Sierra Stranger (1957)

73 mins | Western | May 1957

Director:

Lee Sholem

Producer:

Norman T. Herman

Cinematographer:

Sam Leavitt

Editor:

Leon Barsha

Production Designer:

Ernst Fegte

Production Company:

Nacirema Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Count the Dead . The Var review misspells the production company's name as Acirema Productions. According to a Dec 1955 HR news item, Nacirema Productions, which is "American" spelled backwards, was a production company financed by Japanese-American businessmen, many of whom were veterans of World War II and whose families had been relocated into camps during the war. Shortly after Japan attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941, an executive order was signed which directed that people of Japanese ancestry residing in the Western United States be removed from their homes and relocated into internment camps, a fate shared by many of the backers of Nacirema.
       According to a Dec 1955 HR news item, Dick Wormser was to write the script and Fred Gately was to work as director of photography, but their contribution to the released film has not been determined. A Jul 1956 HR news item noted that Allied Artists Pictures Corp. was initially planning to distribute the picture. A Jan 1959 HR news item adds that location shooting was done at Bell's Rach in the Santa Susanna Pass, ... More Less

The working title of this film was Count the Dead . The Var review misspells the production company's name as Acirema Productions. According to a Dec 1955 HR news item, Nacirema Productions, which is "American" spelled backwards, was a production company financed by Japanese-American businessmen, many of whom were veterans of World War II and whose families had been relocated into camps during the war. Shortly after Japan attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941, an executive order was signed which directed that people of Japanese ancestry residing in the Western United States be removed from their homes and relocated into internment camps, a fate shared by many of the backers of Nacirema.
       According to a Dec 1955 HR news item, Dick Wormser was to write the script and Fred Gately was to work as director of photography, but their contribution to the released film has not been determined. A Jul 1956 HR news item noted that Allied Artists Pictures Corp. was initially planning to distribute the picture. A Jan 1959 HR news item adds that location shooting was done at Bell's Rach in the Santa Susanna Pass, California. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 May 1957.
---
Daily Variety
29 Apr 57
p. 3.
Film Daily
1 May 57
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 1955.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jan 1956
p. 3, 9.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jan 1956
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 1956
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 1956.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 57
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
22 Jan 1956.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Apr 57
p. 337.
Variety
1 May 57
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
Story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Property
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Mus ed
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Count the Dead
Release Date:
May 1957
Production Date:
9 January--mid January 1956 at California Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 May 1957
Copyright Number:
LP8346
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
73
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Prospector Jess Collins is riding in the hills when he sees two thugs beating up a defenseless man. The thugs are about to drag their victim to death when Joe intervenes and drives them away at gunpoint. After explaining that the two were trying to jump his claim, the injured man, Sonny Grover, offers to ride along with Jess to Lone Tree pass, where Sonny cooks the famished Jess a hearty meal. Upon learning that Jess has run out of money, Sonny tells him to ride to the nearby town of Colton and ask for Bert Gaines, the owner of the Primrose Hotel, promising that Bert will give Jess food and lodging for saving Sonny’s life. In the morning, the men part company and Jess continues onto Colton, where he meets Bert’s wife Ruth at the hotel. Upon hearing Sonny’s name, Ruth blanches and becomes hostile to Jess. Proceeding the Wells Fargo office to pick up his mail, Jess meets Meg Anderson, the office’s pretty proprietress, who is engaged to Sonny. After briefly flirting with Meg, Jess returns to the hotel and is spotted by Lem Gotch and Tom Simmons, the men who attacked Sonny. Gotch and Simmons follow Jess into the hotel to accuse him of claim jumping. When Gotch and Simmons begin to pummel Jess, Bert intervenes and convinces the skeptical sheriff of Jess’s innocence. After Jess hands Bert the good luck piece that Sonny had given him, Bert explains that he reared Sonny, his half-brother, but the boy has always been wild. Although Bert generously offers Jess lodging and a grubstake, the rest of the ... +


Prospector Jess Collins is riding in the hills when he sees two thugs beating up a defenseless man. The thugs are about to drag their victim to death when Joe intervenes and drives them away at gunpoint. After explaining that the two were trying to jump his claim, the injured man, Sonny Grover, offers to ride along with Jess to Lone Tree pass, where Sonny cooks the famished Jess a hearty meal. Upon learning that Jess has run out of money, Sonny tells him to ride to the nearby town of Colton and ask for Bert Gaines, the owner of the Primrose Hotel, promising that Bert will give Jess food and lodging for saving Sonny’s life. In the morning, the men part company and Jess continues onto Colton, where he meets Bert’s wife Ruth at the hotel. Upon hearing Sonny’s name, Ruth blanches and becomes hostile to Jess. Proceeding the Wells Fargo office to pick up his mail, Jess meets Meg Anderson, the office’s pretty proprietress, who is engaged to Sonny. After briefly flirting with Meg, Jess returns to the hotel and is spotted by Lem Gotch and Tom Simmons, the men who attacked Sonny. Gotch and Simmons follow Jess into the hotel to accuse him of claim jumping. When Gotch and Simmons begin to pummel Jess, Bert intervenes and convinces the skeptical sheriff of Jess’s innocence. After Jess hands Bert the good luck piece that Sonny had given him, Bert explains that he reared Sonny, his half-brother, but the boy has always been wild. Although Bert generously offers Jess lodging and a grubstake, the rest of the town ostracizes him. The next day, Kelso, the clerk at the claim’s office, informs Jess that his claim will take at least three weeks to clear. Bert, aware the claims usually clear in one day, suspects foul play on the part of Gotch and Simmons, and reminds Kelso of his gambling debt, thus prompting the clerk to speed up the process. Bert then accompanies Jess to the general store, where Simmons, the owner, refuses to sell Jess supplies. When Gotch and his gang attack Jess, Bert and Matt, his burly bartender, join the fray. In the fight, Bert and Jess are slightly injured, and Ruth, trying to avert further violence, agrees to buy Jess provisions if he will leave town. That night at the stable, Jess is loading his supplies into his saddlebags when Meg appears and implies that Jess has misjudged Sonny’s true nature. After Meg bitterly objects to being called “Sonny’s girl,” Jess kisses her and she runs away. Later that night, Sonny sneaks into town to see Bert. Asserting that he is on the trail of a rich gold strike, Sonny asks Bert to immediately furnish him with supplies, and Bert offers to give him Jess’s. Sonny then goes to see Meg, but when she slaps him and declares she wants to be left alone, he gruffly pushes her. Just then, Ruth bursts into Meg’s room and orders Sonny to leave. The next morning, Sonny holds up the stage and coldly kills the guard. Meg, meanwhile, has decided to leave town, and when Jess learns of Sonny’s clandestine visit the previous evening, he invites her to go to Sacramento with him. Meg accepts, declaring that she is through with Sonny. When the stage arrives with news of Sonny’s attack, the sheriff organizes a posse to pursue Sonny, but Bert refuses to believe in his brother’s guilt. Aware that Sonny is the only person who can clear his name of claim jumping, Jess decides to ride to Lone Tree Pass to talk to Sonny. Bert, blaming himself for Sonny’s antisocial behavior, tries to prevent Jess from leaving, but Jess grabs the weapon from his hand and rides out. At the pass, Jess attempts to convince Sonny to surrender, but Sonny trains his gun on Jess. As the two men wrestle, the weapon fires, killing Sonny. Just then, the posse arrives. When Gotch accuses Jess of murdering Sonny, the sheriff silences him and apologizes to Jess. Meanwhile, in town, Bert, in despair, waits for word about Sonny. When the posse returns, Gotch boasts of Sonny’s death at Jess’s hands, prompting Bert to pummel Gotch and then strap on his gunbelt. After Bert orders Jess to draw, Jess voices remorse over killing Sonny and Ruth gently comforts Bert. Jess and Meg then walk away, arm in arm.



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

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