Silver Lode (1954)

80 mins | Western | June 1954

Director:

Allan Dwan

Writer:

Karen DeWolf

Producer:

Benedict Bogeaus

Cinematographer:

John Alton

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

Pinecrest Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Desperate Men and Four Desperate Men . According to a Dec 1953 HR news item, Silver Lode was to be shot in a "new anamorphic process known as ScenicScope." Although the DV review lists an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and HR production charts list ScenicScope as the process used during filming, ScenicScope is not credited onscreen. The Dec 1953 HR news item also notes that the picture would be shot in Ansco Color, but Eastman Color is cited in production charts and no color process is listed on the film itself. Dolores Moran, who plays "Dolly" in the film, was married to producer Benedict Bogeaus at the time of production. Modern sources include Paul Birch in the ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Desperate Men and Four Desperate Men . According to a Dec 1953 HR news item, Silver Lode was to be shot in a "new anamorphic process known as ScenicScope." Although the DV review lists an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and HR production charts list ScenicScope as the process used during filming, ScenicScope is not credited onscreen. The Dec 1953 HR news item also notes that the picture would be shot in Ansco Color, but Eastman Color is cited in production charts and no color process is listed on the film itself. Dolores Moran, who plays "Dolly" in the film, was married to producer Benedict Bogeaus at the time of production. Modern sources include Paul Birch in the cast. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 May 1954.
---
Daily Variety
12 May 54
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 May 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Dec 53
p. 1, 4
Hollywood Reporter
24 Dec 53
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 54
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 54
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 May 54
p. 2.
New York Times
24 Jul 54
p. 6.
Variety
12 May 1954.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITER
Story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Supv ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Ward des
MUSIC
Mus score
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Desperate Men
Four Desperate Men
Release Date:
June 1954
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 24 June 1954
Production Date:
late December 1953--mid January 1954 at Republic Studios
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
4 June 1954
Copyright Number:
LP3847
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Eastman Color
Lenses/Prints
print by Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
80
Length(in feet):
7,239
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16923
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Silver Lode, as Fourth of July celebrations get underway, four men--leader Fred McCarty, Johnson, Kirk and Wicker--ride into town, demanding to know the whereabouts of Dan Ballard. The men are directed to the home of wealthy Zachary Evans, whose daughter Rose is about to marry Dan, a local rancher. After interrupting the ceremony, McCarty identifies himself as a U.S. Marshal and accuses Dan of shooting McCarty's brother in the back two years before and stealing $20,000 from him. Although Dan claims that McCarty is a rustler and killer, McCarty produces papers certifying his own position, along with an arrest warrant for Dan. Sure that Dan soon will be exonerated, Rose and Zach insist on continuing with the wedding, but Dan demurs. Thad Taylor, Dan's lawyer, then offers to take McCarty's paperwork to Judge Cranston, but after he leaves, McCarty demands that Dan prepare to ride to California, where the killing took place. To the annoyance of McCarty, all of the wedding guests accompany Dan to his house and attest to his integrity. In his stable, Dan admits to Rose that he did kill McCarty's brother but did so in self-defense. Meanwhile, concerned that McCarty might kill Dan in revenge, Sheriff Woolley forms a posse, which includes Rose's brother Mitch, to escort McCarty and his deputies. Surrounded by unhappy townspeople, McCarty goes to Cranston's house to discuss Dan's situation, and although the judge is sympathetic to Dan, he upholds McCarty's extradition request. Dan then begs McCarty for two hours to explain himself to the town, and McCarty, anxious to appear reasonable, agrees. Dan's first task is to send two telegrams to sheriffs ... +


In Silver Lode, as Fourth of July celebrations get underway, four men--leader Fred McCarty, Johnson, Kirk and Wicker--ride into town, demanding to know the whereabouts of Dan Ballard. The men are directed to the home of wealthy Zachary Evans, whose daughter Rose is about to marry Dan, a local rancher. After interrupting the ceremony, McCarty identifies himself as a U.S. Marshal and accuses Dan of shooting McCarty's brother in the back two years before and stealing $20,000 from him. Although Dan claims that McCarty is a rustler and killer, McCarty produces papers certifying his own position, along with an arrest warrant for Dan. Sure that Dan soon will be exonerated, Rose and Zach insist on continuing with the wedding, but Dan demurs. Thad Taylor, Dan's lawyer, then offers to take McCarty's paperwork to Judge Cranston, but after he leaves, McCarty demands that Dan prepare to ride to California, where the killing took place. To the annoyance of McCarty, all of the wedding guests accompany Dan to his house and attest to his integrity. In his stable, Dan admits to Rose that he did kill McCarty's brother but did so in self-defense. Meanwhile, concerned that McCarty might kill Dan in revenge, Sheriff Woolley forms a posse, which includes Rose's brother Mitch, to escort McCarty and his deputies. Surrounded by unhappy townspeople, McCarty goes to Cranston's house to discuss Dan's situation, and although the judge is sympathetic to Dan, he upholds McCarty's extradition request. Dan then begs McCarty for two hours to explain himself to the town, and McCarty, anxious to appear reasonable, agrees. Dan's first task is to send two telegrams to sheriffs in California, asking them to confirm McCarty's identity, but Paul Herbert, the telegrapher, discovers that the wires are down and rides off to repair them. Dan next goes to the saloon and begs Dolly, a dance hall girl and former lover, to use her charms to obtain information about McCarty's deputies. Dolly, who is jealous of Rose, refuses to help, so Dan approaches the men himself, offering them $1,000 to expose McCarty. Johnson takes the bait and, meeting secretly with Dan in the courthouse, demands $5,000 to implicate McCarty. Dan heads to the Evanses' and asks Zach for the cash, which Zach happily gives. Mitch then helps Dan elude McCarty and Kirk and rushes back to the saloon to find Johnson. While Dan and Johnson slip away to the livery stable, Dolly, who has had a change of heart, distracts Wicker. Dan, however, discovers where Dan and Johnson are and sneaks into the stable through the loft. After Johnson tells Dan that McCarty had his marshal papers forged, killed the forger and cut the telegraph wires, McCarty reveals himself and shoots Johnson. Now alone with Dan, McCarty offers to end his pursuit if Dan pays him the $20,000 he won from his brother in a poker game. Unknown to McCarty, Sheriff Woolley has also entered through the loft and overhears McCarty. Woolley and McCarty exchange gunfire, but while McCarty is barely wounded, Woolley dies. When Cranston and the Evanses show up, Dan has two guns trained on McCarty, who accuses Dan of murdering Woolley and Johnson. As Rose is now his only defender, Dan tries to flee town but runs into the returning telegrapher. After Dan begs Paul to send the telegrams, Wicker, Kirk and Mitch catch up to him, and Dan ends up killing the deputies and wounding Mitch. Dan then sneaks into Dolly's room in the saloon, and she hides him when McCarty comes looking for him. Desperate, McCarty deputizes all the townsmen and begins a house-by-house search. Dan escapes to the Evanses' and instructs Rose to make sure Paul sends the telegrams. Zach finds the two together, however, and shoots Dan when he tries to leave. Only wounded, Dan overwhelms the older man and, just as McCarty bursts in, flees once more. Dan then takes Cranston hostage and fights off McCarty long enough to seek refuge in the church. Although McCarty bursts into the church demanding that Rev. Field turn Dan over, Field refuses to help. Rose and Dolly, meanwhile, join forces at the telegraph office and cajole Paul, who sent Dan's wires but has not yet received a reply, to write a phony return telegram, implicating McCarty as a criminal. Rose runs to the church with the fake reply, just as McCarty corners Dan in the bell tower and begins firing on him. The telegram exonerates Dan, and McCarty is killed when one of his bullets richochets off a bell and pierces his heart. In the telegraph office, Dolly then learns that a real telegram has been received, and Dan's innocence is confirmed. +

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

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