These Thousand Hills (1959)

96 mins | Western | February 1959

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HISTORY

Although a HR production chart includes Harry Carter in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A Jul 1958 HR news item notes that Stuart Whitman's three-year old son Mike was to make his screen debut in the picture, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. According to Filmfacts, location filming was done in Eastern Colorado.
       These Thousand Hills was the last novel in A. B. Guthrie's trilogy of the old West. The Big Sky, the 1949 novel that launched the trilogy, was filmed in 1952 (see entry). The middle installment, The Way West, which won a Pulitzer Prize, was filmed in 1967 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70.) Time magazine noted that the novel These Thousand Hills examined "how the men who won the West settled down to manage their estates, and in the process turned from Buckaroos to Babbitts." Time criticized the film adaptation for reducing Guthrie's story to "the common place." ...

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Although a HR production chart includes Harry Carter in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A Jul 1958 HR news item notes that Stuart Whitman's three-year old son Mike was to make his screen debut in the picture, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. According to Filmfacts, location filming was done in Eastern Colorado.
       These Thousand Hills was the last novel in A. B. Guthrie's trilogy of the old West. The Big Sky, the 1949 novel that launched the trilogy, was filmed in 1952 (see entry). The middle installment, The Way West, which won a Pulitzer Prize, was filmed in 1967 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70.) Time magazine noted that the novel These Thousand Hills examined "how the men who won the West settled down to manage their estates, and in the process turned from Buckaroos to Babbitts." Time criticized the film adaptation for reducing Guthrie's story to "the common place."

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
26 Jan 1959
---
Daily Variety
20 Jan 1959
p. 3
Film Daily
20 Jan 1959
p. 6
Filmfacts
1959
p. 79
Hollywood Reporter
28 May 1958
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 1958
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 1958
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jul 1958
p. 12
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 1958
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 1959
p. 3
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Jan 1959
p. 124
New York Times
7 May 1959
p. 36
Time
2 Mar 1959
---
Variety
21 Jan 1959
p. 6
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Richard Fleischer
Dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam asst
ART DIRECTORS
Lyle R. Wheeler
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Props
COSTUMES
Exec ward des
MUSIC
Edward B. Powell
Orch
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Key grip
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel These Thousand Hills by A. B. Guthrie, Jr. (Boston, 1956).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"These Thousand Hills," words and music by Ned Washington and Harry Warren, sung by Randy Sparks.
PERFORMED BY
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
February 1959
Production Date:
early Jun--21 Jul 1958
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
20 December 1958
LP13013
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
96
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Albert Johnson "Lat" Evans, an earnest young cowboy determined to better his situation, wins a job with a cattle drive by busting a wild horse. Befriended by cowhand Tom Ping, Lat fantasizes about owning his own ranch and being rich one day, unlike his father, who died "broke, a failure." When the drive reaches a small Wyoming town, the cowboys congregate at the saloon, where Jehu, an unscrupulous rancher, proposes racing one of their horses against his swift steed. Lat accepts the challenge, and is in the lead when his opponent throws a blanket at his face, causing Lat to lose his balance and fall from his horse. Conrad, the town's upstanding banker, intervenes, however, and declares Lat the winner. That night, Tom and Lat celebrate with saloon girls Jen and Callie. With their winnings, they decide to leave the cattle drive and hunt wolves for their hides. After bidding his cowhand friends goodbye, Lat, feeling melancholy, gets drunk and visits Callie. When Lat recalls a traumatic incident from his childhood in which his father beat him for being alone with a girl in the woodshed, Callie feels empathy. Some time later, Lat and Tom's wolf hunting career ends in disaster when they find themselves snowbound in the dead of winter and their tempers flare. Denouncing Lat's lust for success, Tom dissolves their partnership and leaves. Now alone, Lat is approached by a band of Indians, who try to steal his horse. When he resists, the Indians shoot him, but Tom comes to his rescue and drives them away. Tom leads the wounded, delirious Lat through the frozen, ...

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Albert Johnson "Lat" Evans, an earnest young cowboy determined to better his situation, wins a job with a cattle drive by busting a wild horse. Befriended by cowhand Tom Ping, Lat fantasizes about owning his own ranch and being rich one day, unlike his father, who died "broke, a failure." When the drive reaches a small Wyoming town, the cowboys congregate at the saloon, where Jehu, an unscrupulous rancher, proposes racing one of their horses against his swift steed. Lat accepts the challenge, and is in the lead when his opponent throws a blanket at his face, causing Lat to lose his balance and fall from his horse. Conrad, the town's upstanding banker, intervenes, however, and declares Lat the winner. That night, Tom and Lat celebrate with saloon girls Jen and Callie. With their winnings, they decide to leave the cattle drive and hunt wolves for their hides. After bidding his cowhand friends goodbye, Lat, feeling melancholy, gets drunk and visits Callie. When Lat recalls a traumatic incident from his childhood in which his father beat him for being alone with a girl in the woodshed, Callie feels empathy. Some time later, Lat and Tom's wolf hunting career ends in disaster when they find themselves snowbound in the dead of winter and their tempers flare. Denouncing Lat's lust for success, Tom dissolves their partnership and leaves. Now alone, Lat is approached by a band of Indians, who try to steal his horse. When he resists, the Indians shoot him, but Tom comes to his rescue and drives them away. Tom leads the wounded, delirious Lat through the frozen, barren wilderness to town, where Callie nurses him back to health. Restless and impatient to become successful, Lat asks Conrad for a loan to buy a ranch. After Conrad turns him down, Callie gives Lat her life savings to buy a piece of land, which he then uses as collateral for a loan to purchase a herd of cattle. Lat makes Tom a partner in the venture, and after a hard winter, Lat prospers while the other ranchers falter. As his fortunes improve, Lat begins to shun Callie for Conrad's niece Joyce. When Tom tells Lat that he plans to marry Jen, Lat questions his decision and calls Jen a tramp, causing Tom to angrily renounce their partnership. One night, while Lat is dining at Conrad's, the banker proposes that he enter politics by running for the school board. Callie, who has baked a cake for Lat, anxiously awaits his arrival, and when Jehu appears instead, she fights off his crude advances. After dinner, Lat goes to Callie's house and informs her that there is no place in his life for her. Soon after, Lat and Joyce are married and start a family. After Lat decides to run for U.S. Senator, he is visited by Jehu and rancher Frank Chanault, who use the promise of their votes to coerce him into joining a group of rancher vigilantes on the trail of some horse thieves. The ranchers corner the thieves at their mountain hideout, and after a gun battle, the two surviving rustlers surrender, and Lat is shocked to discover that Tom is one of them. After Tom confesses, he accuses Lat of worshiping the tin god of money. Jehu sentences Tom to hang, and when Lat protests that he be allowed to stand trial, Jehu knocks him unconscious and then hangs Tom. Riddled with remorse, Lat returns home and Joyce hands him a distress note from Callie. Although Joyce jealousy forbids Lat to see Callie, Lat contends that he owes her a debt and proceeds to her house. There, Lat learns from her servant Happy that Jehu has savagely beaten Callie. Outraged, Lat goes in search of Jehu. After finding Jehu at the saloon, the two begin to fight and their brawl spills onto the street as the townsfolk watch in consternation. Pulling a rifle from a saddle, Jehu aims it at Lat just as a gunshot fired by Callie rings out, killing Jehu. Later, at home, Joyce forgives Lat, and when he informs her that he intends to testify at Callie's trial, she graciously gives her consent.

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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.