Cattle Empire (1958)

82-83 mins | Western | February 1958

Producer:

Robert Stabler

Cinematographer:

Brydon Baker

Editor:

Leslie Vidor

Production Designer:

James Sullivan

Production Companies:

Regal Films, Inc., Emirau Productions
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HISTORY

A modern source places Edward Jauregui and Ted Smile in the ... More Less

A modern source places Edward Jauregui and Ted Smile in the cast. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17 Feb 1958.
---
Daily Variety
6 Feb 58
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Feb 58
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Sep 57
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 57
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Oct 57
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 58
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
15 Feb 58
p. 717.
Variety
12 Feb 58
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Supv ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd facilities
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
DETAILS
Release Date:
February 1958
Production Date:
mid September--early October 1957
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 February 1958
Copyright Number:
LP10864
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
82-83
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18836
SYNOPSIS

In the cattle town of Hamilton, the grim-faced populace gathers to drag hated trail boss John Cord to his death. As they start to pull Cord through the streets, however, town patriarch Ralph Hamilton, his wife Janice and brother Douglas arrive, and Ralph orders them to stop. Five years earlier, Cord's drunken trail gang ravaged the town, killing, maiming and leaving destruction in their wake. In the carnage, Ralph was blinded, and although Cord served five years in prison for the incident, the populace still lusts for revenge. When the citizens challenge Ralph's authority, he declares that he sent for Cord. At the Hamilton ranch, Janice, Cord's former fiancée, tends to his injuries. Ralph then tells Cord that the town has suffered financial setbacks and that its last hope is to drive a herd of 5,000 cattle to sell at Fort Clemson. The rivers along the trail have dried up and consequently, the trip is fraught with peril. Ralph explains that his ex-foreman Garth has stolen half the Hamilton herd and plans to beat Ralph's cattle to market. When Ralph asserts that Cord is the only man he can trust to best Garth, Cord, bitter about losing Janice, refuses to help and walks away. In town, Cord is welcomed by Thomas Jefferson Jeffrey and his brother, George Washington Jeffrey, two sage mess-wagon cooks. At the saloon, Garth asks Cord's assistance in driving his cattle to the fort, knowing he can ruin Ralph as well as the town. Angered that he was blamed for a melee he tried to prevent, Cord accepts Garth's proposition and consents to meet him ... +


In the cattle town of Hamilton, the grim-faced populace gathers to drag hated trail boss John Cord to his death. As they start to pull Cord through the streets, however, town patriarch Ralph Hamilton, his wife Janice and brother Douglas arrive, and Ralph orders them to stop. Five years earlier, Cord's drunken trail gang ravaged the town, killing, maiming and leaving destruction in their wake. In the carnage, Ralph was blinded, and although Cord served five years in prison for the incident, the populace still lusts for revenge. When the citizens challenge Ralph's authority, he declares that he sent for Cord. At the Hamilton ranch, Janice, Cord's former fiancée, tends to his injuries. Ralph then tells Cord that the town has suffered financial setbacks and that its last hope is to drive a herd of 5,000 cattle to sell at Fort Clemson. The rivers along the trail have dried up and consequently, the trip is fraught with peril. Ralph explains that his ex-foreman Garth has stolen half the Hamilton herd and plans to beat Ralph's cattle to market. When Ralph asserts that Cord is the only man he can trust to best Garth, Cord, bitter about losing Janice, refuses to help and walks away. In town, Cord is welcomed by Thomas Jefferson Jeffrey and his brother, George Washington Jeffrey, two sage mess-wagon cooks. At the saloon, Garth asks Cord's assistance in driving his cattle to the fort, knowing he can ruin Ralph as well as the town. Angered that he was blamed for a melee he tried to prevent, Cord accepts Garth's proposition and consents to meet him along the trail in three days. Cord then returns to the Hamilton ranch and agrees to lead the herd on the condition that the men who dragged him through town join the drive along with Douglas, Ralph and Janice. When the Jeffreys hire on as cooks, Sandy, Tom's granddaughter,who is infatuated with Cord, tags along. Three days later, the drive heads out, and after riding for only half a day, Cord orders them to set up camp. Cord then rides to meet Garth and explains his plan to sabotage Ralph's herd by taking them to the arid Dismo River. When Cord returns to camp, the Jeffreys voice their support for him but warn that they will not stand by if he leads the steers into damnation. Soon after, Janice visits Cord and confides that she still loves him. When several of the wranglers, suspicious of Cord, threaten to quit, Ralph expresses his faith in Cord and his devotion to the cattle. Troubled by his conscience, Cord notifies Garth that he is incapable of leading the herd to their deaths and has instead decided to head for the water-rich Horse Thief Creek. Assuming that Cord is trying to trick him, Garth decides to proceed to the Dismo River. Back at the Hamilton camp, Douglas tells Cord that he has followed him to his meeting with Garth and accuses him of betrayal. Jim Whittaker, one of the cowhands, then decides to quit. Upon reaching the abundant waters of Horse Thief Creek, Douglas apologizes to Cord for doubting him and Ralph asks Cord to take over his share of the ranch. Two parched months later, the herd reaches the Pecos River and the wranglers break out the whiskey in celebration. When Cord, fearing violence, orders the drunken cowboys to stay in camp, the men rebel and Ralph begs them to listen to Cord. Ralph then admits that on the night of the Hamilton rampage, Cord also refused to allow his men in town. Ralph, who was in competition with Cord to deliver a herd, then arranged for Garth to knock Cord unconscious and turn his drunken crew loose on the town. To cover up his own complicity, Ralph provoked Cord into a fight, the fight that left him sightless. Chagrined, the men apologize to Cord. Just then, Whittaker gallops into camp with the news that Garth lost his herd at Dimos and in revenge, plans to ambush Cord at the Hamilton Pass. As Garth and his men survey the trail from the cliffs rimming the pass, Cord and his men take shelter in a gully. After Cord and Garth face off in the rocks, Cord sneaks up behind Garth and orders him to holster his gun. Cord then challenge Garth to shoot, and when Garth draws his weapon, Cord fires and wounds him. Cord informs Garth that he could have beat the Hamilton herd to the fort if only he had believed him. His job accomplished, Cord leaves the herd in Douglas' hands, and rejecting Ralph's offer of partnership as well as Janice's endearments, rides off. Galloping after him, Sandy asks him to return one day. +

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

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