The Lion and the Horse (1952)

82-83 or 85 mins | Western | 19 April 1952

Director:

Louis King

Writer:

Crane Wilbur

Producer:

Bryan Foy

Cinematographer:

Edwin DuPar

Editor:

William Ziegler

Production Designer:

Stanley Fleischer

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of the film was The Blue Stallion . Voice-over narration, spoken by Steve Cochran as his character, "Ben Kirby," begins the film. The voice of Frank Nelson, as a ukulele instructor on a phonograph record, is heard during the bunkhouse scene. Wildfire, the horse in the film, was registered with the American Saddlebred Horse Association as "Supreme Wonder," according to Warner Bros. production notes. Most of the film was shot on location at Kanab and Zion National Park, UT, according to the MPH review. Warner Bros. production notes state that the rodeo sequences were shot at Bonelli Stadium in Saugus, CA.
       The Lion and the Horse was the first film released by Warner Bros. in the WarnerColor process. Carson City , which some sources claim was the first WarnerColor film, began production one month earlier than The Lion and the Horse , but was released two months after, in Jun 1952. Another film claimed by some sources to be the first WarnerColor film, The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima , did not begin production until Jan 1952. The WarnerColor process was developed over a twelve year period, under the supervision of Col. Nathan Levinson of the Warner Bros. sound department and Fred Gage, who was head of the studio's film laboratory. A modern source adds Dick Curtis to the ... More Less

The working title of the film was The Blue Stallion . Voice-over narration, spoken by Steve Cochran as his character, "Ben Kirby," begins the film. The voice of Frank Nelson, as a ukulele instructor on a phonograph record, is heard during the bunkhouse scene. Wildfire, the horse in the film, was registered with the American Saddlebred Horse Association as "Supreme Wonder," according to Warner Bros. production notes. Most of the film was shot on location at Kanab and Zion National Park, UT, according to the MPH review. Warner Bros. production notes state that the rodeo sequences were shot at Bonelli Stadium in Saugus, CA.
       The Lion and the Horse was the first film released by Warner Bros. in the WarnerColor process. Carson City , which some sources claim was the first WarnerColor film, began production one month earlier than The Lion and the Horse , but was released two months after, in Jun 1952. Another film claimed by some sources to be the first WarnerColor film, The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima , did not begin production until Jan 1952. The WarnerColor process was developed over a twelve year period, under the supervision of Col. Nathan Levinson of the Warner Bros. sound department and Fred Gage, who was head of the studio's film laboratory. A modern source adds Dick Curtis to the cast. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
1 Nov 51
p. 438.
Box Office
22 Mar 1952.
---
Box Office
29 Mar 1952.
---
Daily Variety
20 Mar 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
31 Mar 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 51
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 51
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Aug 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 51
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 52
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 52
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Mar 52
p. 1290.
New York Times
19 May 52
p. 12.
Variety
26 Mar 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Lion trainer
Squirrel trainer
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Rooster from Kanab," music and lyrics by George O'Hanlon.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Blue Stallion
Release Date:
19 April 1952
Production Date:
late August--mid October 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 April 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1643
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
WarnerColor
Duration(in mins):
82-83 or 85
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15562
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

While working with a group of wild horse hunters headed by Matt Jennings, Ben Kirby discovers a beautiful, fierce stallion leading a herd. Wanting the horse for himself, Ben single-handedly captures it, but before he can raise the cash to pay off his partners for it, Matt sells it to a rodeo showman for a high price. Ben doggedly searches for the horse and its owner, and by working the rodeo circuit, eventually finds the owner, Dave Tracy, and the horse, now called Wildfire. Tracy refuses to sell Ben the horse, as he is making big money at rodeos and fairs by betting that no one can ride him for more than ten seconds. Realizing that the rough treatment will soon destroy Wildfire, Ben leaves Tracy $600, the amount Tracy originally paid for Wildfire, and sets the horse free. With Ben following, Wildfire escapes to the back country, where Ben then recaptures him. Taking refuge near Kanab, Utah, at the ranch of kindly Cas Bagley, Ben works as a ranchhand in exchange for board and a place to train Wildfire. Ben's way with animals wins the admiration of Jenny, the granddaughter Bagley is rearing alone, who has tamed and befriended several of the local wild animals. Eventually Ben tames and trains Wildfire, and the horse later proves his loyalty when he pulls Ben out of some quicksand. When a circus lion escapes from a traveling show, many of the local livestock are killed. The lion stalks Jenny and causes a stampede of wild horses, but Ben, who is working on a fence nearby, saves Jenny and scares off the lion with gunfire. Meanwhile, Tracy has been searching for Wildfire ... +


While working with a group of wild horse hunters headed by Matt Jennings, Ben Kirby discovers a beautiful, fierce stallion leading a herd. Wanting the horse for himself, Ben single-handedly captures it, but before he can raise the cash to pay off his partners for it, Matt sells it to a rodeo showman for a high price. Ben doggedly searches for the horse and its owner, and by working the rodeo circuit, eventually finds the owner, Dave Tracy, and the horse, now called Wildfire. Tracy refuses to sell Ben the horse, as he is making big money at rodeos and fairs by betting that no one can ride him for more than ten seconds. Realizing that the rough treatment will soon destroy Wildfire, Ben leaves Tracy $600, the amount Tracy originally paid for Wildfire, and sets the horse free. With Ben following, Wildfire escapes to the back country, where Ben then recaptures him. Taking refuge near Kanab, Utah, at the ranch of kindly Cas Bagley, Ben works as a ranchhand in exchange for board and a place to train Wildfire. Ben's way with animals wins the admiration of Jenny, the granddaughter Bagley is rearing alone, who has tamed and befriended several of the local wild animals. Eventually Ben tames and trains Wildfire, and the horse later proves his loyalty when he pulls Ben out of some quicksand. When a circus lion escapes from a traveling show, many of the local livestock are killed. The lion stalks Jenny and causes a stampede of wild horses, but Ben, who is working on a fence nearby, saves Jenny and scares off the lion with gunfire. Meanwhile, Tracy has been searching for Wildfire and shows up at the ranch threatening to have Ben arrested for horse theft. After learning from Bagley that the local police and jurists are unlikely to be sympathetic to his cruel treatment of Wildfire, Tracy tries to steal the horse during the night. However, Wildfire balks, and when Tracy tries to beat him into submission, the horse tramples him to death. Bagley warns Ben that the law requires the destruction of any animal causing a man's death and gives him a head start to the state line before alerting the sheriff. Ben and Wildfire proceed to Wyoming through back country, camping out at night. While Ben is asleep, the lion attacks Wildfire, but after a struggle, Wildfire stomps the lion to death. The next morning, the sheriff, with Bagley and Jenny, catch up with them, so Ben sets Wildfire loose and is ready to fight rather than see his horse destroyed. However, the sheriff knows the circumstances of Tracy's death and is pleased that the lion will no longer endanger the inhabitants of the area. Claiming that he is looking for Tracy's horse, not Ben's, the sheriff declares that Wildfire is not the horse he is tracking. After Wildfire voluntarily returns to Ben, everyone heads back to the ranch. +

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

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