Green Fire (1955)

99-100 mins | Adventure, Romance | 21 January 1955

Director:

Andrew Marton

Producer:

Armand Deutsch

Cinematographer:

Paul C. Vogel

Editor:

Harold F. Kress

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Malcolm Brown

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The film opens with the following onscreen prologue: "From the time of the Conquistadores, the search for treasure has drawn men to South America, fabled land of El Dorado. Nowhere has the call been stronger than in Colombia, whose mountains hide the most concentrated wealth of all--the jewel of green fire--the emerald." Studio publicity material dated 14 Sep 1953 announced that the film would be based on Peter W. Rainer's 1942 novel Green Fire . According to information in the M-G-M Collection at the USC Cinema-Television Library, the galleys of Rainer's novel were read by the studio in Sep 1942, and a screenplay treatment by Everett Freeman, based on the novel, was submitted in Dec 1952. Aside from the setting, however, the final film's story does not resemble either the novel or the treatment.
       A 23 Oct 1953 HR news item noted that Alix Talton would test for a role in the film, and Mar 1954 news items add Frank DeKova and Lucy Knox to the cast, but the appearance of these actors in the final film has not been confirmed. Portions of the film were shot on location in Barranquilla, along the Magdalena River and in the mountains surrounding Bogata, Colombia. According to a 16 May 1954 NYT article, producer Armand Deutsch visited Colombia a year before the start of production, only to discover when he returned to begin filming that the country's government had been reorganized following a military revolution, leading to considerable bureaucratic problems. An 11 May 1954 HR news item noted that additional location shooting took place in the hills behind Bel Air. According to a Dec 1960 ... More Less

The film opens with the following onscreen prologue: "From the time of the Conquistadores, the search for treasure has drawn men to South America, fabled land of El Dorado. Nowhere has the call been stronger than in Colombia, whose mountains hide the most concentrated wealth of all--the jewel of green fire--the emerald." Studio publicity material dated 14 Sep 1953 announced that the film would be based on Peter W. Rainer's 1942 novel Green Fire . According to information in the M-G-M Collection at the USC Cinema-Television Library, the galleys of Rainer's novel were read by the studio in Sep 1942, and a screenplay treatment by Everett Freeman, based on the novel, was submitted in Dec 1952. Aside from the setting, however, the final film's story does not resemble either the novel or the treatment.
       A 23 Oct 1953 HR news item noted that Alix Talton would test for a role in the film, and Mar 1954 news items add Frank DeKova and Lucy Knox to the cast, but the appearance of these actors in the final film has not been confirmed. Portions of the film were shot on location in Barranquilla, along the Magdalena River and in the mountains surrounding Bogata, Colombia. According to a 16 May 1954 NYT article, producer Armand Deutsch visited Colombia a year before the start of production, only to discover when he returned to begin filming that the country's government had been reorganized following a military revolution, leading to considerable bureaucratic problems. An 11 May 1954 HR news item noted that additional location shooting took place in the hills behind Bel Air. According to a Dec 1960 DV news item, Harry Merrick brought a plagiarism suit against M-G-M related to Green Fire , but the case was dismissed in Superior Court. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Dec 1954.
---
Daily Variety
24 Dec 54
p. 3.
Daily Variety
21 Dec 1960.
---
Film Daily
29 Dec 54
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Dec 52
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Oct 53
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 54
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 54
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Feb 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 54
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 54
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Apr 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 54
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
28 May 54
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Dec 54
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Dec 54
p. 258.
New York Times
16 May 1954.
---
New York Times
25 Dec 54
p. 7.
Publishers' Weekly
13 Sep 1952.
---
Variety
29 Dec 54
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Wrt for the screen by
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Grace Kelly's cost
Cost des
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"Green Fire," music by Miklos Rozsa, lyrics by Jack Brooks.
DETAILS
Release Date:
21 January 1955
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 24 December 1954
Production Date:
mid April--late May 1954
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 November 1954
Copyright Number:
LP4304
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Eastman Color
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
99-100
Length(in feet):
9,017
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17080
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Outside an old, abandoned mine in Colombia, mining engineer Rian X. Mitchell is attacked by a gang of bandits, who shoot him and toss him down the side of a mountain. When he comes to, Rian sets off on foot and is rescued by the local padre, Father Ripero. After explaining that the bandits were the notorious El Moro's men, the priest brings Rian to Catherine Knowland's coffee plantation, where his wound is treated. The following day, Father Ripero tells Rian that the ore sample he was carrying indicates that he has located Carrero, the lost emerald mine of the Conquistadors. The priest adds that he discovered the mine five years before, but kept it a secret, fearing that it would only cause problems for his people. Rian returns to Entrada and goes to the office he shares with Vic Leonard, his partner in a mining consulting business. He greets his secretary Dolores with a passionate kiss, and she tells Rian that Vic has booked passage for Canada. Rian immediately goes to the harbor and intercepts Vic, who scoffs at his talk of an emerald mine. Vic tells his partner that he has taken a job as foreman of the Manitoba Carbon Company, and is looking forward to some security after twelve years of chasing fortunes in mines throughout the world. Rian gets Vic drunk, then puts him to bed and takes his money, which he gambles with and greatly increases. Vic is furious when Rian returns in the morning, but against his better judgment accompanies him on the riverboat back to the mine. After attempting without success to assemble a mining crew, Rian goes to the church and ... +


Outside an old, abandoned mine in Colombia, mining engineer Rian X. Mitchell is attacked by a gang of bandits, who shoot him and toss him down the side of a mountain. When he comes to, Rian sets off on foot and is rescued by the local padre, Father Ripero. After explaining that the bandits were the notorious El Moro's men, the priest brings Rian to Catherine Knowland's coffee plantation, where his wound is treated. The following day, Father Ripero tells Rian that the ore sample he was carrying indicates that he has located Carrero, the lost emerald mine of the Conquistadors. The priest adds that he discovered the mine five years before, but kept it a secret, fearing that it would only cause problems for his people. Rian returns to Entrada and goes to the office he shares with Vic Leonard, his partner in a mining consulting business. He greets his secretary Dolores with a passionate kiss, and she tells Rian that Vic has booked passage for Canada. Rian immediately goes to the harbor and intercepts Vic, who scoffs at his talk of an emerald mine. Vic tells his partner that he has taken a job as foreman of the Manitoba Carbon Company, and is looking forward to some security after twelve years of chasing fortunes in mines throughout the world. Rian gets Vic drunk, then puts him to bed and takes his money, which he gambles with and greatly increases. Vic is furious when Rian returns in the morning, but against his better judgment accompanies him on the riverboat back to the mine. After attempting without success to assemble a mining crew, Rian goes to the church and confronts Father Ripero, who admits he has used his sermons to plant the idea that working in the emerald mine would be a foolish, dangerous idea. Undeterred, Rian recruits workers by promising a bounty for the first man to find an emerald, and the excavation begins. One day, Catherine's younger brother Donald comes to the mine to escort Rian and Vic to dinner at the plantation. Donald confesses that he is not really interested in growing coffee, and expresses envy of the miner's life. After the dinner party, Rian contrives to get Catherine alone, and they kiss. Rian tells Catherine that his father was a coal miner who was killed in a cave-in, and he has vowed to go into a mountain himself and come out rich. One night, while Rian is staying at Catherine's plantation, they are visited by El Moro, who claims that the mountain belongs to him, and shows Rian a deed. The bandit wants Rian's project to continue, as he lacks the expertise to get the emeralds out himself, and proposes a partnership whereby he will share in the mine's profits. When Rian calls the deed a forgery, El Moro strikes him, and vows to come for his share when the emeralds are discovered. Soon after, the mine shaft collapses, and Vic manages to save Rian in the nick of time. Vic is ready to quit, but Rian refuses to abandon his quest for the emeralds, and decides to try a much more expensive mining technique, which he manipulates Donald into financing and staffing with workers from the plantation. The new operation begins, and Catherine angrily confronts Rian and Vic, saying that Donald's investment has taken all their money and manpower. Disgusted by Rian's dealings, Vic gets drunk and ends their partnership, then goes to Catherine, with whom he is in love, and offers his services on the plantation. The following day, Father Ripero shows up with a makeshift but eager crew, and the coffee harvest resumes. One day at the mine, Donald is struck and killed by falling boulders, and Catherine refuses to speak to Rian after the funeral. The harvest is threatened when the river changes course because of landslides caused by the mining operation. Vic proposes blowing up the mountain to redirect the course of the river, or risk losing the plantation to a flood once the rainy season comes, and Catherine reluctantly agrees, despite Father Ripero's admonitions. After setting the dynamite, Vic calls on Rian and apprises him of the plan. Rian tries in vain to stop his departing workers, whom Catherine has rehired, then refuses to leave the mountain. Vic and Rian fight until Catherine breaks it up and calls off the explosion, declaring that nothing is worth having this way. As giant rain clouds approach, Rian looks at the weeping Catherine and gives the order for the mountain to be blown up. Just then, El Moro and his men launch an attack. Greatly outnumbered by the bandits, Rian devises a desperate plan. While Vic, Catherine and mining foreman José exchange gunfire with El Moro's men, Rian makes his way to the detonator on top of the mountain. After his friends escape on horseback, Rian detonates the dynamite and, with exactly two minutes before the explosion, finds shelter from the avalanche, which diverts the course of the river. As the rain begins to pour down, Rian catches up with the others and embraces Catherine, presenting her with the single emerald unearthed during their operation as his "dowry." +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.