Three Violent People (1957)

100 mins | Melodrama, Western | January 1957

Director:

Rudolph Maté

Producer:

Hugh Brown

Cinematographer:

Loyal Griggs

Editor:

Alma Macrorie

Production Designers:

Hal Pereira, Earl Hedrick

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were The Maverick and Violent People . In some HR news items, the working title The Maverick was cited as The Mavericks . Some HR news items stated that Three Violent People was based on a novel by Leonard Praskins and Barney Slater. No such novel exists and the onscreen credits for these writers reads "Based on a story by." SAB records list the material in question as an unpublished film story.
       According to HR news items, Irving Asher was originally set to produce the film for Paramount, with Michael Curtiz directing. Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts were announced as the film's screenwriters in Aug 1954, but their contribution to the final film, if any, has not been confirmed. John Forsythe, who had recently starred on Broadway in the hit play The Teahouse of the August Moon , then signed a seven-picture, seven-year deal with Paramount, and The Maverick was set as his first picture under this contract, with filming to begin in mid-Feb 1955. In Feb 1955, however, HR reported that Asher's contract with Paramount had expired, and the producer, having decided to leave the studio, had taken an option on The Maverick . In May 1955, HR news items reported that Asher had signed a new contract with the studio and had assigned James Edward Grant to begin work on the screenplay. Asher received no producer credit on Three Violent People , and it has not been determined what, ... More Less

The working titles of this film were The Maverick and Violent People . In some HR news items, the working title The Maverick was cited as The Mavericks . Some HR news items stated that Three Violent People was based on a novel by Leonard Praskins and Barney Slater. No such novel exists and the onscreen credits for these writers reads "Based on a story by." SAB records list the material in question as an unpublished film story.
       According to HR news items, Irving Asher was originally set to produce the film for Paramount, with Michael Curtiz directing. Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts were announced as the film's screenwriters in Aug 1954, but their contribution to the final film, if any, has not been confirmed. John Forsythe, who had recently starred on Broadway in the hit play The Teahouse of the August Moon , then signed a seven-picture, seven-year deal with Paramount, and The Maverick was set as his first picture under this contract, with filming to begin in mid-Feb 1955. In Feb 1955, however, HR reported that Asher's contract with Paramount had expired, and the producer, having decided to leave the studio, had taken an option on The Maverick . In May 1955, HR news items reported that Asher had signed a new contract with the studio and had assigned James Edward Grant to begin work on the screenplay. Asher received no producer credit on Three Violent People , and it has not been determined what, if any, contributions he made to the released film.
       Portions of the film were shot on location in Phoenix and Buckeye Canyon, AZ, according to HR . A NYHT news item states that Paramount chose to shoot in the Arizona desert in order to take advantage of a $75,000 permanent set built there six months earlier. NYHT also reported that Three Violent People was the first film produced by Hugh Brown, a former Paramount studio accountant.
       In Three Violent People , Paramount's advertising sought to sell the film as the reteaming of actors Charlton Heston and Anne Baxter, who had appeared earlier that same year in the studio's highly successful epic The Ten Commandments (See Entry). Modern sources also report that Heston was initially opposed to the casting of newcomer Tom Tryon in the role of "Cinch," but was pleased with the young actor's performance by the end of filming. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 Dec 1956.
---
Daily Variety
21 Dec 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
21 Dec 56
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 1954
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jan 55
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jan 55
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 55
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jul 55
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
25 May 55
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 56
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar 56
p. 50.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 56
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 56
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
31 Jan 1957.
---
Motion Picture Daily
26 Dec 1956.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 Dec 56
p. 201.
New York Herald Tribune
26 May 1956.
---
New York Times
11 Feb 57
p. 34.
Time
25 Feb 1957.
---
Variety
26 Dec 56
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITERS
Based on a story by
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus scored and cond by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Dial coach
Tech adv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"Un Momento," music by Martita, lyrics by Mack David.
COMPOSERS
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Maverick
Violent People
Release Date:
January 1957
Production Date:
late March--late May 1956
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 January 1957
Copyright Number:
LP7343
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
VistaVision Motion Picture High-Fidelity
Duration(in mins):
100
Length(in feet):
9,488
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18124
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In post-Civil War Texas, the defeated Confederate soldiers returning home have a difficult time handling the justice system of the corrupt provisional government, which seems to favor the boisterous Yankee carpetbaggers at every turn. While initially hesitant to exchange blows with the Northerners, Capt. Colt Saunders, a hero in the Confederate cavalry, takes on all comers when a Southern belle named Lorna Hunter is insulted. After the outnumbered Colt is knocked unconscious by the uncouth Yankees, Lorna pretends to be his wife, in order to steal his wallet, which contains $900 in gold. Seeking to hide the money in the safe of her old friend, saloon owner Ruby LaSalle, Lorna is told that Colt is a wealthy rancher, so she instead asks that the money be deposited in his name. Her plan works, as the veteran quickly becomes enamored of the "honest" young woman. Lorna, however, tells him that she is an emancipated woman, looking for a proper husband and has determined that he is inappropriate, due to his rough demeanor. As hoped, Colt immediately proposes and the two are quickly married. Rudy warns her old friend that the marriage is doomed, as Lorna's shady past will forever cloud it. Upon arriving at his family's ranch, the Bar S, Colt and Lorna are warmly greeted by his oldest friend, Innocencio, the Mexican-American foreman who has cared for the place in Colt's absence. The next day, Innocencio tells Colt that few of the ranch's cattle or horses remain, as most have been taken by the carpetbaggers. Colt's bad news continues, when he learns that his prodigal brother Beauregard, better known as Cinch, has also returned ... +


In post-Civil War Texas, the defeated Confederate soldiers returning home have a difficult time handling the justice system of the corrupt provisional government, which seems to favor the boisterous Yankee carpetbaggers at every turn. While initially hesitant to exchange blows with the Northerners, Capt. Colt Saunders, a hero in the Confederate cavalry, takes on all comers when a Southern belle named Lorna Hunter is insulted. After the outnumbered Colt is knocked unconscious by the uncouth Yankees, Lorna pretends to be his wife, in order to steal his wallet, which contains $900 in gold. Seeking to hide the money in the safe of her old friend, saloon owner Ruby LaSalle, Lorna is told that Colt is a wealthy rancher, so she instead asks that the money be deposited in his name. Her plan works, as the veteran quickly becomes enamored of the "honest" young woman. Lorna, however, tells him that she is an emancipated woman, looking for a proper husband and has determined that he is inappropriate, due to his rough demeanor. As hoped, Colt immediately proposes and the two are quickly married. Rudy warns her old friend that the marriage is doomed, as Lorna's shady past will forever cloud it. Upon arriving at his family's ranch, the Bar S, Colt and Lorna are warmly greeted by his oldest friend, Innocencio, the Mexican-American foreman who has cared for the place in Colt's absence. The next day, Innocencio tells Colt that few of the ranch's cattle or horses remain, as most have been taken by the carpetbaggers. Colt's bad news continues, when he learns that his prodigal brother Beauregard, better known as Cinch, has also returned home. Though disinherited by his grandfather, Cinch is offered a share in the ranch by Colt, who stills feels guilty about a childhood accident in which his younger brother lost his right arm. The bad news culminates when Harrison, the crooked district commissioner, informs Colt that the tax currently due on the Bar S ranch is an astronomical $16,000. While Colt and the surviving Texas ranchers vote to fight the corrupt provisional government, Cinch argues that the Saunders family should abandon the Bar S and instead, they should sell their secret herd of 300 horses to the U.S. Cavalry, then head west and start new lives. Offered the deciding vote, Lorna sides with her husband. Meanwhile, Cable, the murderous deputy commissioner, learns of Lorna's sordid past from Massey, the commission's cowardly secretary, who knew Lorna during her dance hall days in St. Louis. Cable tries to goad Colt into a gunfight over his wife's honor, but Lorna foils his plan by admitting her wicked past. The disheartened Colt then asks Lorna to leave on the next available stage. Later, upon returning from a roundup, Colt discovers that Cinch and Lorna have absconded with the horses and is informed that Lorna is pregnant with his child. After retaking his herd and his wife, Colt tells Lorna that he is willing to sell the horses, giving her all proceeds, if she agrees to leave him their child after it is born. That winter, Lorna delivers a healthy boy, and when Colt refuses to toast his son's birth, Innocencio, disgusted with his old friend's pride, announces that he too is leaving the Bar S. Lorna then surprises Colt by announcing that she is leaving him the horses, so that their son can inherit the Bar S. Meanwhile, in a last-ditch effort to steal the Saunders ranch, Harrison agrees to go into a partnership with Cinch, who then rides onto the family ranch and challenges his brother to a duel. Colt refuses to draw, however, and despite his threats, Cinch is unable to kill his brother in cold blood. The double-crossing Harrison and his men then arrive, and in the ensuing gunfight, Cinch, Cable and Massey are killed. As the cowardly Harrison and the rest of his men retreat, the ranch is saved, and Colt and Lorna are reunited. +

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.