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HISTORY

       The working titles of this film were The Conquerors , The Lion’s Share , Rock Grayson’s Women , The Rebel , Violence at Thunder Run , Thunderbolt and Brazen . Although onscreen credits and the copyright entry refer to the source of the film as a novel by Karl Brown, no publication information has been found. According to the SAB , the source was an unpublished story by Brown, titled “Decision to Kill.” The film opens with the following written statement: “Following the War between the States many Southern towns were occupied by Union forces and Civil Administrators were appointed to carry out the terms of peace. In some instances these administrators were just; in others cruel and despotic. This is the story of such an occupied town.”
       Although the film was shot in Technicolor, the viewed print was in black and white and the onscreen director of photography and Technicolor credits were omitted. The above photography credits were confirmed by reviews and publicity materials. According to a Sep 1950 DV news item, John Wayne was first considered to star in the picture. HR news items add Louis Jean Heydt, Howard Joslin and John Halloran to the cast, but their appearance in the final film is doubtful. HR adds Ed Barrier to the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources add Llewellyn Johnson, Harry Cody, William Berry, Major Sam Harris, Jack Hill, Richard Beedle, Richard Bartell and Brad Mora to the ... More Less

       The working titles of this film were The Conquerors , The Lion’s Share , Rock Grayson’s Women , The Rebel , Violence at Thunder Run , Thunderbolt and Brazen . Although onscreen credits and the copyright entry refer to the source of the film as a novel by Karl Brown, no publication information has been found. According to the SAB , the source was an unpublished story by Brown, titled “Decision to Kill.” The film opens with the following written statement: “Following the War between the States many Southern towns were occupied by Union forces and Civil Administrators were appointed to carry out the terms of peace. In some instances these administrators were just; in others cruel and despotic. This is the story of such an occupied town.”
       Although the film was shot in Technicolor, the viewed print was in black and white and the onscreen director of photography and Technicolor credits were omitted. The above photography credits were confirmed by reviews and publicity materials. According to a Sep 1950 DV news item, John Wayne was first considered to star in the picture. HR news items add Louis Jean Heydt, Howard Joslin and John Halloran to the cast, but their appearance in the final film is doubtful. HR adds Ed Barrier to the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources add Llewellyn Johnson, Harry Cody, William Berry, Major Sam Harris, Jack Hill, Richard Beedle, Richard Bartell and Brad Mora to the cast. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 May 1953.
---
Daily Variety
7 Sep 1950.
---
Daily Variety
7 May 53
p. 3.
Film Daily
12 May 53
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 1952
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 1952
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 1952
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 1952
p. 7, 10.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 1952
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1952
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 1952
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 1952
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Aug 1952
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Dec 1952
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
7 May 53
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 May 53
p. 1830.
Variety
13 May 53
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Wrt for the screen by
Wrt for the screen by
Wrt for the screen by
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus score
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"Rock of Ages," words by Augustus Montague Toplady, music by Thomas Hastings.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Brazen
Rock Grayson's Women
The Lion's Share
The Rebel
Violence at Thunder Run
The Conquerors
Thunderbolt
Release Date:
June 1953
Production Date:
early Aug--early Sep 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 June 1953
Copyright Number:
LP2651
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
83-85
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16087
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the Southern town of Galeston, just after the Civil War, citizens watch in horror as one of their own is hanged on orders from Roger Hale, the local civil administrator. Hale is reviled by the townspeople as a corrupt traitor, and his activities cause Rockwell Grayson, a Confederate veteran from one of Galeston’s aristocratic families, to seek an audience with Inspector General Hildebrandt in Nashville, Tennessee. Although Hildebrandt has received dozens of letters from Galeston citizens, denouncing Hale, he refuses to condemn the man without solid evidence and sends Rock on his way. Later, Rock returns to Galeston for the first time since enlisting and shocks his friends with his cynical views on post-war life in the South. Rock’s seeming nonchalance about Hale, who has taken over the Grayson mansion, particularly infuriates Dr. Colfax, but his daughter Jane, Rock’s childhood sweetheart, loyally defends Rock. After checking into the town hotel, Rock meets Rose Slater, Hale’s lover and partner, a former prostitute who despises the local aristocracy but nonetheless hopes her newly found wealth will gain her social status. Rock then visits Hale at his house and accepts Hale’s offer to be his tax collector. Although Rock appears reasonable in his requests, many land owners, their fortunes depleted by the war, cannot make their payments and face foreclosure. In church one Sunday, Rock stuns Jane by sitting next to Rose and then criticizes the minister for speaking against Hale in his sermon. Afterward, Rose invites Rock on a carriage ride and takes him to Fair Oaks, the repossessed plantation she is buying. Attracted to Rock and his social position, ... +


In the Southern town of Galeston, just after the Civil War, citizens watch in horror as one of their own is hanged on orders from Roger Hale, the local civil administrator. Hale is reviled by the townspeople as a corrupt traitor, and his activities cause Rockwell Grayson, a Confederate veteran from one of Galeston’s aristocratic families, to seek an audience with Inspector General Hildebrandt in Nashville, Tennessee. Although Hildebrandt has received dozens of letters from Galeston citizens, denouncing Hale, he refuses to condemn the man without solid evidence and sends Rock on his way. Later, Rock returns to Galeston for the first time since enlisting and shocks his friends with his cynical views on post-war life in the South. Rock’s seeming nonchalance about Hale, who has taken over the Grayson mansion, particularly infuriates Dr. Colfax, but his daughter Jane, Rock’s childhood sweetheart, loyally defends Rock. After checking into the town hotel, Rock meets Rose Slater, Hale’s lover and partner, a former prostitute who despises the local aristocracy but nonetheless hopes her newly found wealth will gain her social status. Rock then visits Hale at his house and accepts Hale’s offer to be his tax collector. Although Rock appears reasonable in his requests, many land owners, their fortunes depleted by the war, cannot make their payments and face foreclosure. In church one Sunday, Rock stuns Jane by sitting next to Rose and then criticizes the minister for speaking against Hale in his sermon. Afterward, Rose invites Rock on a carriage ride and takes him to Fair Oaks, the repossessed plantation she is buying. Attracted to Rock and his social position, Rose suggests he become partners with her and Hale and share in their ill-gotten gains. Later, in town, Hale and his Union Army cohort, Capt. Kirby, are startled by the arrival of Hildebrandt, who has come to inspect their operation. Hale stalls the general about his account books, assuring a worried Kirby that he can concoct phony entries before morning. After Hildebrandt unwittingly reveals to Kirby that Rock is working undercover to procure evidence against Hale, Kirby arranges with Hale and Rose to keep Rock away from the general. That night at dinner, Hale informs Hildebrandt that Rock is out of town on business, but Hildebrandt declares that he is taking Hale’s account books with him for auditing. Now panicked, Hale plots to kill the general and frame Rock. To that end, he writes a note, signed with Rock’s name, asking Hildebrandt to see Rock in his hotel room. Kirby then delivers the note to Hildebrandt and insists on accompanying him to the hotel. Just as Hildebrandt steps into Rock’s room, Hale, who is lying in wait in an adjacent building, shoots him through the open window. Kirby and his men pursue Rock as he grabs the note from Hildebrandt and attempts to catch Hale, and Rock is shot. The injured Rock escapes to Fair Oaks, where Rose, who has hinted that she is aware of his subterfuge, cleans his wound. After Rock reveals that Hale framed him with a forged note and passes out, however, Rose removes the note from his pocket and rushes to Hale’s. There, Rose uses the note to force Hale to sign a statement identifying her as his fiancée and bequeathing all of his possessions to her upon his death. By the time Hale and Rose return to her house, Rock has revived and fled. Jane, meanwhile, hears about Rock’s plight and sneaks out to find him, correctly guessing that he has gone to their childhood hideout. Rock tells Jane about the note and finally admits his true mission, and the two pledge their love. Jane then heads for Fair Oaks and confronts Rose, threatening to stab her with a pair of scissors until she turns over the note. Soon after Jane departs, Rock shows up and also demands the note from Rose. Spotting Hale outside, riding up with Kirby and his soldiers, Rose stalls Rock, telling him that Jane took the note. When Hale and the others burst in, Rock tries to draw his gun on them, but Rose knocks it away. Rock flees to the second floor, and Rose accidentally shoots and kills Hale when she blindly fires Rock’s gun up the stairs. Jane, meanwhile, shows the note to her father and General Morris, the man sent to investigate Hildebrandt’s murder, and convinces them that Rock is innocent. Morris and his men race to Fair Oaks, while Kirby pursues Rock, catching up to him at the same time as Morris. After Kirby is arrested for his part in Hale’s crimes, Jane and a vindicated Rock embrace.


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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.