The Telegraph Trail (1933)

54 or 59-60 mins | Western | 18 March 1933

Director:

Tenny Wright

Writer:

Kurt Kempler

Cinematographer:

Ted McCord

Editor:

Wm. Clemens

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Press notes in the copyright records indicate that Indians from various western reservations were used in the battle scenes. Western Union Telegraph Co. loaned an early telegraph instrument to the filmmakers. Modern sources list Slim Whitaker, Frank Ellis and Jack Kirk in the ... More Less

Press notes in the copyright records indicate that Indians from various western reservations were used in the battle scenes. Western Union Telegraph Co. loaned an early telegraph instrument to the filmmakers. Modern sources list Slim Whitaker, Frank Ellis and Jack Kirk in the cast. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
29 Mar 33
p. 8.
Motion Picture Daily
29 Mar 33
p. 5.
Variety
4 Apr 33
p. 38.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Four Star Western
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
Scr and dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus score
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 March 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Vitagraph Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 March 1933
Copyright Number:
LP3740
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
54 or 59-60
Length(in feet):
5,090
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

A team of men working on a cross-country telegraph line are attacked by Indians. Just before he is killed, one of the linemen manages to get a message through to the fort, indicating that a white man is behind the attacks. When Zeke Keller and his niece Alice pass the scene of the attack, Alice agrees to deliver a package of letters belonging to one of the dying men. Scout John Trent and Tippy, one of the soldiers, are sent to capture the white leader. Gus Lynch, the man behind the Indian attacks, is determined to maintain his shipping monopoly by preventing the completion of the telegraph. He also tries to force Alice to marry him, but she protests that she is already engaged. To prove it, she pulls out the picture of John that was included in the dead man's packet. Right after she makes that announcement, John and Tippy walk into Zeke's store. John is convinced she is crazy when she throws her arms around his neck. That night, John calls a meeting asking for volunteers to bring supplies to the telegraph workers. Despite Lynch's efforts to dissuade them, the men plan to leave in the morning. Alice overhears Lynch plan an Indian raid and tries to warn John, but remembering their last encounter, he runs in the other direction. Hiding from Lynch, Alice stows away. She pins a note to one of the boxes in the wagon warning of the raid. With this information, John is able to ward off the attack. When Alice is discovered, Tippy thinks she is a spy for Lynch, but ... +


A team of men working on a cross-country telegraph line are attacked by Indians. Just before he is killed, one of the linemen manages to get a message through to the fort, indicating that a white man is behind the attacks. When Zeke Keller and his niece Alice pass the scene of the attack, Alice agrees to deliver a package of letters belonging to one of the dying men. Scout John Trent and Tippy, one of the soldiers, are sent to capture the white leader. Gus Lynch, the man behind the Indian attacks, is determined to maintain his shipping monopoly by preventing the completion of the telegraph. He also tries to force Alice to marry him, but she protests that she is already engaged. To prove it, she pulls out the picture of John that was included in the dead man's packet. Right after she makes that announcement, John and Tippy walk into Zeke's store. John is convinced she is crazy when she throws her arms around his neck. That night, John calls a meeting asking for volunteers to bring supplies to the telegraph workers. Despite Lynch's efforts to dissuade them, the men plan to leave in the morning. Alice overhears Lynch plan an Indian raid and tries to warn John, but remembering their last encounter, he runs in the other direction. Hiding from Lynch, Alice stows away. She pins a note to one of the boxes in the wagon warning of the raid. With this information, John is able to ward off the attack. When Alice is discovered, Tippy thinks she is a spy for Lynch, but John recognizes her handwriting and realizes they owe her some thanks. Lynch convinces a large band of Indians to attack the train, telling them that the telegraph lines will bring soldiers who will kill them. In the midst of the attack, John manages to get a message through to the fort. The Indians are about to claim victory when the soldiers arrive. High Wolf, Lynch's Indian henchman, is wounded. When Lynch refuses to stop and help him, High Wolf kills him. The telegraph line is completed, and John is given an award, but his real reward comes when Alice agrees to become his "commanding officer." +

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.