High Lonesome (1950)

80-81 mins | Western | 1 September 1950

Director:

Alan LeMay

Writer:

Alan LeMay

Cinematographer:

W. Howard Greene

Editor:

Jack Ogilvie

Production Designer:

John Goodman

Production Company:

Arfran Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Deadfall . The following written prologue appears in the onscreen credits: "Everything you are about to see was photographed on these cattle ranches...near Marfa in the Big Bend country of Texas." The individual brands of the six different ranches used for filming are also displayed. "High lonesome" is a Texas expression describing a tall windmill on a ... More Less

The working title of this film was Deadfall . The following written prologue appears in the onscreen credits: "Everything you are about to see was photographed on these cattle ranches...near Marfa in the Big Bend country of Texas." The individual brands of the six different ranches used for filming are also displayed. "High lonesome" is a Texas expression describing a tall windmill on a ranch. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Aug 1950.
---
Daily Variety
10 Aug 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 Aug 50
p. 7.
Harrison's Reports
12 Aug 50
p. 126.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Dec 49
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Dec 49
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jan 50
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 1050
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jan 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 50
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 50
p. 3.
Independent Film Journal
12 Aug 1950.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
2 Dec 1950.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
12 Aug 50
p. 434.
New York Times
8 Dec 50
p. 40.
Newsweek
25 Sep 1950.
---
The Exhibitor
16 Aug 50
p. 2903.
Variety
16 Aug 50
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A LeMay-Templeton Picture
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
DANCE
Dances staged by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor color consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"20 Miles from Carson," music and lyrics by Chill Wills.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Deadfall
Release Date:
1 September 1950
Production Date:
early January--mid January 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Arfran Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 June 1950
Copyright Number:
LP228
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
80-81
Length(in feet):
7,290
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14440
SYNOPSIS

At Horse Davis' Texas cattle ranch, a wild young man is caught stealing food from the bunkhouse kitchen. The cook, Boatwhistle, nicknames the prowler Cooncat, and the next morning, rancher Pat Farrell, who is engaged to Horse's daughter Abby, says the boy stole a horse from him. Horse suspects that Cooncat is guilty of something much worse, and after a ranch hand drags him behind his horse, Cooncat confesses to killing a trader named Jim Shell. As Horse and his men accompany Cooncat to the trading post, Cooncat explains that Shell offered to hold his money for safekeeping but then refused to give it back. Two strangers gave Cooncat a gun and told him to demand his money, and Shell attacked him. When Cooncat came to, Shell was lying dead on the floor. To confirm Cooncat's story, he and the others return to the trading post, but there is no body, and everything is covered with a thick layer of dust. Although Pat suggests turning Cooncat over to the sheriff, Horse insists on sorting the situation out himself. At the ranch, Cooncat describes the two strangers, Smiling Man and Roper, and Boatwhistle is stunned, as his description fits two men that he and Horse killed while fighting a bitter fence war with the Jessup family fifteen years before. Cooncat tries to convince Horse's men that Smiling Man and Roper have followed him, but no one believes him except Meagan, Horse's younger daughter. Later, at a barn-warming to celebrate Pat and Abby's engagement, Pat receives word that his parents have been murdered, and the circumstantial evidence points to Cooncat. Convinced of Cooncat's guilt, ... +


At Horse Davis' Texas cattle ranch, a wild young man is caught stealing food from the bunkhouse kitchen. The cook, Boatwhistle, nicknames the prowler Cooncat, and the next morning, rancher Pat Farrell, who is engaged to Horse's daughter Abby, says the boy stole a horse from him. Horse suspects that Cooncat is guilty of something much worse, and after a ranch hand drags him behind his horse, Cooncat confesses to killing a trader named Jim Shell. As Horse and his men accompany Cooncat to the trading post, Cooncat explains that Shell offered to hold his money for safekeeping but then refused to give it back. Two strangers gave Cooncat a gun and told him to demand his money, and Shell attacked him. When Cooncat came to, Shell was lying dead on the floor. To confirm Cooncat's story, he and the others return to the trading post, but there is no body, and everything is covered with a thick layer of dust. Although Pat suggests turning Cooncat over to the sheriff, Horse insists on sorting the situation out himself. At the ranch, Cooncat describes the two strangers, Smiling Man and Roper, and Boatwhistle is stunned, as his description fits two men that he and Horse killed while fighting a bitter fence war with the Jessup family fifteen years before. Cooncat tries to convince Horse's men that Smiling Man and Roper have followed him, but no one believes him except Meagan, Horse's younger daughter. Later, at a barn-warming to celebrate Pat and Abby's engagement, Pat receives word that his parents have been murdered, and the circumstantial evidence points to Cooncat. Convinced of Cooncat's guilt, Pat wants to hang him, but Horse intervenes, creating a rift between the old friends. Pat, who lives on the former Jessup land, has the fence put back up, and when Abby orders her men to tear the fence down and burn it, a gunfight erupts, during which Abby is injured. In the bunkhouse, Cooncat encounters Smiling Man and Roper, but they let him go, remarking that the boy is their lucky charm since everything gets blamed on him. Despite Cooncat's attempts to stop him, Boatwhistle enters the bunkhouse and is shot to death by Smiling Man. Horse orders his men to block all the trails and search for Cooncat, who he now believes is a Jessup. Before running away, Cooncat tells Meagan what really happened to Boatwhistle, adding that he now realizes that the other men actually fired the shots that killed Shell. Believing that he will be exonerated if he can produce Shell's body, Cooncat heads back to the trading post, followed by Meagan, who has left a note for her father. Cooncat and Meagan are searching the trading post when Smiling Man appears and tells them that Shell's body is hidden in the canyon. Smiling Man and Roper steal the young people's horses, stranding them at the trading post, but when they return in the morning to ambush Horse and his men, Cooncat runs out to warn Horse and is injured in the gunfire. Horse comes face to face with the malevolent strangers, and he recognizes Smiling Man as Bob Jessup, who was a child during the fence war and has been away in prison for years. Smiling Man is about to kill Horse when he is shot by Pat, who has abandoned the feud at Abby's request. As Meagan cradles the wounded Cooncat in her arms, Horse and Pat vow that the young man will never want for anything again. +

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.