Cattle Drive (1951)

77 mins | Western | August 1951

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HISTORY

According to a Nov 1950 HR news item, some scenes were shot on location in Death Valley, CA. The Var review notes that the photograph of "Dan's" girl friend shown in the film is actually a picture of Joel McCrea's wife, actress Francis Dee. Modern sources add Harry Carey, Jr. to the ... More Less

According to a Nov 1950 HR news item, some scenes were shot on location in Death Valley, CA. The Var review notes that the photograph of "Dan's" girl friend shown in the film is actually a picture of Joel McCrea's wife, actress Francis Dee. Modern sources add Harry Carey, Jr. to the cast. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
21 Jul 1951.
---
Daily Variety
13 Jul 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
24 Jul 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Nov 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Nov 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 50
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Dec 50
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 51
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Jul 51
p. 929.
New York Times
8 Aug 51
p. 21.
New York Times
9 Aug 51
p. 17.
Variety
18 Jul 51
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Dial dir
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Technicolor tech
Technicolor tech
DETAILS
Release Date:
August 1951
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 1 August 1951
New York opening: 8 August 1951
Production Date:
27 November--late December 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
28 June 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1014
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
77
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15133
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When his attempts to get the attention of his railroad magnate father fail, spoiled Chester Graham, Jr. wreaks havoc while they travel across the west by train. Chester, who has just overheard his father plans to send him away to boarding school, wanders into the deserted hills. As soon as the train pulls away, Graham, Sr. realizes that Chester has been left behind and arranges for the police to rescue him, hoping the experience will teach the boy a lesson. Soon after, Chester tumbles down a hill and into the path of cattle driver Dan Mathews, ruining Dan's chance of roping a wild stallion he has been trailing for hours. Chester tries unsuccessfully to bully Dan into escorting him to meet his father's train in Santa Fe, then grudgingly follows him to his camp. There, trail boss Cap warns the boy that he can only eat if he works, and after a day of sulking, Chester is forced to go without dinner. That night, he tries to run off, but as soon as Dan confronts him, he breaks down in tears. Dan feeds the boy and explains that he, too, was a tough kid who had to learn why everyone must work together on the trail. He then reveals his future plans to start a horse ranch with colts sired by Midnight, the wild stallion he has been chasing. The next morning, Chester willingly works alongside Dallas, the camp cook, and impresses the other cattle drivers with his pluck when he insists on riding an ornery bronco. Over the next few days, Dan teaches Chester cattle-driving skills as Cap, worried about the scarcity of water, turns the herd toward ... +


When his attempts to get the attention of his railroad magnate father fail, spoiled Chester Graham, Jr. wreaks havoc while they travel across the west by train. Chester, who has just overheard his father plans to send him away to boarding school, wanders into the deserted hills. As soon as the train pulls away, Graham, Sr. realizes that Chester has been left behind and arranges for the police to rescue him, hoping the experience will teach the boy a lesson. Soon after, Chester tumbles down a hill and into the path of cattle driver Dan Mathews, ruining Dan's chance of roping a wild stallion he has been trailing for hours. Chester tries unsuccessfully to bully Dan into escorting him to meet his father's train in Santa Fe, then grudgingly follows him to his camp. There, trail boss Cap warns the boy that he can only eat if he works, and after a day of sulking, Chester is forced to go without dinner. That night, he tries to run off, but as soon as Dan confronts him, he breaks down in tears. Dan feeds the boy and explains that he, too, was a tough kid who had to learn why everyone must work together on the trail. He then reveals his future plans to start a horse ranch with colts sired by Midnight, the wild stallion he has been chasing. The next morning, Chester willingly works alongside Dallas, the camp cook, and impresses the other cattle drivers with his pluck when he insists on riding an ornery bronco. Over the next few days, Dan teaches Chester cattle-driving skills as Cap, worried about the scarcity of water, turns the herd toward a treacherous stretch of desert called Paradise Canyon. Chester braves the wind and heat without complaining, and when the group finally reaches a watering hole, the men congratulate him for his courage. That night, cowboy Jim Currie, who dislikes Chester, challenges Dan to a race to prove who has the faster horse. Dan wins, but when Chester boasts that he rode Currie's horse all night to exhaust it, Dan exposes the ruse to the whole camp and explains the cowboy code of ethics to Chester. Crestfallen, Chester sees a chance to redeem himself when Midnight appears and stampedes the cattle. Dan and Chester capture the stallion together and attempt to break him. Chester grows more despondent as the drive moves closer to Santa Fe, where he must rejoin his father. One night, he disobeys Dan's orders by untying Midnight in the hopes of taming him. Midnight breaks loose and Currie shoots at the horse, causing the cattle to stampede again. After the men finally round up the cattle, they realize that Chester has disappeared. Fearing the worst, they return to the camp, where they find Chester looking for Midnight. The boy confesses that he let Midnight loose, but Currie admits his role in causing the stampede and everyone agrees that Chester's safety is the only important factor. In Santa Fe the next day, Graham, seeing that Chester is more attached to Dan than to him, vows to be a better father. He then gives Chester permission to join Dan in search of Midnight, but just as the two set off, Graham arrives to accompany his son on the trail. +

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.