Wild Heritage (1958)

78 mins | Western | August 1958

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Death Rides This Trail . Although an Oct 1957 HR news item adds Eddie Parker and Clem Fuller to the cast, their appearance in the final film has not been ... More Less

The working title of this film was Death Rides This Trail . Although an Oct 1957 HR news item adds Eddie Parker and Clem Fuller to the cast, their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Jul 1958.
---
Daily Variety
4 Nov 1957.
---
Daily Variety
24 Jun 58
p. 3.
Film Daily
10 Jul 58
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Oct 1957
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Oct 1957
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Oct 1957
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 1957
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Feb 1958
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 58
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
18 Sep 1957.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Apr 1957.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Jul 58
p. 896.
Variety
25 Jun 58
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Scr
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Unit mgr
Dial coach
Scr supv
Unit pub
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Death Rides This Trail" by Steve Frazee in Western Story Magazine (Oct 1953).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"When Johnny Comes Marching Home," words and music by Louis Lambert.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Death Rides This Trail
Release Date:
August 1958
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 30 July 1958
Production Date:
early October--early November 1957
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
10 June 1958
Copyright Number:
LP13651
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Eastman Color by Pathé
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
78
Length(in feet):
7,024
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18855
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1875, easterners Jake and Emma Breslin and their children, Dirk, Hugh, Missouri and Talbot, head West to settle their new land claim. Although the trip is arduous, Jake good humor keeps his family in high spirits. They eventually reach the settlement town outside of their claim in Topknot, and Jake enters the saloon to ask about buying supplies. There, he jostles the arm of Jud, a brutal cattle rustler, who, with his partner Arn, kills Jake. The local lawyer, Judge Copeland, helps the devastated family bury Jake, and later, when Dirk and Hugh want to travel on to Topknot, but Missouri and young Talbot ask to return to the East, Copeland subtly convinces the younger siblings to uphold their father’s plan. They travel on, camping that night with a group of families who are also headed to Topknot. Although Emma becomes fast friends with Janice and Bolivar Bascomb, Dirk and Hugh immediately fight with their teenaged children, Jesse and Callie, a tomboy. The group sets out together the next day, with Jesse and Missouri as friends, but the Bascombs’ weary horses soon tire, and they decide to part company and take the slower, easier route up the hillside. A few hours later, the Breslins’ wagon wheel breaks on its trip up the hill, and when blacksmith Mr. Jansen and his daughter Hilda come by and help them repair it, they inform the Breslins that Topknot is overcrowded. The family decides to settle where they are, and Copeland soon visits to inform them that the Bascombs have built their home on the other side of the hill. While Copeland brings Emma and Missouri to the settlement to file a ... +


In 1875, easterners Jake and Emma Breslin and their children, Dirk, Hugh, Missouri and Talbot, head West to settle their new land claim. Although the trip is arduous, Jake good humor keeps his family in high spirits. They eventually reach the settlement town outside of their claim in Topknot, and Jake enters the saloon to ask about buying supplies. There, he jostles the arm of Jud, a brutal cattle rustler, who, with his partner Arn, kills Jake. The local lawyer, Judge Copeland, helps the devastated family bury Jake, and later, when Dirk and Hugh want to travel on to Topknot, but Missouri and young Talbot ask to return to the East, Copeland subtly convinces the younger siblings to uphold their father’s plan. They travel on, camping that night with a group of families who are also headed to Topknot. Although Emma becomes fast friends with Janice and Bolivar Bascomb, Dirk and Hugh immediately fight with their teenaged children, Jesse and Callie, a tomboy. The group sets out together the next day, with Jesse and Missouri as friends, but the Bascombs’ weary horses soon tire, and they decide to part company and take the slower, easier route up the hillside. A few hours later, the Breslins’ wagon wheel breaks on its trip up the hill, and when blacksmith Mr. Jansen and his daughter Hilda come by and help them repair it, they inform the Breslins that Topknot is overcrowded. The family decides to settle where they are, and Copeland soon visits to inform them that the Bascombs have built their home on the other side of the hill. While Copeland brings Emma and Missouri to the settlement to file a claim on the land, Dirk, Hugh and Talbot build their cabin. When they spot Jesse going through their gear, Talbot hits him with an axe handle. Callie arrives moments later to inform them that Jesse was searching for medicine for Bolivar, who has been crushed by a horse, and although Dirk rushes to find Emma for help, they are too late. When they visit the Bascombs’, Janice welcomes Emma gratefully but Callie and Jesse spurn Dirk’s apologies. Days later, the Breslins hear the sound of a herd of cattle nearby and find cowboy Rusty leading his men, including Brazos and Chaco, on a cattle drive. Dirk invites the friendly group to dinner, and the men eagerly accept, regaling the family with ribald stories and helping them finish the cabin. Hugh, who yearns to avenge Jake’s death, admires their guns and wants them to teach him to shoot, but they inform him they must leave the next morning to avoid the trail of cattle rustlers. When Hugh is missing at dawn, Dirk, deducing he has joined Rusty, rides out to find them. He joins them just as Rusty and Brazos come under attack by the rustlers, who are led by Jud and Arn, and although the Breslin brothers help protect Rusty, the rustlers shoot Brazos and steal most of the cattle. Before dying, Brazos leaves his guns to Dirk and Hugh, and later, after discovering that all his men have been killed, Rusty gives them the remaining cattle in thanks for saving his life. Dirk and Hugh race home with the news, but discover that in their absence Emma and Missouri have fallen ill with fever. They send for the Bascombs, who spend the next days tending to the women and helping with the chores. Dirk again apologizes to Callie, who accepts his friendship, and in his prayers he promises to give half the herd to the Bascombs. After the women recover, Dirk brings the herd over the hill to the Bascombs, and although Jesse continues to reject him, Janice and Callie thank him warmly. Callie also gratefully accepts the dress that Missouri has made for her, and looks forward to showing it to Dirk. Over the next few weeks, the Breslin boys teach themselves to shoot, then bring a few steers into the settlement to sell. After Copeland helps them secure a fair price for the cows, Jud and Arn appear outside the store and accuse the Breslins of having stolen their cattle. Emma later urges Dirk not to fight over the cows, but Dirk explains what Rusty taught him: In the West, it is necessary to fight for what you have. When the Bascombs hear about the rustlers, they decide to rejoin their herds and work as a team. After Talbot concocts an ingenious way to brand the cows, Copeland visits Emma and secures her permission to court her. One night while Callie guards the cattle, Jud and Arn shoot her and steal the herd. While Janice and Emma tend to Callie, Dirk, Hugh, Talbot and Jesse prepare to go to the settlement town to search for the rustlers. Although Dirk promises Callie that he will not look for a fight, he knows he must protect his property. In town, Jud and Arn laugh at their young opponents and enter the saloon, while Dirk, Hugh and Jesse stand ready for a gunfight in the street. The older men come outside and easily outdraw the inexperienced gunfighters, shooting Jesse in the arm and knocking the gun out of Hugh’s hand. Jud is about to shoot Jesse when Talbot strolls out in front of him. Unwilling to shoot a young boy, Jud hesitates long enough for Talbot to throw a new gun to Hugh, and together the Breslin brothers gun down their father’s killers. When they return home, Jesse has a sling to match his sister’s, and Copeland announces to Emma that the rich, promising land remains theirs. +

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

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