Sam Whiskey (1969)

GP | 96 mins | Western, Comedy | February 1969

Director:

Arnold Laven

Writer:

William Norton

Cinematographer:

Robert Moreno

Editor:

John Woodcock

Production Designer:

Lloyd S. Papez

Production Company:

Brighton Pictures
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HISTORY

A 19 Apr 1968 DV production chart reported the start of principal photography four days earlier, under the film’s working title, Whiskey’s Renegades. According to the 24 Apr 1968 Var, location shooting was underway in the vicinity of Stockton, CA.
       In an interview with the 5 May 1968 NYT, co-star Ossie Davis referred to the production as “a routine Western” in which he was well-paid for playing “a routine part.” The 31 May 1968 DV included Forrest Wood and Scott Perry among the cast. Singer Hermine Hilton recorded vocals for two songs in the film, as stated in the 17 Apr 1969 DV. The 9 Aug 1968 issue identified Danny Crystal as post-production coordinator. The end of principal photography was announced in the 5 Jun 1968 DV. After viewing footage of a nude scene featuring stars Burt Reynolds and Angie Dickinson, distributor United Artists Corporation (UA) made tentative plans for a sequel. Reynolds returned to the studio four months later for voice overdubs, according to the 2 Oct 1968 DV.
       The 12 Nov 1968 edition reported a recent preview screening at La Reina Theatre in Sherman Oaks, CA. Later that month, the 20 Nov 1968 Var listed the official title as Sam Whiskey.
       A news item in the 10 Dec 1968 DV stated that Reynolds was sponsoring a 13 Dec 1969 benefit screening at Palm Beach Junior College in Florida. Proceeds were allocated for a scholarship bearing the actor’s name. The 19 ... More Less

A 19 Apr 1968 DV production chart reported the start of principal photography four days earlier, under the film’s working title, Whiskey’s Renegades. According to the 24 Apr 1968 Var, location shooting was underway in the vicinity of Stockton, CA.
       In an interview with the 5 May 1968 NYT, co-star Ossie Davis referred to the production as “a routine Western” in which he was well-paid for playing “a routine part.” The 31 May 1968 DV included Forrest Wood and Scott Perry among the cast. Singer Hermine Hilton recorded vocals for two songs in the film, as stated in the 17 Apr 1969 DV. The 9 Aug 1968 issue identified Danny Crystal as post-production coordinator. The end of principal photography was announced in the 5 Jun 1968 DV. After viewing footage of a nude scene featuring stars Burt Reynolds and Angie Dickinson, distributor United Artists Corporation (UA) made tentative plans for a sequel. Reynolds returned to the studio four months later for voice overdubs, according to the 2 Oct 1968 DV.
       The 12 Nov 1968 edition reported a recent preview screening at La Reina Theatre in Sherman Oaks, CA. Later that month, the 20 Nov 1968 Var listed the official title as Sam Whiskey.
       A news item in the 10 Dec 1968 DV stated that Reynolds was sponsoring a 13 Dec 1969 benefit screening at Palm Beach Junior College in Florida. Proceeds were allocated for a scholarship bearing the actor’s name. The 19 Feb 1969 world premiere at the Denver Theatre in Denver, CO, was announced in the 12 Feb 1969 Var. Openings followed on 12 Mar 1969 in Los Angeles, CA, and on 11 Jun 1969 in New York City. Although reviews were mixed, Var listed the film among the fifty highest-earning releases in the 14 May 1969 through 2 Jul 1969 issues. The picture enjoyed a four-year theatrical run, as indicated by 25 Apr 1973 Var box-office reports.
       The 4 Feb 1970 Var noted that Sam Whiskey had been re-edited to sixty minutes as the “pilot” episode for a proposed television series starring Reynolds. Prior to that, a news brief in the 1 May 1968 DV stated that country singer Del Reeves, who co-starred in the film, was trying to convince Reynolds to embark on a music career. The actor released his unsuccessful debut album, Ask Me What I Am, five years later.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Apr 1968
p. 14.
Daily Variety
1 May 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
31 May 1968
p. 9.
Daily Variety
5 Jun 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1968
p. 8.
Daily Variety
2 Oct 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 Nov 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 Dec 1968
p. 6.
Daily Variety
3 Feb 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1969
p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
8 Mar 1969
Section A, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
11 Mar 1969
Section G, p. 1.
New York Times
5 May 1968
Section D, p. 15.
New York Times
12 Jun 1969
p. 52.
New York Times
3 Jul 1971
p. 21.
Variety
24 Apr 1968
p. 22.
Variety
20 Nov 1968
p. 30.
Variety
12 Feb 1969
p. 18.
Variety
14 May 1969
p. 11.
Variety
2 Jul 1969
p. 11.
Variety
4 Feb 1970
p. 35.
Variety
25 Apr 1973
p. 14.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Whiskey's Renegades
Release Date:
February 1969
Premiere Information:
Denver premiere: 19 February 1969
Los Angeles opening: 12 March 1969
New York opening: 11 June 1969
Production Date:
15 April--early June 1968
Copyright Claimant:
Brighton Pictures
Copyright Date:
1 March 1969
Copyright Number:
LP37339
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
De Luxe
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
GP
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Shortly after the Civil War, Sam Whiskey, a gambler and adventurer, is seduced into helping Laura Breckenridge retrieve a quarter of a million dollars in gold bars from a sunken riverboat in Colorado's Platte River. The gold had been stolen from the Denver mint by Laura's late husband, and she is willing to pay $20,000 to have it returned before the theft is discovered and her family name is ruined. After teaming up with Jedidiah Hooker, a local blacksmith, and O. W. Bandy, an Army friend turned inventor, Sam heads for the sunken riverboat, unaware that he is being watched by Fat Henry Hobson. A diving helmet made by O. W. enables Sam to find the gold, but he loses it to Fat Henry and his henchmen. With the help of one of O. W.'s homemade machine guns, Sam and his cronies recover the loot, meet Laura, and head for Denver. Assuming the identity of a government inspector, Sam enters the mint and deliberately damages a bronze bust of George Washington. He then insists on having it repaired and takes it to a blacksmith's shop, where Jedidiah recasts the gold into the shape of the bust. Fat Henry later breaks into the shop and steals the bronze original. Sam and his men, posing as plumbers, return to the mint and recast the bust into gold bars. On a train leaving Denver the next morning, Sam splits the $20,000 with Jedidiah and O. W. but keeps Laura for ... +


Shortly after the Civil War, Sam Whiskey, a gambler and adventurer, is seduced into helping Laura Breckenridge retrieve a quarter of a million dollars in gold bars from a sunken riverboat in Colorado's Platte River. The gold had been stolen from the Denver mint by Laura's late husband, and she is willing to pay $20,000 to have it returned before the theft is discovered and her family name is ruined. After teaming up with Jedidiah Hooker, a local blacksmith, and O. W. Bandy, an Army friend turned inventor, Sam heads for the sunken riverboat, unaware that he is being watched by Fat Henry Hobson. A diving helmet made by O. W. enables Sam to find the gold, but he loses it to Fat Henry and his henchmen. With the help of one of O. W.'s homemade machine guns, Sam and his cronies recover the loot, meet Laura, and head for Denver. Assuming the identity of a government inspector, Sam enters the mint and deliberately damages a bronze bust of George Washington. He then insists on having it repaired and takes it to a blacksmith's shop, where Jedidiah recasts the gold into the shape of the bust. Fat Henry later breaks into the shop and steals the bronze original. Sam and his men, posing as plumbers, return to the mint and recast the bust into gold bars. On a train leaving Denver the next morning, Sam splits the $20,000 with Jedidiah and O. W. but keeps Laura for himself. +

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.