The Painted Hills (1951)

68-69 mins | Drama | 4 May 1951

Director:

Harold F. Kress

Writer:

True Boardman

Cinematographers:

Alfred Gilks, Harold Lipstein

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Leonid Vasian

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The film's working title was Shep of the Painted Hills . Modern sources also list the alternate title of Lassie's Adventures in the Gold Rush , possibly used when the picture was broadcast on television. This was the last in a series of films produced by M-G-M from 1943-1951 that featured the collie known as "Lassie." For additional information on the films, please consult the entry for Lassie Come Home in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ... More Less

The film's working title was Shep of the Painted Hills . Modern sources also list the alternate title of Lassie's Adventures in the Gold Rush , possibly used when the picture was broadcast on television. This was the last in a series of films produced by M-G-M from 1943-1951 that featured the collie known as "Lassie." For additional information on the films, please consult the entry for Lassie Come Home in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 Mar 1951.
---
Daily Variety
23 Mar 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
26 Mar 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 50
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 50
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar 51
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
21 Apr 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Mar 51
p. 765.
Variety
28 Mar 51
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
SOUND
Rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hair styles des
Makeup created by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Shep of the Painted Hills by Alexander Hull (New York, 1930).
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
Shep of the Painted Hills
Release Date:
4 May 1951
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 21 April 1951
Production Date:
June 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 March 1951
Copyright Number:
LP892
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
68-69
Length(in feet):
6,144
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14751
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In the late eighteenth century, miner Jonathan Harvey strikes a rich vein of gold and hurries to town to tell his partner, Frank Blake. In the saloon, Jonathan is greeted with the sad news that Frank has recently died of pneumonia. Frank's widow, Martha, tells Jonathan how helpful Lin Taylor, a newcomer to town, has been to her and her son Tommy and reveals that Frank made Lin his partner just before he died. Jonathan is concerned, but takes Lin's advice to wait before registering the claim in case the vein is not the motherlode. Trying to console Tommy, with whom he is close, Jonathan decides to give the boy his beloved collie Shep for Christmas, then returns to his mountain claim. Although Shep loves Tommy, he pines for Jonathan and refuses to eat. Their friend, Bald Eagle, tells the boy that Shep will starve herself to death without Jonathan, so Tommy decides to return her. Because the trip to the mine is too far for Tommy to attempt alone, Lin offers to escort him. They find Jonathan ill with fever at his cabin, but their care and Shep's devotion enable the miner to recover quickly. Now more trusting of Lin, Jonathan reveals that the vein he found petered out, but that he has worked his way upstream toward what must be the motherlode and has panned more than $6,000 in gold. Soon Lin and Tommy work alongside Jonathan to pan as much as possible, but Lin begins to harbor secret fears of losing the gold. Jonathan recognizes Lin's increasing greed and worries that it will result in Lin trying to cheat ... +


In the late eighteenth century, miner Jonathan Harvey strikes a rich vein of gold and hurries to town to tell his partner, Frank Blake. In the saloon, Jonathan is greeted with the sad news that Frank has recently died of pneumonia. Frank's widow, Martha, tells Jonathan how helpful Lin Taylor, a newcomer to town, has been to her and her son Tommy and reveals that Frank made Lin his partner just before he died. Jonathan is concerned, but takes Lin's advice to wait before registering the claim in case the vein is not the motherlode. Trying to console Tommy, with whom he is close, Jonathan decides to give the boy his beloved collie Shep for Christmas, then returns to his mountain claim. Although Shep loves Tommy, he pines for Jonathan and refuses to eat. Their friend, Bald Eagle, tells the boy that Shep will starve herself to death without Jonathan, so Tommy decides to return her. Because the trip to the mine is too far for Tommy to attempt alone, Lin offers to escort him. They find Jonathan ill with fever at his cabin, but their care and Shep's devotion enable the miner to recover quickly. Now more trusting of Lin, Jonathan reveals that the vein he found petered out, but that he has worked his way upstream toward what must be the motherlode and has panned more than $6,000 in gold. Soon Lin and Tommy work alongside Jonathan to pan as much as possible, but Lin begins to harbor secret fears of losing the gold. Jonathan recognizes Lin's increasing greed and worries that it will result in Lin trying to cheat him, Martha and Tommy out of their fair share. As a safeguard, Jonathan secretly reveals his fears to Tommy and sends him to town to register their claim, advising him not to tell anyone what he has said. He asks Shep to go with Tommy, but assures her it is just temporary. When Lin returns to the cabin after searching the mountain, Jonathan tells him that Tommy was homesick and returned home. Lin then tells Jonathan that he found the motherlode and asks him to come up the mountain with him. Meanwhile, Tommy becomes worried about Jonathan and sends Shep back. She arrives as Lin pushes Jonathan off the side of the mountain and only hears Jonathan's plaintive cry. Lin tries to make friends with Shep, knowing that her death might prove difficult to explain, but Shep eventually finds the grave Lin has dug and refuses to leave it. When Shep eventually comes back to the cabin looking for food, Lin throws her meat laced with poison and she is barely able to make it to a stream before collapsing. She is found by some Indian children, who recognize her and take her to their village. There Bald Eagle treats her and summons Tommy. After Shep recovers, Tommy promises to discover what happened and takes her back to the cabin. Lin tells Tommy that Jonathan has been gone for days, but Tommy is suspicious because of what Jonathan had told him. That night, Tommy sneaks out to follow Shep, who will not go near Lin, and finds Jonathan's hat near the grave. When Lin goes looking for Tommy and Shep, Tommy is terrified and jumps on his horse while Shep is fighting with Lin. The boy is injured in a fall from the horse and is taken into the cabin by Lin, who cares for him. Lin then tells Tommy that Jonathan has died, but says that he lied to keep him from further grief. The next morning, three men, including Pilot Pete, a traveling preacher who had visited the cabin earlier, arrive with Tommy's runaway horse. Lin cajoles them into accepting his version of Jonathan's death and Tommy starts to believe that it is true until he later overhears Lin tell Pete that Jonathan never found any gold. Tommy immediately lashes out at Lin, calling him a liar, and runs to the cabin to show Pete and the others the bags of gold they had hidden under the floorboards. When they reach the cabin, though, Tommy discovers that only a small amount of gold is still there. Lin then tells the men to take the gold to Martha and says that Tommy's fall has confused him. The men take Tommy away with them and Lin suggests that they take Shep as well. The dog resists and eventually breaks loose of her tether and runs back to the cabin. Seeing her, Lin gets his gun and chases her far up the snow-covered mountain. Shep is wounded by Lin but continues to a high precipice near the spot where Jonathan fell. Finally face to face, Lin fires point blank at Shep, but his gun jams due to the freezing cold. Now facing Shep's wrath, Lin tries to save himself but backs up so far that he falls to his death off the precipice. Just then, Tommy, who returned with Pete to look for Shep, finds her and the two embrace. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.