Overland Pacific (1954)

73-74 mins | Western | February 1954

Director:

Fred F. Sears

Producer:

Edward Small

Cinematographer:

Lester White

Editor:

Buddy Small

Production Designer:

F. Paul Sylos

Production Companies:

World Films, Inc., Superior Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

This film's working title was The Silver Dollar . The following written prologue appears after the onscreen credits: "Soon after the devastating war between the States, America's prosperity depended on a linking of its widely separated boundaries. As a result, several railroad lines commenced to push west-ward, plagued every foot of the way by hostile Indians. But what has been forgotten today is that there were also hostile Whites, and considerable blood was shed in disputes over the projected routes. This is an account of one such incident." The film's pressbook reported that exterior sequences were shot in Chatsworth, CA. In addition to World Films, which is listed onscreen, contemporary sources also credit Reliance Productions and Edward Small Productions as the film's production company. A review of this film in the journal Filmindia states that "Indians should learn from America's tragic experience in crime and the censors should ban pictures like these to protect Indian homes from being flooded with criminal and violent ... More Less

This film's working title was The Silver Dollar . The following written prologue appears after the onscreen credits: "Soon after the devastating war between the States, America's prosperity depended on a linking of its widely separated boundaries. As a result, several railroad lines commenced to push west-ward, plagued every foot of the way by hostile Indians. But what has been forgotten today is that there were also hostile Whites, and considerable blood was shed in disputes over the projected routes. This is an account of one such incident." The film's pressbook reported that exterior sequences were shot in Chatsworth, CA. In addition to World Films, which is listed onscreen, contemporary sources also credit Reliance Productions and Edward Small Productions as the film's production company. A review of this film in the journal Filmindia states that "Indians should learn from America's tragic experience in crime and the censors should ban pictures like these to protect Indian homes from being flooded with criminal and violent ideas." More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
13 Feb 1954.
---
Daily Variety
8 Feb 54
p. 3.
Film Daily
23 Feb 54
p. 6.
Filmindia
Jun 1954.
---
Harrison's Reports
13 Feb 54
p. 27.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Aug 53
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Sep 53
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Feb 54
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
9-Feb-54
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Feb 54
p. 2182.
The Exhibitor
10 Feb 54
pp. 3696-97.
Variety
10 Feb 54
p. 6.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Silver Dollar
Release Date:
February 1954
Production Date:
late August--early September 1953 at Samuel Goldwyn Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Superior Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
17 March 1954
Copyright Number:
LP3518
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Color Corp. of America
Duration(in mins):
73-74
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16749
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Ross Granger, a Civil War veteran, poses as a telegraph operator in order to investigate acts of sabotage that have been plaguing the building of the Overland Pacific. As he travels by stage to Oaktown, where he is to work as the new telegraph operator, he sees a corpse pierced by Indian arrows swinging from the telegraph wires. Once in Oaktown, Ann Dennison, the daughter of the man responsible for bringing the railroad to the region, identifies the dead man as a railroad worker. Granger is surprised to encounter his old wartime buddy, Del Stewart, who has become the owner of the town's saloon, the Silver Dollar, and is engaged to marry Ann, despite her father's disapproval. Granger also befriends Jessie Lorraine, a dance hall girl, who is also in love with Stewart. The next day, as Dennison and Ann show Granger the territory, the railroad camp is attacked by Comanches, who resent the railroad being built in their territory. Dennison believes that someone besides the Comanches is behind the attacks and his suspicions are confirmed when the men report that the Indians had repeating rifles. Granger telegraphs the central office with the news, and later, Stewart and a rich cattleman, Broden, discuss their plan to sell guns to the Indians, whose attacks will then force the railroad company to reroute the tracks through Oaktown, where they both own land. Later, after Stewart tries to bribe Dennison into changing the railroad path, Dennison accuses him of masterminding the Indian raid. Just then, Broden's henchman, Jason, shoots Dennison dead. Stewart brings Dennison's body back to the railroad camp and announces that ... +


Ross Granger, a Civil War veteran, poses as a telegraph operator in order to investigate acts of sabotage that have been plaguing the building of the Overland Pacific. As he travels by stage to Oaktown, where he is to work as the new telegraph operator, he sees a corpse pierced by Indian arrows swinging from the telegraph wires. Once in Oaktown, Ann Dennison, the daughter of the man responsible for bringing the railroad to the region, identifies the dead man as a railroad worker. Granger is surprised to encounter his old wartime buddy, Del Stewart, who has become the owner of the town's saloon, the Silver Dollar, and is engaged to marry Ann, despite her father's disapproval. Granger also befriends Jessie Lorraine, a dance hall girl, who is also in love with Stewart. The next day, as Dennison and Ann show Granger the territory, the railroad camp is attacked by Comanches, who resent the railroad being built in their territory. Dennison believes that someone besides the Comanches is behind the attacks and his suspicions are confirmed when the men report that the Indians had repeating rifles. Granger telegraphs the central office with the news, and later, Stewart and a rich cattleman, Broden, discuss their plan to sell guns to the Indians, whose attacks will then force the railroad company to reroute the tracks through Oaktown, where they both own land. Later, after Stewart tries to bribe Dennison into changing the railroad path, Dennison accuses him of masterminding the Indian raid. Just then, Broden's henchman, Jason, shoots Dennison dead. Stewart brings Dennison's body back to the railroad camp and announces that Indians shot him, but later, Granger shows Stewart and the dishonest Sheriff Blaney, who is also in on the scheme, the slug from Dennison's body, which he claims came from a white man's gun. Later, Stewart accidentally meets Dark Thunder, the Comanche chief, who is angry that the whites have not moved the railroad out of his territory, and Stewart offers him more guns to continue his raids. Meanwhile, Sheriff Blaney admits his involvement in the gun-running scheme, telling Granger that the guns were smuggled in Stewart's whiskey barrels. As Blaney takes Granger to see where the rifles are hidden, Jason, hidden in the rocks, shoots and hits Granger in the shoulder, and in the ensuing fight, Jason is killed. When Granger gets back to town, Jessie and Ann tend to his wounds, and Granger demands that Stewart show him his whiskey barrels, much to Jessie and Ann's shock. Although Ann and Granger do not discover any rifles in the warehouse, they do find Blaney, who has committed suicide. As Ann, who broke off her engagement to Stewart after her father's death, addresses the railroad workers and tells them that she plans to continue her father's dream for the future, Perkins, the new construction boss, arrives and announces that the railroad will be rerouted through Oaktown. Back at the saloon, Stewart has reunited with an overjoyed Jessie, but when Perkins reveals that he is involved in the sabotage scheme with Stewart, she angrily informs Stewart that she plans to turn him in. Stewart shoots Jessie, but before she dies, she tells the piano player to tell Granger that the new construction boss is a fake. After Stewart goes to see Dark Thunder to tell him that the railroad will be rerouted out of Comanche territory, he, Perkins and Broden are taken hostage while Dark Thunder attacks the railroad camp. Ann, Granger and the men successfully fight off the attack and Granger kills Stewart. Their troubles over, Ann and Granger walk away arm-in-arm. +

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.