Iron Mountain Trail (1953)

53-54 mins | Western | 8 May 1953

Director:

William Witney

Cinematographer:

Bud Thackery

Editor:

Tony Martinelli

Production Designer:

Frank Arrigo

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Portions of the film were shot on location at Burro Flats in the San Fernando Valley, CA. Iron Mountain Trail is an inaccurate depiction of the the beginning of the Pony Express, a mail system established in 1860 by the firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell that was in operation for eighteen months. There are many films in which the Pony Express is featured, including Republic's 1946 Plainsman and the Lady (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ... More Less

Portions of the film were shot on location at Burro Flats in the San Fernando Valley, CA. Iron Mountain Trail is an inaccurate depiction of the the beginning of the Pony Express, a mail system established in 1860 by the firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell that was in operation for eighteen months. There are many films in which the Pony Express is featured, including Republic's 1946 Plainsman and the Lady (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 May 1953.
---
Daily Variety
21 May 53
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 53
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 53
p. 5, 11.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 53
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 53
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
6 Jun 53
p. 1862.
Variety
27 May 53
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
MUSIC
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 May 1953
Production Date:
began 2 Feb 1953
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
21 April 1953
Copyright Number:
LP2707
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
53-54
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16388
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the late 1800's, responding to complaints of lost and delayed mail, United States government postal inspector Rex Allen travels to San Francisco from Washington, D.C. to determine a more efficient way to deliver mail between San Diego and San Francisco. There he meets Roger McCall, who has a $200,000 government contract to ship mail between the two cities by clipper ship. Rex also meets Sam Sawyer and John Brockway, the feuding owners of two competing stage lines that deliver the mail locally. Suspecting that the mail could be delivered faster by overland stagecoach via the Iron Mountain Trail, Rex convinces Brockway to try a test run as a race against the Argonaut , McCall's clipper ship. Eavesdropping Sawyer and his daughter Nancy also decide to join the competition. Later, while Rex helps Brockway's assistant, Slim Pickens, with rounding up horses for the relay stations, McCall meets with Orrin, the captain of the Argonaut , to discuss how much money they stole from the recent load of mail. Fearing the loss of the government contract, McCall makes plans with Orrin to sabotage Brockway's efforts, and as Rex and Slim herd the horses toward town, McCall and Orrin create an avalanche with explosives that scatter the animals. When Rex and Slim later report to Brockway that all but twenty horses were lost, Brockway assumes Sawyer was the culprit. Then McCall sends Orrin to set fire to Brockway's stagecoach and barn, but Orrin and his helper are caught in the act by Brockway, whom they shoot and put inside the coach. Meanwhile, Rex is amused at the sight of Orrin's pet monkey Marie, who has ... +


In the late 1800's, responding to complaints of lost and delayed mail, United States government postal inspector Rex Allen travels to San Francisco from Washington, D.C. to determine a more efficient way to deliver mail between San Diego and San Francisco. There he meets Roger McCall, who has a $200,000 government contract to ship mail between the two cities by clipper ship. Rex also meets Sam Sawyer and John Brockway, the feuding owners of two competing stage lines that deliver the mail locally. Suspecting that the mail could be delivered faster by overland stagecoach via the Iron Mountain Trail, Rex convinces Brockway to try a test run as a race against the Argonaut , McCall's clipper ship. Eavesdropping Sawyer and his daughter Nancy also decide to join the competition. Later, while Rex helps Brockway's assistant, Slim Pickens, with rounding up horses for the relay stations, McCall meets with Orrin, the captain of the Argonaut , to discuss how much money they stole from the recent load of mail. Fearing the loss of the government contract, McCall makes plans with Orrin to sabotage Brockway's efforts, and as Rex and Slim herd the horses toward town, McCall and Orrin create an avalanche with explosives that scatter the animals. When Rex and Slim later report to Brockway that all but twenty horses were lost, Brockway assumes Sawyer was the culprit. Then McCall sends Orrin to set fire to Brockway's stagecoach and barn, but Orrin and his helper are caught in the act by Brockway, whom they shoot and put inside the coach. Meanwhile, Rex is amused at the sight of Orrin's pet monkey Marie, who has unleashed herself and followed Orrin down the street, but the sound of a gunshot prompts Rex to head toward the barn. Sawyer, who lives nearby, is the first to respond to the noise and sees two men exiting the back of the barn. When Rex and others arrive, they put out the fire and find Brockway dead. The marshal takes reports, but McCall demands that Sawyer be arrested, as he was found in the barn with a gun. Remembering that Orrin's monkey was in the vicinity, Rex asks that the sailor also be questioned, but McCall says he shipped off at midnight for San Diego. After convincing the marshal to delay the trial for thirty days, Rex and Slim race toward San Diego in Brockway's coach, hoping to prove that the inland trail is faster and simultaneously catch up with Orrin and bring him back to testify. Meanwhile, McCall sends thugs to sabotage Rex's efforts, and in town, calls for the circuit judge and rouses public demand for an immediate trial. Seeing no reason to get Orrin's testimony, the judge finds Sawyer guilty and sentences him to hang in ten days. Nancy grabs a horse and races out to tell Rex and Slim, and when she catches up, continues to ride with them to San Diego. However, twenty miles outside of San Diego, they are ambushed by McCall's men. At first, Rex tries to outrun the thugs, but after learning that the bridge ahead is out, he unhitches the horses, and he, Slim and Nancy jump out of the moving coach. Although the outlaws herd the team horses away, Rex catches Nancy's horse and rides it to San Diego, after promising to send horses back to Slim and Nancy. In San Diego, Rex proceeds to a saloon and through a window sees that the bartender is shanghaiing men for the Argonaut by drugging their liquor. Rex enters the saloon, pretends to get drugged and is carried away. Meanwhile, after arriving in San Diego, Slim and Nancy spot Rex's horse near the saloon and Slim enters looking for Rex. After being rendered unconscious by the bartender's alcohol, Slim is awakened by Rex in the back room where other victims are being held. When Orrin arrives to collect the men and pay off the bartender, Slim and Rex beat up Orrin and get him to write a confession which explains McCall's involvement in government fraud and the murder of Brockway. With little time left before the hanging, Rex races toward San Francisco with the confession note. When he arrives, the noose is around Sawyer's neck, but Rex calls out to the marshal, barely saving Sawyer. McCall tries to escape, but Rex chases him to a barn, where they shoot it out until McCall is killed. Later, after the rest of the crooks are in jail, Rex rides off on the first leg of the new overland mail run, which will be called the Pony Express. +

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.