Great Day in the Morning (1956)

91 mins | Western | 16 May 1956

Director:

Jacques Tourneur

Writer:

Lesser Samuels

Producer:

Edmund Grainger

Cinematographer:

William Snyder

Editor:

Harry Marker

Production Designers:

Jack Okey, Albert D'Agostino

Production Company:

Edmund Grainger Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

A written prologue states that in Colorado, the white man first fought the Indians for possession of the land and then turned on his fellow white man. According to a 24 Feb 1955 LAEx news item, producer Edmund Grainger originally approached Richard Burton to play "Owen Pentecost." In Mar 1955, LAT reported that Grainger was considering either William Powell or Robert Mitchum to play Owen, Joe E. Brown to play "Father Murphy" and Shelley Winters and Grace Kelly for the female leads. Grainger borrowed Virginia Mayo from Warner Bros. for the film.
       Press materials state that Great Day in the Morning was shot mainly on location in Silverton, CO. Although Aug 1955 HR news items add George Wallace and Dorothy Bewley to the cast, and a Sep 1955 HR production chart includes actor Scott Douglas, their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a 13 Apr 1956 HR news item, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad offered special excursion rates to Denver in order to attend the film's premiere on 16 May 1956. Modern sources add Lane Chandler, Ben Corbett, Dennis Moore and Kermit Maynard to the ... More Less

A written prologue states that in Colorado, the white man first fought the Indians for possession of the land and then turned on his fellow white man. According to a 24 Feb 1955 LAEx news item, producer Edmund Grainger originally approached Richard Burton to play "Owen Pentecost." In Mar 1955, LAT reported that Grainger was considering either William Powell or Robert Mitchum to play Owen, Joe E. Brown to play "Father Murphy" and Shelley Winters and Grace Kelly for the female leads. Grainger borrowed Virginia Mayo from Warner Bros. for the film.
       Press materials state that Great Day in the Morning was shot mainly on location in Silverton, CO. Although Aug 1955 HR news items add George Wallace and Dorothy Bewley to the cast, and a Sep 1955 HR production chart includes actor Scott Douglas, their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a 13 Apr 1956 HR news item, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad offered special excursion rates to Denver in order to attend the film's premiere on 16 May 1956. Modern sources add Lane Chandler, Ben Corbett, Dennis Moore and Kermit Maynard to the cast. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 May 1956.
---
Daily Variety
16 May 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
17 May 56
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Aug 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Aug 1955
p. 4, 14.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Aug 1955
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 1955
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 1956
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Apr 1956
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 56
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
24 Feb 1955.
---
Los Angeles Times
11 Mar 1955.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 May 56
p. 897.
New York Times
19 May 56
p. 12.
Variety
16 May 56
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus dir
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Prod supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Great Day in the Morning by Robert Hardy Andrews (New York, 1950).
DETAILS
Release Date:
16 May 1956
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Denver, CO: 16 May 1956
Production Date:
mid August--early September 1955
Copyright Claimant:
Edmund Grainger Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
16 May 1956
Copyright Number:
LP6516
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound Recording
Color
Widescreen/ratio
SuperScope
Lenses/Prints
Print by Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
91
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17680
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Outside Denver, Colorado in 1861, Owen Pentecost is engaged in a battle with a band of Indians when Steven Kirby comes to his aid. Owen follows Steven to his camp, where he learns Steven is leading Easterner Ann Alaine into Denver, where she plans to set up a dress shop. Hired hand Zeff Masterson berates Owen for his Southern, and assumedly Confederate, background, until Ann stops the men from fighting and invites Owen along with them. They soon enter Denver, where Father Murphy encourages them to attend church. They procure rooms at the saloon owned by Jumbo Means, where the men loudly admire Ann’s figure while bar manager Boston Grant admires Owen. As Owen gambles inside, outside Zeff beats a man for claiming that Northerners and Southerners are “brothers.” Upon learning that Owen is winning, Jumbo challenges him to a poker game, during which Owen publicly proves that Jumbo is cheating. After changing decks, Owen wins all Jumbo’s money, until the saloon owner is forced to put up all his assets as collateral. Although Jumbo expects Boston to help him cheat, she instead cheats in Owen’s favor. She later tells Owen, who is now drunk, that Jumbo treated her poorly, and looks the other way when Owen flirts with Ann before passing out. The next day, Owen visits the handful of Southern townsmen, led by Rogers, who operate a gold mine nearby. After telling them that he has learned from a friend back home that they are hiding millions in gold, Owen offers them the use of the saloon's weapons and wagons, in exchange for a percentage of the gold. Rogers, who plans to give the gold to ... +


Outside Denver, Colorado in 1861, Owen Pentecost is engaged in a battle with a band of Indians when Steven Kirby comes to his aid. Owen follows Steven to his camp, where he learns Steven is leading Easterner Ann Alaine into Denver, where she plans to set up a dress shop. Hired hand Zeff Masterson berates Owen for his Southern, and assumedly Confederate, background, until Ann stops the men from fighting and invites Owen along with them. They soon enter Denver, where Father Murphy encourages them to attend church. They procure rooms at the saloon owned by Jumbo Means, where the men loudly admire Ann’s figure while bar manager Boston Grant admires Owen. As Owen gambles inside, outside Zeff beats a man for claiming that Northerners and Southerners are “brothers.” Upon learning that Owen is winning, Jumbo challenges him to a poker game, during which Owen publicly proves that Jumbo is cheating. After changing decks, Owen wins all Jumbo’s money, until the saloon owner is forced to put up all his assets as collateral. Although Jumbo expects Boston to help him cheat, she instead cheats in Owen’s favor. She later tells Owen, who is now drunk, that Jumbo treated her poorly, and looks the other way when Owen flirts with Ann before passing out. The next day, Owen visits the handful of Southern townsmen, led by Rogers, who operate a gold mine nearby. After telling them that he has learned from a friend back home that they are hiding millions in gold, Owen offers them the use of the saloon's weapons and wagons, in exchange for a percentage of the gold. Rogers, who plans to give the gold to the Confederate Army, is horrified by Owen’s mercenary ways, but is forced to agree. Later, Boston shows Owen Jumbo's mining claims that he now owns, after which Owen announces to the town that he will stake any claim in return for half the profits. As the men swarm to the mines, Owen, bearing champagne, visits Ann’s new shop. Although she receives him coldly, Steven finds them together and guesses, jealously, that Ann is intrigued by Owen. Steven, who is really a Secret Service agent for the Union Army assigned to keep the Southerners from transporting their gold, visits his superior, Col. Gibson, who orders him to remain discreet. A few days later, Owen visits Jack Lawford at his new mine claim, and upon spotting Lawford burying some gold, accuses him of refusing to pay his fifty percent. As Ann watches, Lawford draws his gun, forcing Owen to kill him. They bring the body back to town, where Jumbo leads the townsmen in a revolt against Owen, but Ann saves him by asserting that they found Lawford already dead. The next day, when Lawford’s young son Gary arrives in town looking for his father, only to learn that he has been orphaned, Owen takes the boy in. Despite her disgust with Owen’s actions, Ann helps him, earning Boston’s enmity. Over the next weeks, Owen takes Gary under his wing, teaching him everything he knows and sharing his father’s gold. One day, Gary asks Owen to teach him sharpshooting skills so he can track down his father’s killer. When Owen consents, Ann is outraged by what she considers his barbarism, prompting Steven’s jealousy at her continued interest in Owen. She confronts Owen, declaring that when Gary learns the truth, he will be crushed, but Owen correctly surmises that her passion hides an attraction. He kisses her until she returns the embrace, then leaves. Soon after, the Civil War begins. When Fort Sumter falls, the Unionists march in the streets of Denver, and the Southerners gather in the saloon. There, Owen refuses to join them, but is forced to defend himself when Zeff leads an ambush into the saloon. Gary tries to join the men, and when Owen attempts to rescue the boy, he is shot. The shootout ceases only after Father Murphy is accidentally killed. Ann and Boston minister to Owen until Boston calls Ann outside to berate her being incapable of loving Owen unless she can change him. Later, the Easterners gather in Jumbo’s new saloon, where Steven names Zeff a sergeant and swears them all in as Union soldiers. Soon, the Southerners move the gold into Owen’s warehouse, which Gibson surrounds with his soldiers. Owen is unsure whether to join the Southerners until his bartender declares that he cannot turn his back on his own kind. While Owen packs to leave, both Boston and Gary insist on accompanying him, but to keep Gary out of danger, Owen reveals that he shot his father. Gary runs into the street, followed by Boston, who knows she must stay behind to care for the boy. Owen agrees to lead the Southerners out of the warehouse, but demands $100,000 in payment. Meanwhile, Jumbo tricks Boston into entering his saloon, where he kills her in a jealous rage. As he lays her body in front of the saloon, he is killed in the crossfire between the soldiers and the Southerners, who escape from the warehouse in a blaze of explosives. Zeff’s men chase the wagon train while Steven takes his men to cut them off on the trail. There, Owen empties one wagon of gold and drives it into the hills, guessing correctly that the soldiers will follow him. As the other wagons escape, Owen jumps out of the speeding wagon and hides in a cave. Steven traces him there and is about to kill him when Owen admits that he and Ann are not right for each other, and that he loves only Gary and Boston, unaware that she is dead. After Owen asks Steven to tell Boston to meet him in the South, Steven allows Owen to leave. The two men salute each other before joining their separate forces. +

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

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