Foxfire (1955)

91-93 mins | Drama | July 1955

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HISTORY

According to a Jul 1953 HR news item, June Allyson was originally cast as "Amanda Lawrence Dartland." Although a 23 Jul 1954 HR production chart includes Linda Christian in the cast, she does not appear in the finished film. The onscreen credits note that "Miss Jane Russell's services" were provided "by courtesy of Russ-Field Corporation." According to studio publicity and a 27 Jul 1954 HR news item, the picture was filmed on location at Oatman and Kingman, AZ, and was the first film in which husband and wife Barton MacLane and Charlotte Wynters appeared together. Foxfire marked the last American-made film to use Technicolor's bulky three-strip process. In the film, Jeff Chandler sings the theme song that he co-wrote with Henry Mancini. The Saturday Review critic remarked that the script "probes unusually deep in analyzing the position of women in an Apache tribe and their relation to their men, with one beautifully handled sequence in which the withered Indian mother explains by indirection the ways of her people to the bewildered young ... More Less

According to a Jul 1953 HR news item, June Allyson was originally cast as "Amanda Lawrence Dartland." Although a 23 Jul 1954 HR production chart includes Linda Christian in the cast, she does not appear in the finished film. The onscreen credits note that "Miss Jane Russell's services" were provided "by courtesy of Russ-Field Corporation." According to studio publicity and a 27 Jul 1954 HR news item, the picture was filmed on location at Oatman and Kingman, AZ, and was the first film in which husband and wife Barton MacLane and Charlotte Wynters appeared together. Foxfire marked the last American-made film to use Technicolor's bulky three-strip process. In the film, Jeff Chandler sings the theme song that he co-wrote with Henry Mancini. The Saturday Review critic remarked that the script "probes unusually deep in analyzing the position of women in an Apache tribe and their relation to their men, with one beautifully handled sequence in which the withered Indian mother explains by indirection the ways of her people to the bewildered young wife." More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Jun 1955.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jun 55
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Jun 55
p. 10.
Harrison's Reports
18 Jun 55
p. 98.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 1953
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 1954
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jul 54
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 54
pp. 4- 5.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 54
p. 4, 8.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 1954
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 55
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
14 Jun 1955.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
18 Jun 55
p. 482.
New York Times
14 Jul 55
p. 19.
Saturday Review
30 Jul 1955.
---
The Exhibitor
15 Jun 55
p. 3980.
Variety
15 Jun 55
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
Jane Russell's hair stylist
Jane Russell's makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Technicolor tech
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Foxfire by Anya Seton (Boston, 1951).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Foxfire," music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Jeff Chandler.
DETAILS
Release Date:
July 1955
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 13 July 1955
Los Angeles opening: 29 July 1955
Production Date:
27 July--early September 1954
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co.
Copyright Date:
11 April 1955
Copyright Number:
LP4599
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
2:1
Duration(in mins):
91-93
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17280
SYNOPSIS

The beautiful and wealthy Amanda Lawrence gratefully accepts a ride from mining engineer Jonathan "Dart" Dartland and his alcoholic friend, Dr. Hugh Slater, when the car she has borrowed from the La Paz Guest Ranch breaks down in the Arizona desert. Although Hugh flirts with her, it is the handsome and reserved engineer who attracts her, and before saying goodbye, she invites the two to a dinner party in her mother's suite that evening. Dart arrives late, explaining as he walks with Amanda that he dislikes parties, people and mothers, particularly wealthy Eastern mothers with spoiled and beautiful daughters. Undaunted, Amanda kisses him and the two soon find that they are in love. Dart admits that his own mother is a Mescalero Apache, who settled on the local reservation following the death of his father, a Boston professor. Mortified at her earlier admission that Indians give her "the creeps," Amanda apologizes, and they kiss again. In the morning, Amanda dreamily informs her mother that they soon will have Indians in the family, whereupon Mrs. Lawrence books tickets for the flight back to New York. That afternoon, Amanda proposes to Dart, and on the following day, they are wed. The happy-go-lucky Amanda is unconcerned when Mrs. Mablett, the meddling wife of Dart's foreman, describes Apaches as "cruel, dangerous, and...tight-mouthed," but she is disturbed when Dart angrily sends her away from the mine, explaining that the Apache workers consider a woman in the underground tunnels a jinx. The newlyweds make up that evening, and Dart shows her the foxfire, a phosphorescent nighttime glow caused by the rotten timbers of the abandoned Foxfire mine, which he ... +


The beautiful and wealthy Amanda Lawrence gratefully accepts a ride from mining engineer Jonathan "Dart" Dartland and his alcoholic friend, Dr. Hugh Slater, when the car she has borrowed from the La Paz Guest Ranch breaks down in the Arizona desert. Although Hugh flirts with her, it is the handsome and reserved engineer who attracts her, and before saying goodbye, she invites the two to a dinner party in her mother's suite that evening. Dart arrives late, explaining as he walks with Amanda that he dislikes parties, people and mothers, particularly wealthy Eastern mothers with spoiled and beautiful daughters. Undaunted, Amanda kisses him and the two soon find that they are in love. Dart admits that his own mother is a Mescalero Apache, who settled on the local reservation following the death of his father, a Boston professor. Mortified at her earlier admission that Indians give her "the creeps," Amanda apologizes, and they kiss again. In the morning, Amanda dreamily informs her mother that they soon will have Indians in the family, whereupon Mrs. Lawrence books tickets for the flight back to New York. That afternoon, Amanda proposes to Dart, and on the following day, they are wed. The happy-go-lucky Amanda is unconcerned when Mrs. Mablett, the meddling wife of Dart's foreman, describes Apaches as "cruel, dangerous, and...tight-mouthed," but she is disturbed when Dart angrily sends her away from the mine, explaining that the Apache workers consider a woman in the underground tunnels a jinx. The newlyweds make up that evening, and Dart shows her the foxfire, a phosphorescent nighttime glow caused by the rotten timbers of the abandoned Foxfire mine, which he believes contains an undiscovered vein of gold. Over the next few months, Dart remains preoccupied with his work while Amanda develops an attachment to Hugh, which although understood by her as an innocent friendship, is taken more seriously by the lovesick doctor. Hugh's nurse, Maria Conchera, who is also part Apache, loves the doctor, and her jealous remarks fuel the town's appetite for gossip. Amanda opens Dart's foot locker and learns that his grandfather Tanosay was a respected Apache chief, but Dart is sensitive about his background and mistakes her interest for amusement. His anger and reticence cause Amanda to conceal her pregnancy from Dart, and the situation worsens when mine owner Ernest Tyson agrees to explore the Foxfire mine at Amanda's rather than Dart's prompting. While Dart gets the Foxfire project underway, Amanda visits the Apache reservation on a whim, and there finally meets her mother-in-law, Princess Saba. She listens in bewilderment as Saba explains that Apache boys over the age of twelve are expected to leave their mothers, never again exhibiting tears or weakness. The child Amanda bears, she continues, will be of little concern to Dart before reaching that age. After explaining that her husband's death was almost too much to endure, she concludes that the Indian philosophy of love is the right one: love is only temporary. Meanwhile, Dart, unable to find his wife, joins Maria in assuming that she has "gone off somewhere" with Hugh. By the time Amanda returns to town, Dart is angry and drunk. Grabbing her roughly, he roars that Apache men tear out the hair of women who are unfaithful. Dart stays at the mine for several days, unaware that Amanda has suffered a miscarriage. When he finally learns the truth, he rushes to the hospital, but Amanda sends him away. Later, she tells Dart the marriage is over because he treated her "like a squaw." Obsessed with finding the lost Foxfire gold, Dart drives his men too hard, and one day, the mine collapses. After helping the men out, the injured Dart climbs into a newly opened tunnel, where he finds, along with some old Apache tools and wall paintings, a rich vein of gold. Tyson and Dart's Apache friend, Walt Whitman, are thrilled by the discovery, but Dart, his hands bandaged, thinks only of Amanda. When Maria tells Amanda, who is about to leave for New York, about Dart's injury, Amanda rushes back to her husband. Admitting that he needs her, Dart explains that he is slow at love, but is no longer afraid of it. They kiss as the new "Foxfire Gold Company" sign is put in place. +

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.