Winds of the Wasteland (1936)

53 mins | Western | 6 July 1936

Director:

Mack V. Wright

Writer:

Joseph Poland

Producer:

Nat Levine

Cinematographer:

William Nobles

Editor:

Robert Jahns

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The viewed print of this film included a dedication to the "unsung heroes of Old West who gave their lives to bring the thin strands of communication across the trackless wastes of the great American Desert, braving the perils of the trail, that the telegraph wires might follow Pony Express and unite the new cities of the West with the Nation's Capitol." This film was shot on location in the Sierra Mountains and in the Sacramento Valley in CA. The viewed print did not include character names; a modern sources lists them as: Sam Flint ( Dr. William Forsythe ), Robert Kortman ( Cherokee ), Charles Locher ( Jim ), W. M. McCormick ( Pete ), Chris Franke ( Graham ), Yakima Canutt ( Smoky ), Joe Yrigoyen ( Pike ), and Jack Ingraham ( Guard ). In addition, modern sources add Bud McClure ( Guard ) to the ... More Less

The viewed print of this film included a dedication to the "unsung heroes of Old West who gave their lives to bring the thin strands of communication across the trackless wastes of the great American Desert, braving the perils of the trail, that the telegraph wires might follow Pony Express and unite the new cities of the West with the Nation's Capitol." This film was shot on location in the Sierra Mountains and in the Sacramento Valley in CA. The viewed print did not include character names; a modern sources lists them as: Sam Flint ( Dr. William Forsythe ), Robert Kortman ( Cherokee ), Charles Locher ( Jim ), W. M. McCormick ( Pete ), Chris Franke ( Graham ), Yakima Canutt ( Smoky ), Joe Yrigoyen ( Pike ), and Jack Ingraham ( Guard ). In addition, modern sources add Bud McClure ( Guard ) to the cast. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
11 Jul 36
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Apr 36
p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily
13 Jul 36
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
23 May 36
p. 27.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Prod
WRITER
Scr and orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Supv ed
MUSIC
Mus supv
SOUND
Sd eng
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 July 1936
Production Date:
began 29 April 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
6 July 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6450
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor "High Fidelity" Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
53
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
2316
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

With the coming of the telegraph, the Pony Express is declared obsolete following an ambush by Indians, and its drivers are forced to find new jobs. After Johnny Blair makes his last Pony Express ride, he heads for Buchanan City with his friend, Larry Adams, hoping to start a stagecoach line. "Cal" Drake, who runs a stageline in Buchanan City, sells Johnny a stagecoach franchise for $3,000 that makes a seventy-mile round trip from Crescent City into Buchanan twice a week. When Johnny and Adams arrive, however, they find Crescent City deserted, except for an old man named "Rocky," who introduces himself as mayor, sheriff and postmaster, and Doc William Forsythe. Rocky warns the pair against Drake, who used to be Doc's partner before he refused to accept Drake's dirty dealing and was forced out. Rocky advises Johnny and Adams to fix up the delapidated Crescent City stagecoach, which is now home to a skunk, and enter a contest for a mail contract that involves a stagecoach race from Buchanan to Sacramento. The coach that arrives first will receive a $25,000 government mail subsidy. When Doc's daughter Barbara, a schoolteacher, arrives from the East expecting to find a big city, Johnny convinces her to stay and help her father, who built the town. Johnny then asks a work crew that is putting up a telegraph to run wires through Crescent City instead of Buchanan. The crew hires fifty men from Buchanan to help them, and the city begins to grow. Blake then offers Johnny a job driving a shipment to Sacramento in Blake's stagecoach with an armed escort of Blake's men, ... +


With the coming of the telegraph, the Pony Express is declared obsolete following an ambush by Indians, and its drivers are forced to find new jobs. After Johnny Blair makes his last Pony Express ride, he heads for Buchanan City with his friend, Larry Adams, hoping to start a stagecoach line. "Cal" Drake, who runs a stageline in Buchanan City, sells Johnny a stagecoach franchise for $3,000 that makes a seventy-mile round trip from Crescent City into Buchanan twice a week. When Johnny and Adams arrive, however, they find Crescent City deserted, except for an old man named "Rocky," who introduces himself as mayor, sheriff and postmaster, and Doc William Forsythe. Rocky warns the pair against Drake, who used to be Doc's partner before he refused to accept Drake's dirty dealing and was forced out. Rocky advises Johnny and Adams to fix up the delapidated Crescent City stagecoach, which is now home to a skunk, and enter a contest for a mail contract that involves a stagecoach race from Buchanan to Sacramento. The coach that arrives first will receive a $25,000 government mail subsidy. When Doc's daughter Barbara, a schoolteacher, arrives from the East expecting to find a big city, Johnny convinces her to stay and help her father, who built the town. Johnny then asks a work crew that is putting up a telegraph to run wires through Crescent City instead of Buchanan. The crew hires fifty men from Buchanan to help them, and the city begins to grow. Blake then offers Johnny a job driving a shipment to Sacramento in Blake's stagecoach with an armed escort of Blake's men, who plan to hold up the coach and steal the gold. Johnny outsmarts them, however, and safely delivers the gold. Meanwhile, Larry is shot near his spine by Drake's henchman, Cherokee, while driving the Crescent City stage, but Doc performs a delicate operation and he survives. Johnny returns and on the eve of the race, Cherokee starts a fire in the stable where Johnny keeps his coach. Johnny saves the building and the horses just in time. When Johnny spies the culprits nearby, he shoots at them, and Blake has him arrested. With five minutes remaining before the race, Johnny is in jail. Rocky starts out without him, and Johnny posts bail and catches up with him. Blake wins the stretch from Buchanan to Crescent, but then Johnny switches the coach horses to his Pony Express horses and, taking over for Rocky, catches up with Blake while Rocky rides in the coach with the skunk. Although Blake dynamites Johnny's path, shoots at him, and lassos one of his horses, Johnny pulls him from his own coach and eventually wins the race. Soon Crescent City has a population of 410. Johnny and Barbara embrace, and Rocky announces that he has made a pet of the skunk. +

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.