Nevada (1944)

62 mins | Western | 1944

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HISTORY

The film's title card reads "Zane Grey's Nevada ." Although onscreen credits read "Introducing Bob Mitchum as Jim Lacy," Mitchum had previously appeared in a number of films. Nevada was the first of eight RKO films based on the novels of Zane Grey; all were produced by Herman Scholm and adapted by Norman Houston. Although Richard Martin played a character named "Chito Rafferty" in the 1943 World War II film Bombardier (see above), this was the first time that he appeared in a Western as "Chito," (full name "Chito Jose Gonzales Bustamente Rafferty"), the half-Irish, half-Mexican "ladies man." The 1945 RKO film Wanderer of the Wasteland (see below) presented a chronicle of Chito's life from boyhood to adulthood. Martin was temporarily replaced by John Laurenz, who played "Chito" in two films between 1946-1947. Martin's last appearance as "Chito" was the 1952 RKO film Desert Passage . In other Chito pictures, Martin played opposite Tim Holt. According to a HR news item, locations were shot in Lone Pine, CA.
       Paramount made a 1927 film called Nevada , which was the first screen version of the Zane Grey novel. It starred Gary Cooper and Thelma Todd and was directed by John Waters (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.3802). In 1935, Paramount again filmed the novel, with Larry "Buster" Crabbe and Kathleen Burke starring and directed by Charles Barton (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; ... More Less

The film's title card reads "Zane Grey's Nevada ." Although onscreen credits read "Introducing Bob Mitchum as Jim Lacy," Mitchum had previously appeared in a number of films. Nevada was the first of eight RKO films based on the novels of Zane Grey; all were produced by Herman Scholm and adapted by Norman Houston. Although Richard Martin played a character named "Chito Rafferty" in the 1943 World War II film Bombardier (see above), this was the first time that he appeared in a Western as "Chito," (full name "Chito Jose Gonzales Bustamente Rafferty"), the half-Irish, half-Mexican "ladies man." The 1945 RKO film Wanderer of the Wasteland (see below) presented a chronicle of Chito's life from boyhood to adulthood. Martin was temporarily replaced by John Laurenz, who played "Chito" in two films between 1946-1947. Martin's last appearance as "Chito" was the 1952 RKO film Desert Passage . In other Chito pictures, Martin played opposite Tim Holt. According to a HR news item, locations were shot in Lone Pine, CA.
       Paramount made a 1927 film called Nevada , which was the first screen version of the Zane Grey novel. It starred Gary Cooper and Thelma Todd and was directed by John Waters (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.3802). In 1935, Paramount again filmed the novel, with Larry "Buster" Crabbe and Kathleen Burke starring and directed by Charles Barton (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.3097). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 Dec 1944.
---
Daily Variety
7 Dec 44
p. 3.
Film Daily
20 Dec 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 44
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 44
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Jul 44
p. 2007.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Dec 44
pp. 2214-15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Re-rec
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Nevada by Zane Grey (New York, 1928).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Zane Grey's Nevada
Production Date:
7 July--mid July 1944
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
23 December 1944
Copyright Number:
LP13170
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
62
Length(in feet):
5,576
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10185
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Cowhands Jim Lacy, Chito Rafferty and Dusty are riding the range when they receive news of an impending gold bonanza in the nearby town of Gold Hill. Meanwhile, in Gold Hill, prospector J. Pancake Comstock is touting the gold strike and selling claims, which are then recorded by Cash Burridge, the registrar of deeds. Before staking his own claim, Burridge waits for the return of Julie Dexter, the owner of the town saloon, who has gone to Carson City to assay some soil found at the base of a mountain in the strike area. Back on the range, Jim spots a runaway carriage and comes to the aid of its driver, who then introduces herself as Julie Dexter. In gratitude, Julie dubs Jim "Nevada" and invites him to visit her in Gold Hill. Intrigued by the promise of riches and dissatisfied with his life of as a cowhand, Jim decides to go to the local gambling parlor to win a grubstake. After a lucky streak, Jim wins $7,100 from dealer Red Berry, but when Red pays him off in bank notes, Jim notices Red's thugs eyeing him from the bar. Realizing that the thugs are planning to rob him, Jim overturns the gaming table and flees with his friends, as Red's thugs hotly pursue them. To confuse their pursuers, the three decide to split and later meet at Lone Pine. Jim then rides off with the cash while Dusty and Chito decoy the thugs. Meanwhile, Julie arrives in Gold Hill and informs Burridge that the area is rich in silver. Although Julie wants to notify the miners immediately, Burridge discourages her from ... +


Cowhands Jim Lacy, Chito Rafferty and Dusty are riding the range when they receive news of an impending gold bonanza in the nearby town of Gold Hill. Meanwhile, in Gold Hill, prospector J. Pancake Comstock is touting the gold strike and selling claims, which are then recorded by Cash Burridge, the registrar of deeds. Before staking his own claim, Burridge waits for the return of Julie Dexter, the owner of the town saloon, who has gone to Carson City to assay some soil found at the base of a mountain in the strike area. Back on the range, Jim spots a runaway carriage and comes to the aid of its driver, who then introduces herself as Julie Dexter. In gratitude, Julie dubs Jim "Nevada" and invites him to visit her in Gold Hill. Intrigued by the promise of riches and dissatisfied with his life of as a cowhand, Jim decides to go to the local gambling parlor to win a grubstake. After a lucky streak, Jim wins $7,100 from dealer Red Berry, but when Red pays him off in bank notes, Jim notices Red's thugs eyeing him from the bar. Realizing that the thugs are planning to rob him, Jim overturns the gaming table and flees with his friends, as Red's thugs hotly pursue them. To confuse their pursuers, the three decide to split and later meet at Lone Pine. Jim then rides off with the cash while Dusty and Chito decoy the thugs. Meanwhile, Julie arrives in Gold Hill and informs Burridge that the area is rich in silver. Although Julie wants to notify the miners immediately, Burridge discourages her from doing so, planning to secure the rights for himself. Burridge then rides to the Ide ranch and offers to buy the land from rancher Ben, his daughter Hattie and young son Marvie. Ben declines and informs Burridge that he is traveling to Carson City to meet with a representative from the Bureau of Mines. Before leaving town, Ben and Hattie visit Julie, who functions as the town banker, to withdraw their savings. Determined to prevent Ben from reaching Carson City and thus discovering the treasure of the Comstock, a rich vein of gold and silver, Burridge dispatches his accomplice, Joe Powell, to eliminate Ben. From his perch in the hills, Powell shoots Ben off his carriage and then absconds with his bankroll. Turning the carriage back toward town, Hattie reports the ambush, and Sheriff William Brewer organizes a posse to investigate. When the lawmen reach Ben's body, they find Jim, who witnessed the murder, kneeling beside Ben. After the sheriff discovers that Jim, who claims his name is Nevada, is carrying $7,100 in bank notes, the same amount that Ben withdrew from the safe, he arrests him for murder. In town, Jim insists that he won the money gambling, but only Julie believes him. To avoid a trial, Burridge orders Powell to incite a lynch mob to dispose of Jim. In Lone Pine, meanwhile, Dusty and Chito become concerned when Jim fails to appear and ride to Gold Hill to investigate. At the saloon, they hear talk about lynching Jim, and Dusty tricks Powell into paying him one hundred dollars to incite a mob. After storming the jail, Dusty frees Jim and the three friends gallop out of town. When Dusty shows Jim the one hundred dollar bill given to him by Powell, Jim becomes suspicious and sends Dusty and Chito to bring Red back to Gold Hill. Jim then rides to the Ide ranch where Hattie identifies the bill as part of her father's bankroll. At the saloon, Jim knocks out Burridge during a confrontation, and then takes Powell hostage, imprisoning him at the Ide ranch. Soon after, Burridge appears and tries to convince Hattie to sell the ranch, arguing that the land is filled with worthless "blue stuff." From his hiding place, Jim hears the conversation, and wondering about the worthless blue stuff, instructs Marvie to fill a bag with the material and accompany him to town. From a distance, Burridge watches as Marvie and Jim leave the ranch. Hearing Powell call from the barn, Burridge steps into the building and blasts Powell. Julie, who has just arrived at the ranch, watches in disbelief with Hattie as a man's figure runs from the barn. Meanwhile, Dusty and Chito have tricked Red into accompanying them to Gold Hill, and when Jim appears, Red accuses him of stealing $7,000 in a crooked dice game. Red identifies the bankroll as the stolen money, and the sheriff exonerates Jim of all charges. Soon after, Julie comes to town to summon the doctor to care for the dying Powell. At the office of the mining engineer, Jim, meanwhile, requests an assay of the blue soil. After the engineer proclaims that the soil is laden with silver, Nevada realizes that Burridge killed Ben to prevent him from discovering the treasure of the Comstock. When the engineer informs the cheering crowd of their bonanza, Burridge stuffs the deeds into his saddle bags and heads for Carson City, planning to register all the claims in his own name. Chito, Dusty and Jim race to stop him, forcing Burridge to seeks refuge at the Ide ranch. There, he claims that he was protecting the Comstock Lode for Julie. Just then, Jim bursts in the room, and in an attempt to escape, Burridge shoots at him but hits Julie instead. After he apprehends Burridge, the wounded Julie pleads with Jim to stay and work the Comstock, and he eagerly accepts. +

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.