Four Guns to the Border (1954)

82-83 mins | Western | November 1954

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Shadow Valley . An Apr 1954 HR news item reports that some scenes were shot on location in Apple Valley, CA. According to an Apr 1954 HR news item, Jack Daly was cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources add Henry Wills to the ... More Less

The working title of this film was Shadow Valley . An Apr 1954 HR news item reports that some scenes were shot on location in Apple Valley, CA. According to an Apr 1954 HR news item, Jack Daly was cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources add Henry Wills to the cast. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Sep 1954.
---
Daily Variety
21 Sep 54
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Sep 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 54
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Apr 54
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Apr 54
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 54
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Sep 54
p. 153.
New York Times
6 Nov 54
p. 15.
Variety
22 Sep 54
p. 6.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Shadow Valley
Release Date:
November 1954
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 3 November 1954
New York opening: 5 November 1954
Production Date:
early April--mid May 1954
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
17 September 1954
Copyright Number:
LP4001
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
up to 2:1
Duration(in mins):
82-83
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17102
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New Mexico in 1881, outlaw leader Cully chastises his mentor, Dutch, and gang members Bronco and Yaqui, after they botch a robbery. On their way out of town, they ride by Simon Bhumer, an ex-gunman pal of Dutch's, and his pretty daughter Lolly. The Bhumers are headed for Saddle Valley to start a ranch, undaunted by the renegade Apache Indians who maraud near the Mexican border. The gang, not realizing the two strangers are the Bhumers, at first attack, and Cully accidentally knocks out Lolly. After he labels her a brat, the gang takes off to visit their friend Greasy, who tends a store outside Cully's hometown. Cully later announces that they will rob the town bank the next day, even though no one has ever managed it before, and dismisses Dutch's accusation that he merely wants revenge on his old enemy, Jim Flannery. Just then, the Bhumers, who have been watching with trepidation as smoke signals gather in the sky, stop by the store, and the men watch Lolly try on pieces of fabric. That night, a storm rages outside, and when Lolly steps outside to calm the horses, Cully follows and wordlessly pulls her into a kiss, laughing when she struggles. When Lolly returns inside, Bronco buys her a piece of material as a gift, but Simon knocks it out of his hands and warns the men to stay away from Lolly. As the rain continues to fall throughout the night, Lolly, dressed in only a slip, again visits the horses. In the stable, Cully kisses her again, first gently, but then so roughly that she slaps him. She then falls back into his arms, crying, ... +


In New Mexico in 1881, outlaw leader Cully chastises his mentor, Dutch, and gang members Bronco and Yaqui, after they botch a robbery. On their way out of town, they ride by Simon Bhumer, an ex-gunman pal of Dutch's, and his pretty daughter Lolly. The Bhumers are headed for Saddle Valley to start a ranch, undaunted by the renegade Apache Indians who maraud near the Mexican border. The gang, not realizing the two strangers are the Bhumers, at first attack, and Cully accidentally knocks out Lolly. After he labels her a brat, the gang takes off to visit their friend Greasy, who tends a store outside Cully's hometown. Cully later announces that they will rob the town bank the next day, even though no one has ever managed it before, and dismisses Dutch's accusation that he merely wants revenge on his old enemy, Jim Flannery. Just then, the Bhumers, who have been watching with trepidation as smoke signals gather in the sky, stop by the store, and the men watch Lolly try on pieces of fabric. That night, a storm rages outside, and when Lolly steps outside to calm the horses, Cully follows and wordlessly pulls her into a kiss, laughing when she struggles. When Lolly returns inside, Bronco buys her a piece of material as a gift, but Simon knocks it out of his hands and warns the men to stay away from Lolly. As the rain continues to fall throughout the night, Lolly, dressed in only a slip, again visits the horses. In the stable, Cully kisses her again, first gently, but then so roughly that she slaps him. She then falls back into his arms, crying, but Simon suddenly appears with a shotgun, pulls Lolly away and announces that they are leaving right away. In the morning, the gang wakes and, seeing new smoke signals, worry about the Bhumers. Meanwhile, on the trail, Lolly argues with Simon for forcing her to leave, and although he tries to warn her about marrying a gunslinger, she breaks away to return to Cully. On the way, however, her horse rears and breaks its leg, and Simon must shoot it. Chastened, Lolly follows her father and they travel on with only one horse. The next day, Cully enters town to track down Jim, his childhood friend who grew up to be sheriff and ran Cully out of town. He first finds Jim's wife Maggie, who asks him to leave them alone, explaining that she could have loved him if he had been more mature. When Cully sets off for the sheriff's office, Maggie races to warn Jim, who agrees to fight him. While the whole town watches the two men fight, the rest of Cully's gang rob the bank. Finally, Maggie threatens to leave Jim if he does not stop fighting, and Cully rides out of town with a smirk. On the trail, Simon reads a smoke signal announcing that the Indians have attacked the store, and although Lolly worries for Cully's safety, their lone horse breaks a shoe and they are forced to walk. When the gang returns to the store, they find it burned to the ground and Greasy dead, and so take off on the same trail as the Bhumers. Meanwhile, in town Jim arranges a posse and sets out after the outlaws. Hours later, the Bhumers, exhausted from walking, are nearing Shadow Valley when the Apaches surround them. The gang, close behind, hear a shot fired and, one by one with Cully in the lead, head toward the noise to help the Bhumers. During the ensuing shootout, first Yaqui, then Dutch, then Bronco are shot. Before dying, Bronco tells Simon that Cully is a good man, but when Simon spots their bag of gold, he realizes they robbed the bank. The Indians then shoot Cully in the stomach, but are scared away by the appearance of the posse on the hill. Lolly convinces Simon that they must save Cully from Jim by taking him to their nearby home. After they reach the ranch, Cully wakes, and, in spite of Lolly's confession that she loves and wants to accompany him, he feigns disinterest and insists that he is trouble. By morning, Jim finds the ranch, and Cully dresses with difficulty. He is trapped inside, however, by the posse, and not wanting to risk hurting Lolly, he agrees to meet Jim outside. As he struggles outside with a gun, Lolly follows, entreating him to consider why his friends died and give in. He does not answer her, but by the time he reaches Jim, he surrenders for Lolly's sake, then falls into her arms. Days later, he is well enough to leave for jail, and Jim promises Lolly that she will not have to wait too long for his return. +

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.