Kentucky Rifle (1955)

80 mins | Western | July 1955

Director:

Carl K. Hittleman

Producer:

Carl K. Hittleman

Cinematographer:

Paul Ivano

Editor:

Hugh Winn

Production Designer:

Ray Heinz

Production Company:

Howco Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

Although HR news items include Paul Ivanhoe and Larry Harmon in the cast, their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed. According to a 22 Nov 1954 HR news items, the picture was partially shot on location near Palmdale, CA. The news item also reported that Joy Houck and J. Francis White, co-owners of Howco Productions, increased the shooting schedule of the film by four days upon its return from ... More Less

Although HR news items include Paul Ivanhoe and Larry Harmon in the cast, their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed. According to a 22 Nov 1954 HR news items, the picture was partially shot on location near Palmdale, CA. The news item also reported that Joy Houck and J. Francis White, co-owners of Howco Productions, increased the shooting schedule of the film by four days upon its return from location. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 1954
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 1954
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 54
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 54
p. 5, 7.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Nov 1954
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 1955
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
24 Aug 56
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
1 Sep 56
p. 50.
The Exhibitor
8 Aug 56
p. 4201, 4203
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Pres
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp and dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Coord
Dial coach
Scr supv
DETAILS
Release Date:
July 1955
Premiere Information:
World premiere in New Orleans, LA: 27 April 1955
Owensboro, KY opening: 4 May 1955
Production Date:
4 November--late November 1954 at KTTV Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Howco Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 April 1955
Copyright Number:
LP4614
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Pathé Color
Duration(in mins):
80
Length(in feet):
7,243
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17387
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When the wheel on Daniel Foster's wagon breaks, once again delaying the wagon train's long journey across the western plains, he argues that the weight of the rifles he is hauling for gunmaker Jason Clay is to blame. Jason responds that his fine Kentucky rifles protect the entire party from the Indians, but Dan is furious and refuses to listen. Jason's poorly concealed interest in Dan's fiancée, Amy Connors, heightens the tension, and when Jason discovers that the wheel's axle is broken, the two men almost come to blows. As the wagon train continues, several of the travelers, including Amy, Jason, his friend Tobias Taylor, Preacher Bently, Lon Setter, Luke Thomas, Reuben Hay, and his expectant wife Cordie, reluctantly decide to stay behind until the wagon is repaired. While riding into the hills to look for sturdy timber, Tobias encounters angry Comanches, and when he reports this to the others, Luke worries that his wife and child may be attacked with the wagon train. Despite Jason's warnings, Luke rides out to warn the wagon train during the night, and the next morning, Jason and Tobias find his body hanging from a tree. Three Comanches, including a chief and an interpreter, then interrupt Luke's burial service, demanding gifts in exchange for safe passage through their territory. Dan insists on giving the Indians all of their goods, including the rifles, but Jason and Tobias forbid him. Although Jason earns the respect of the chief by defeating the interpreter in hand-to-hand combat, the chief warns him that his warriors have many cunning arrows and shoots an arrow into Luke's grave marker. After praying for help, Tobias ... +


When the wheel on Daniel Foster's wagon breaks, once again delaying the wagon train's long journey across the western plains, he argues that the weight of the rifles he is hauling for gunmaker Jason Clay is to blame. Jason responds that his fine Kentucky rifles protect the entire party from the Indians, but Dan is furious and refuses to listen. Jason's poorly concealed interest in Dan's fiancée, Amy Connors, heightens the tension, and when Jason discovers that the wheel's axle is broken, the two men almost come to blows. As the wagon train continues, several of the travelers, including Amy, Jason, his friend Tobias Taylor, Preacher Bently, Lon Setter, Luke Thomas, Reuben Hay, and his expectant wife Cordie, reluctantly decide to stay behind until the wagon is repaired. While riding into the hills to look for sturdy timber, Tobias encounters angry Comanches, and when he reports this to the others, Luke worries that his wife and child may be attacked with the wagon train. Despite Jason's warnings, Luke rides out to warn the wagon train during the night, and the next morning, Jason and Tobias find his body hanging from a tree. Three Comanches, including a chief and an interpreter, then interrupt Luke's burial service, demanding gifts in exchange for safe passage through their territory. Dan insists on giving the Indians all of their goods, including the rifles, but Jason and Tobias forbid him. Although Jason earns the respect of the chief by defeating the interpreter in hand-to-hand combat, the chief warns him that his warriors have many cunning arrows and shoots an arrow into Luke's grave marker. After praying for help, Tobias shoots his rifle, "Sweet Betsy," at the arrow and hits it, and the Indians leave. The men then make a new axle, and by nightfall, the wagon is ready to travel. During the night, however, several Indians shoot arrows into the camp, narrowly missing the frightened Lon. Jason sneaks into the darkness and kills the attackers, and when he returns with an arm wound, Amy insists on nursing him. Increasingly attracted to Jason, Amy finally kisses him. Later that night, Dan steals away from camp to make a deal with the Comanches. In the morning, Jason pursues him and finds him as he is promising the Indians their rifles. Furious, Jason protests that the Indians, armed with rifles, will kill not only their party, but many of the settlers who journey across the plains. The Indians threaten to kill Dan, whereupon Jason, believing that Amy still loves her fiancé, returns to his group for a vote. Tobias argues against the deal, but the rest of the men vote to give the guns to the Comanches. The chief promises Jason that his people will allow the wagon to pass in safety, but when Jason leaves to fetch the rifles, the Indians gleefully prepare for battle. Dan leaps on a horse and returns to the wagon to warn the others, but is seriously injured by an arrow. Soon after he arrives, the Indians appear, but the men, armed with their sturdy rifles, drive them off. One of the warriors charges the wagon, killing Dan, but the other Comanches retreat, and the wagon continues its journey. Cordie, now in labor, moans in pain as the wagon approaches a narrow pass in the hills. Although the hills are full of Indians, the chief, admitting the superiority of the white man's weapons, states that the wagon may pass through. Just as the wagon emerges from the pass, one bloodthirsty Comanche shoots an arrow into Tobias' back. The cries of Cordie's new baby fill the air as Tobias, praising his Kentucky rifle as a "thing of beauty," dies in Jason'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.