Stage to Tucson (1951)

81 mins | Western | January 1951

Director:

Ralph Murphy

Producer:

Harry Joe Brown

Cinematographer:

Charles "Bud" Lawton

Editor:

Charles Nelson

Production Designer:

George Brooks

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Lost Stage Valley . According to copyright records, portions of the film were shot on location in Lone Pine, ... More Less

The working title of this film was Lost Stage Valley . According to copyright records, portions of the film were shot on location in Lone Pine, CA. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Dec 1950.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 50
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 50
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Dec 1950.
---
Variety
20 Dec 1950
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd eng
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Lost Stage Valley by Frank Bonham (New York, 1948).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Lost Stage Valley
Release Date:
January 1951
Production Date:
late March--late April 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
31 December 1950
Copyright Number:
LP994
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
81
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14527
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Just before the outbreak of Civil War, John Butterfield, owner of the Butterfield Stage Line, pleads for assistance from President-elect Abraham Lincoln to fight the increasing number of stage thefts on his St. Louis to San Francisco run, but Lincoln encourages Butterfield to defend himself alone. A few days later on the Texas trail, El Paso's sheriff Winters detains Grif Holbrook, Butterfield's former partner, and escorts him to Butterfield, who arranged the arrest to stop Grif from resigning. Butterfield pleads for Grif to stay on and help him discover who is behind the stage raids, but Grif refuses until Butterfield makes him head of the Tucson branch. When Grif arrives at the line's Apache Pass branch in Arizona, acting manager Kate Crocker describes the latest stage theft, in which the robbers appeared in a black, apparently driverless stage. Kate reacts angrily at being replaced by Winters until Grif offers her work at his branch. On the Tucson trail, the black stage ambushes Grif and Kate, but Kate is allowed to continue unharmed. Taken inside the black stage, Grif recognizes Sam Granger, the driver, a former Butterfield employee, who explains the thefts are to support the Southern cause. Grif soon breaks out of the black stage and makes his way to Tucson. The black stage then reports to boss Jim Maroon, who berates his men for allowing Grif's escape. Meanwhile, at the Tucson Butterfield office, supervisor Barney Broderick, long an admirer of Kate, reacts with dismay over her concern for Grif, who turns up unharmed. While checking into the local hotel, Grif reunites with old flame Annie Benson, the proprietor, then in the saloon, ... +


Just before the outbreak of Civil War, John Butterfield, owner of the Butterfield Stage Line, pleads for assistance from President-elect Abraham Lincoln to fight the increasing number of stage thefts on his St. Louis to San Francisco run, but Lincoln encourages Butterfield to defend himself alone. A few days later on the Texas trail, El Paso's sheriff Winters detains Grif Holbrook, Butterfield's former partner, and escorts him to Butterfield, who arranged the arrest to stop Grif from resigning. Butterfield pleads for Grif to stay on and help him discover who is behind the stage raids, but Grif refuses until Butterfield makes him head of the Tucson branch. When Grif arrives at the line's Apache Pass branch in Arizona, acting manager Kate Crocker describes the latest stage theft, in which the robbers appeared in a black, apparently driverless stage. Kate reacts angrily at being replaced by Winters until Grif offers her work at his branch. On the Tucson trail, the black stage ambushes Grif and Kate, but Kate is allowed to continue unharmed. Taken inside the black stage, Grif recognizes Sam Granger, the driver, a former Butterfield employee, who explains the thefts are to support the Southern cause. Grif soon breaks out of the black stage and makes his way to Tucson. The black stage then reports to boss Jim Maroon, who berates his men for allowing Grif's escape. Meanwhile, at the Tucson Butterfield office, supervisor Barney Broderick, long an admirer of Kate, reacts with dismay over her concern for Grif, who turns up unharmed. While checking into the local hotel, Grif reunites with old flame Annie Benson, the proprietor, then in the saloon, tries to get information from an associate of Maroon about the black stage. When Grif follows the man later, another of Maroon's henchmen kills the man and attacks Grif, who escapes. The next day, Kate confesses her concern for Grif's safety and, despite Barney's resentment, accepts Grif's proposal. Barney goes to Annie's and drinks heavily while Maroon questions him about the Butterfield line. The next day, the black stage hijacks another stagecoach, and when Grif and Barney investigate, they are attacked. After they escape, the men quarrel over Grif's engagement, and upon returning to Tucson, Kate chides Grif for fighting Barney. That night after hearing reports that a Mexican stage had been hijacked less than two hours earlier, Grif hastily summons all the townsfolk to the square to note which men are absent. They include Maroon, his half-breed henchman, Gus Heyden, and perennial drunk, Doc Noah Benteen. Just then, a Union soldier arrives with Lincoln's call for volunteers, sending a surge of excitement through the town. When Barney notices Gus ride away, he follows him to Maroon's ranch and overhears Maroon plan one final stage heist before war is officially declared. Upon discovery, Barney convinces Maroon he has quit working for Butterfield and wishes to join him. Maroon agrees, but when Gus protests, Maroon strikes him and is attacked by Gus's imposing white dog, Billy. Maroon shoots Billy, and Barney uses the distraction to tuck the flower he always wears into Doc's hatband. Seeing Kate fret over Barney's lengthening absence, Grif realizes she is in love with him. Doc arrives in the bar and Annie, noticing the flower, pressures him to reveal Barney's whereabouts. Doc admits Maroon's involvement with the thefts, but insists it is for the "cause" and refuses to believe that Maroon is corrupt. When Annie reveals she is Maroon's wife and knows his long history of illegal activities, Doc discloses Barney's location. Grif rounds up a posse and heads to Maroon's ranch, while Maroon plans to take the last two stolen coaches to Mexico. Barney is assigned to one of the stages, and while driving, hurls the accompanying guard off and tries to make an escape. Gus and Maroon chase him as Grif's posse closes in. Barney unhitches his team and crashes his stage, forcing Gus and Maroon to crash as well. As revenge for killing Billy, Gus kills Maroon just before the posse arrives. Later, in Tucson, Annie and Kate look on as Barney joins the Union Army only to discover that Grif has already been made his commanding officer. +

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

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