Copper Canyon (1950)

83-84 mins | Western | October 1950

Director:

John Farrow

Producer:

Mel Epstein

Cinematographer:

Charles Lang Jr.

Editor:

Eda Warren

Production Designers:

Hans Dreier, Franz Bachelin

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

According to a HR news item, Paramount postponed the release of this film to coincide with the release of the song "Copper Canyon." Some scenes were shot on location near Flagstaff, AZ, and at Vasquez Rocks in Chatsworth, ... More Less

According to a HR news item, Paramount postponed the release of this film to coincide with the release of the song "Copper Canyon." Some scenes were shot on location near Flagstaff, AZ, and at Vasquez Rocks in Chatsworth, CA. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 Jul 1950.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jul 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
24 Jul 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 49
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 49
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 49
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 49
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 49
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 49
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 49
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 1950.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 Jul 50
p. 405.
New York Times
16 Nov 50
p. 39.
Variety
26 Jul 50
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Robert Watson
Bill Steele
Russell Kaplan
Geraldine E. Jordan
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A John Farrow Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op
Gaffer
Grip
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Ed supv
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Women's cost
Men's cost
MUSIC
DANCE
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Scr supv
Dial dir
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor color consultant
Technicolor tech
Technicolor tech
SOURCES
SONGS
"Copper Canyon," music and lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1950
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 15 November 1950
Production Date:
14 April--early June 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
6 October 1950
Copyright Number:
LP391
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
83-84
Length(in feet):
7,510
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Shortly after the Civil War, out West, suave vaudevillian Johnny Carter is displaying his sharpshooting skills during one of his shows, when he is spotted by former Confederate soldiers Bill Newton, Jeb Bassett and Scamper, who believe that Johnny is actually a Confederate colonel named Desmond. The veterans ask his help in defending them against discrimination in Coppertown, where they stand to lose their mining claims because they are Southerners. Johnny denies that he is Desmond and refuses to help. Meanwhile, Coppertown marshal Lane Travis and his deputy, Bat Laverne, are paid by an Eastern syndicate to run roughshod over the Southerners and prevent them from gaining a foothold in the copper mines. As a result, mine owner Moss Balfour refuses to hire any Southerner or smelt any ore belonging to a "Reb." Balfour's stance hurts mine owner Theodosius Roberts, because he is forced to send his ore out to be smelted and his wagon trains are always attacked. Roberts, who is Desmond's brother-in-law, receives a visit from Cavalry Lt. Ord, who is seeking Desmond for escaping from a Union prison with $20,000. Desmond's daughter Caroline, a war widow, defends Desmond although she has never met him, and strongly rebuffs Ord's attempt at kindness. Johnny, meanwhile, joins a vaudeville show which performs in Coppertown, and secretly works on behalf of his fellow plighted Southerners. Upon discovering that saloon hostess Lisa Roselle is involved in the plot against the Southerners, Johnny purposely pits himself against Travis as his rival for Lisa's affection. Jeb's outspokenness against Travis and Balfour leads to his murder, as well as his sons's, and there are no recriminations against Travis. Despite the violence, Roberts ... +


Shortly after the Civil War, out West, suave vaudevillian Johnny Carter is displaying his sharpshooting skills during one of his shows, when he is spotted by former Confederate soldiers Bill Newton, Jeb Bassett and Scamper, who believe that Johnny is actually a Confederate colonel named Desmond. The veterans ask his help in defending them against discrimination in Coppertown, where they stand to lose their mining claims because they are Southerners. Johnny denies that he is Desmond and refuses to help. Meanwhile, Coppertown marshal Lane Travis and his deputy, Bat Laverne, are paid by an Eastern syndicate to run roughshod over the Southerners and prevent them from gaining a foothold in the copper mines. As a result, mine owner Moss Balfour refuses to hire any Southerner or smelt any ore belonging to a "Reb." Balfour's stance hurts mine owner Theodosius Roberts, because he is forced to send his ore out to be smelted and his wagon trains are always attacked. Roberts, who is Desmond's brother-in-law, receives a visit from Cavalry Lt. Ord, who is seeking Desmond for escaping from a Union prison with $20,000. Desmond's daughter Caroline, a war widow, defends Desmond although she has never met him, and strongly rebuffs Ord's attempt at kindness. Johnny, meanwhile, joins a vaudeville show which performs in Coppertown, and secretly works on behalf of his fellow plighted Southerners. Upon discovering that saloon hostess Lisa Roselle is involved in the plot against the Southerners, Johnny purposely pits himself against Travis as his rival for Lisa's affection. Jeb's outspokenness against Travis and Balfour leads to his murder, as well as his sons's, and there are no recriminations against Travis. Despite the violence, Roberts refuses to join the other frightened Southerners leaving Coppertown, and accepts Johnny's help in planning a safe route for his ore wagons. On the chosen night, Travis orders Lisa to distract Johnny, but he manages to ride out in time to protect the ore train and thwart Travis' ambush. Lisa, who has fallen in love with Johnny, lies to protect him from Travis, but Johnny still distrusts her. Lisa then breaks her contract with the Eastern syndicate, which is run by a man named Henderson, as a protest against Travis' brutality. Although Roberts' ore train successfully reaches the smelter, they are robbed of the proceeds and Johnny is framed for the crime. Ord and Caroline, who have fallen in love, beseech Johnny to admit he is Desmond and give himself up to the federal warrant so that Travis will not kill him, but Johnny refuses and implies that the money Desmond "stole" originally belonged to him. After his arrest, Johnny sends for Balfour from his jail cell, and using a quote from Abraham Lincoln, convinces him that discrimination is morally wrong. Travis' brutal murder of Balfour shortly after causes the remaining Southerners to panic, and they begin to sell their claims to Henderson. Freed from jail by Lisa, Johnny shreds the deeds and goes after Travis, who has fled with his gang. Johnny's military training proves invaluable as he directs two troops of volunteers to hunt down Travis' gang. Johnny is forced to kill Travis during a lengthy gunfight, after which the volunteers arrest the outlaws. Peace is restored to Coppertown, and after Caroline and Ord announce their engagement, Johnny and Lisa leave together for San Francisco. +

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.