The Treasure of Lost Canyon (1952)

81-82 mins | Drama | March 1952

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Treasure of Franchard . The title card reads: "Robert Louis Stevenson's The Treasure of Lost Canyon ." The story opens with a statement that reads: "Scenes at McArthur-Burney Falls Park by courtesy of the California State Park Commission." Other scenes were shot on location in Feather River country. Universal borrowed William Powell from M-G-M to star in this film. A HR news item includes Dusty Henley in the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Stevenson's story was first adapted for the television program "Your Showtime" in 1949. It was directed by Sobey Martin and starred Alan ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Treasure of Franchard . The title card reads: "Robert Louis Stevenson's The Treasure of Lost Canyon ." The story opens with a statement that reads: "Scenes at McArthur-Burney Falls Park by courtesy of the California State Park Commission." Other scenes were shot on location in Feather River country. Universal borrowed William Powell from M-G-M to star in this film. A HR news item includes Dusty Henley in the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Stevenson's story was first adapted for the television program "Your Showtime" in 1949. It was directed by Sobey Martin and starred Alan Reed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 Feb 1952.
---
Daily Variety
13 Feb 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Feb 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 51
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jun 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 51
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jun 51
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 51
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jun 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jul 1951
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 52
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
22 Jan 1949.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Feb 52
p. 1237.
Variety
13 Feb 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Technicolor tech
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Treasure of Franchard" by Robert Louis Stevenson in Longman's Magazine (Apr 1883).
SONGS
"Oh Lemuel, My Lemuel," words and music by Stephen C. Foster.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Robert Louis Stevenson's The Treasure of Lost Canyon
The Treasure of Franchard
Release Date:
March 1952
Production Date:
early June--21 July 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
26 November 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1355
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
81-82
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15456
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1870, drunken con man Baltimore Dan and his sons, Paddy and Gyppo, meet the upper-class Ben Brown and his young son David on a stage to Sacramento. After a random gunshot causes Ben to die of a heart attack, Dan spies an envelope instructing whoever reads it to deliver the letter and David to Ben's cousin, lawyer Lucius Cooke. Dan steals David's necklace, which bears half of a coin, and brings the boy to Cooke. When Cooke reads that Ben wants him to bring David to his brother, who will then control his whole fortune, the greedy lawyer pays Dan to take David away. Years later, the now ten-year-old David is forced to help the cruel Dan and his sons steal wallets and sell a phony "elixir." In one town, an angry mob chases Dan and David into a barn, where Dan has a heart attack. The barn's owner calls in local scientist and lovable eccentric Doc Homer Brown, who cannot help the dying man. Homer spies David hiding in the barn and is impressed by the boy's quick wit. The next day, Homer is surprised to find that David has followed him to his idyllic farmhouse. As David tells his story of how he has been forced to steal and lie, Homer recognizes in the boy his own lively spirit and talent for philosophy. He informs his overjoyed wife Samuella that they have adopted David and his dog, Toby. When the Browns try to adopt David legally, however, their cousin, Cooke, hears about Baltimore Dan and realizes who David is, and so attempts to block the adoption by "investigating" David's past. At home, David questions Samuella about ... +


In 1870, drunken con man Baltimore Dan and his sons, Paddy and Gyppo, meet the upper-class Ben Brown and his young son David on a stage to Sacramento. After a random gunshot causes Ben to die of a heart attack, Dan spies an envelope instructing whoever reads it to deliver the letter and David to Ben's cousin, lawyer Lucius Cooke. Dan steals David's necklace, which bears half of a coin, and brings the boy to Cooke. When Cooke reads that Ben wants him to bring David to his brother, who will then control his whole fortune, the greedy lawyer pays Dan to take David away. Years later, the now ten-year-old David is forced to help the cruel Dan and his sons steal wallets and sell a phony "elixir." In one town, an angry mob chases Dan and David into a barn, where Dan has a heart attack. The barn's owner calls in local scientist and lovable eccentric Doc Homer Brown, who cannot help the dying man. Homer spies David hiding in the barn and is impressed by the boy's quick wit. The next day, Homer is surprised to find that David has followed him to his idyllic farmhouse. As David tells his story of how he has been forced to steal and lie, Homer recognizes in the boy his own lively spirit and talent for philosophy. He informs his overjoyed wife Samuella that they have adopted David and his dog, Toby. When the Browns try to adopt David legally, however, their cousin, Cooke, hears about Baltimore Dan and realizes who David is, and so attempts to block the adoption by "investigating" David's past. At home, David questions Samuella about why Homer works on a medical encyclopedia, and she reveals that Homer once struck gold but gambled away most of the money in San Francisco. Later that day, Homer shows David Mt. Franchard, which is rumored to have a bottomless pit under its waterfall and treasure in its caves. Homer, however, swears that he does not want treasure because it corrupts and turns brother against brother, and makes David swear to stop him if he ever tries to return to San Francisco. They stop to picnic and as Homer naps, David climbs into the caves and discovers treasure. When Homer sees the chest full of diamonds and gold, he immediately becomes crazed with greed, and David later watches sadly as Homer and Samuella celebrate and plan their trip to San Francisco. The next morning, the treasure has disappeared, and Cooke forces David to admit that he has thrown the chest into the falls. Soon after, Gyppo and Paddy kidnap David, but Homer's young friend, law student Jim Anderson, chases and jails them. As Jim tries to question them, David, who wants nothing more than to please his new parents, accidentally sets the house on fire while attempting a science experiment. The house and Homer's encyclopedia are ruined, and when the always-honest David admits that he is to blame, Homer forgives him. Cooke soon informs his cousin, however, that the money he has been investing for the Browns is gone, and Homer despondently reproaches David, who runs away. As Homer and Samuella wait tearfully for the boy to return, Jim arrives and informs them that Gyppo and Paddy were hired by Cooke, who has been embezzling from them for years. Jim hands David's recovered pendant to Homer, who matches it to his own necklace, prompting him and Samuella to realize that David is their nephew. Just then, Toby arrives to lead Homer to David, who has collapsed on the shore of the falls. The boy revives and reveals to Homer that he has dragged the treasure chest up from the water. Homer, who now knows that David is his real treasure, vows to give the riches to the local minister. +

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.