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HISTORY

The opening credits include the following written statement: "We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command and the 4th Field Artillery Pack Battalion, United States Army." Although a Nov 1953 HR news item states that the film's original treatment was written by Paul Schneider and William Sackheim, only Schneider receives onscreen credit for the story. According to the DV review, the film was shot at Pike's Peak in the Colorado Rocky ... More Less

The opening credits include the following written statement: "We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command and the 4th Field Artillery Pack Battalion, United States Army." Although a Nov 1953 HR news item states that the film's original treatment was written by Paul Schneider and William Sackheim, only Schneider receives onscreen credit for the story. According to the DV review, the film was shot at Pike's Peak in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Apr 1955.
---
Daily Variety
11 Apr 55
p. 3.
Film Daily
14 Apr 55
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Nov 1953.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 1954.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 54
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 54
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 55
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Apr 55
p. 402.
Variety
13 Apr 55
p. 8.
DETAILS
Release Date:
May 1955
Production Date:
late August--mid September 1954
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
2 March 1955
Copyright Number:
LP4950
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
87
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17758
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Colorado's Rocky Mountains, renowned hunting guide Jesse Hill greets Major Knowles, whose Mountain Troops are making their way to the practice artillery field in Pepper Valley. Upon returning to his cabin, Jesse is startled to find Pete Corder, an Army buddy who once saved his life, inside. Pete reveals that after being discharged in Europe, he traveled around the world performing various shady jobs, but now is out of money and needs a place to stay. Meanwhile, a passenger plane that has wandered far off course due to heavy fog flies over Jesse's cabin. When an explosion is heard moments later, Pete urges Jesse, who knows the treacherous area better than anyone, to climb the mountain to discern whether the plane has crashed. Although Jesse finds nothing, Pete hears on the cabin radio that the plane has indeed gone down, and they plan another rescue attempt. The next morning, Knowles also receives word about the crash and is advised by local authorities to postpone artillery fire. Jesse then leads Pete through two days of traversing steep mountainsides. Meanwhile, at the site of the plane wreck, only discharged naval officer Stan Leppich, Sheryl Gregory, banker George Parkinson and wounded co-pilot Red remain alive. Stan has befriended Sheryl, even after discovering her photograph in a lurid magazine, but Parkinson spurns her. In the wreckage of the luggage hold, Parkinson stumbles across a strongbox filled with $250,000 and hides it from the others. Just as the survivors begin to assume they are doomed, Jesse and Pete appear. Sheryl kisses them in gratitude, but after Pete kisses back too enthusiastically, she grumbles that men want only one thing from her. While she ... +


In Colorado's Rocky Mountains, renowned hunting guide Jesse Hill greets Major Knowles, whose Mountain Troops are making their way to the practice artillery field in Pepper Valley. Upon returning to his cabin, Jesse is startled to find Pete Corder, an Army buddy who once saved his life, inside. Pete reveals that after being discharged in Europe, he traveled around the world performing various shady jobs, but now is out of money and needs a place to stay. Meanwhile, a passenger plane that has wandered far off course due to heavy fog flies over Jesse's cabin. When an explosion is heard moments later, Pete urges Jesse, who knows the treacherous area better than anyone, to climb the mountain to discern whether the plane has crashed. Although Jesse finds nothing, Pete hears on the cabin radio that the plane has indeed gone down, and they plan another rescue attempt. The next morning, Knowles also receives word about the crash and is advised by local authorities to postpone artillery fire. Jesse then leads Pete through two days of traversing steep mountainsides. Meanwhile, at the site of the plane wreck, only discharged naval officer Stan Leppich, Sheryl Gregory, banker George Parkinson and wounded co-pilot Red remain alive. Stan has befriended Sheryl, even after discovering her photograph in a lurid magazine, but Parkinson spurns her. In the wreckage of the luggage hold, Parkinson stumbles across a strongbox filled with $250,000 and hides it from the others. Just as the survivors begin to assume they are doomed, Jesse and Pete appear. Sheryl kisses them in gratitude, but after Pete kisses back too enthusiastically, she grumbles that men want only one thing from her. While she and Jesse tend to Red, Pete makes rude comments about her photograph and surreptitiously digs through Parkinson's wallet, discovering he is only a bank clerk. Jesse informs the group that, since Red is too ill to be moved, he will leave the next morning to get help. That night, Pete continues to harass Sheryl, who informs the disbelieving men that she has a rich young fiancé. When she runs to Red's tent, Jesse follows, and she reveals that she has not found a rich man to marry and so must return to New York to continue posing. He kisses her but she, assuming he wants only an affair, rebuffs him. In the morning, Parkinson stops Jesse from leaving, offering thousands in cash to escort him off the mountain. Suspicious, Pete digs through Parkinson's luggage and finds the strongbox, after which Parkinson grabs a gun and points it at Jesse. Jesse signals to Pete to grab the other gun, and is pleased at Pete's swift response until his old friend announces that he is joining Parkinson and they all, including Red, must leave immediately. Jesse pleads with him that they cannot scale the mountain as a group, but Pete ignores him, destroying the wreck site so rescuers will assume everyone has died. The group sets off with Red on a stretcher, and when Sheryl tries to mark their trail, Parkinson catches her and hits her, prompting Jesse to punch him. That night, Pete offers to split the cash with Jesse, but Jesse refuses, informing him that only one of them will survive the trip. Pete then offers the same deal to Sheryl in return for her companionship, but she laughs at him, gaining the admiration of Jesse and Stan. After Pete retaliates by denying them food, Jesse drops hints to Parkinson that Pete plans to kill him. Although Parkinson confronts Pete, Pete convinces him that he cannot watch all the prisoners on his own. That night, Sheryl and Jesse fall asleep together, waking to discover that Red has died. Pete forces them on to the steep mountainside, where Jesse arranges for Pete's rope to slip, ensuring that Pete will take them through the nearby Pepper Valley artillery range instead of directly down the mountain. Hours later, the group is exhausted, and Jesse insists that they stop to rest. There, Parkinson secretly reveals to Sheryl that he hated her because she spurned him, and promises to tell her a secret if she will kiss him. When he lunges at her, she grabs his gun, but Pete advises her that there are no bullets and then shoots Parkinson. Just as Knowles is told to resume training, the group reaches the artillery field, where Jesse hides the military marker from Pete and informs him they must camp for the night. That night, Pete reveals that he plans to kill them all, but Pete convinces him that he cannot find his way out alone. Jesse then informs Stan and Sheryl that they must get Pete into the valley by seven a.m., when the firing will begin. They wake, and with only minutes to spare, arouse Pete's suspicion with their eagerness to move on. He confronts them, but when his strongbox spills open, there are only pinecones inside. Sheryl realizes that Parkinson's secret involves the whereabouts of the money, prompting Pete to hit her. Jesse punches Pete, propelling him out into the artillery field. There, they struggle, and when Jesse rushes to push Sheryl out of the way of a target, Pete stumbles into it and is shot by the troops. At the same time, Stan reaches Knowles and notifies him what is happening, and the major orders the gunfire to stop. In the smoke of the exploded shells, Sheryl falls into Pete's arms. +

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.