing and is intrigued by her. Years later, Mary runs the Polka Saloon in the town of Cloudy Mountain. Sheriff Jack Rance, is in love with Mary, and has just given her a piano for her birthday, As "The Professor," an alcoholic old barfly plays, Mary sings for her customers, all of whom adore her. The next day, she goes by stage across the moutains to Monterey to see Father Sienna. While crossing the mountains, the coach is stopped by Ramerez, who is immediately attracted to the now grown Mary, and let's them pass unharmed. In Monterey, Mary learns that Father Sienna has been receiving mysterious, anonymous contributions for the church. The next day, as Mary sings the "Ave Maria" at Mass, a hidden Ramerez sees her and later overhears the Governor inviting her to a ball. The next night, using a uniform he has stolen from Mary's appointed escort, "Lieutenant Richard Johnson," Ramerez poses as the officer and calls for Mary to drive her to the ball. On the way, his attentions become too arduous and Mary slaps him, then drives off to the ball by herself. At the ball, Ramerez apologizes to Mary and they dance, then he rushes off, when the real Lieutenant Johnson arrives and reveals what has happened to him. After Ramerez leaves, Rance tells Mary that he has been trying to catch the bandit Ramerez and plans to trap him by letting it be known that a huge shipment of gold is being stored in the Polka. Back in Cloudy Mountain, Ramerez enters the Polka and is surprised to see Mary. Because he is a stranger, Rance is suspicious, and, although Mary pretends to be an old friend of the stranger, Rance remains suspicious and tells him to leave town. Mary invites Ramerez to her cabin for dinner that night and he comes, but to throw Rance off his trail, Ramerez's friend "Mosquitto" pretends to be the bandit and rides out of town, chased by Rance's posse. A short time later, at the bandits' camp, Nina Martinez, Ramerez' jealous sweetheart, learns that he has fallen in love with Mary and goes to Rance to tell him where Ramerez is. Rance and his men then go to Mary's cabin and, while Ramerez hides outside, Rance tells Mary everything. Mary is hurt and angry when she learns the truth about the man with whom she has fallen in love. She then hears shots outside and she opens the door to find a wounded Ramerez. She quickly hides him in the cabin's loft so that Rance will not find him, and when Rance returns, she denies knowing where Ramerez is. When blood drops onto Rance's hand from Ramerez' wound, however, the bandit is forced to come down and face the sheriff. Mary then pleads with Rance to save Ramerez' life and Rance agrees to cut cards to decide his rival's fate. Mary wins, but when Rance sees that she has cheated, the only way she can save Ramerez's life is by promising to marry Rance. He then allows Ramerez time to ride away. Some time later, in Father Sienna's chapel in Monterey, Mary prepares for her wedding. She hears Ramerez singing to her and he comes to see her one last time. She begs him to go away, but when Rance realizes that Mary truly loves the bandit, he tells Father Sienna that he has put the wrong name in the bridal book. Finally, Ramerez and Mary cross the mountains together. +

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

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