Susannah of the Mounties (1939)

77-78 mins | Drama | 23 June 1939

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Susannah . According to materials contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Kenneth Earl and Larry Rhine worked on two separate treatments; Bess Meredyth worked with Earl on a first draft and continuity; and Rian James and Lieutenant Commander George Noville wrote a story outline for this film. According to a story conference contained in these files, Darryl F. Zanuck considered Walter Pidgeon, Donald Meek, Nicki Wood and Pauline Moore for roles in this film. A news item in HR notes that Walter Lang was the original director of this film, but was replaced by William Seiter when he became ill with the flu. The MPH review adds that the picture featured Blackfoot Indians from the reservation in ... More Less

The working title of this film was Susannah . According to materials contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Kenneth Earl and Larry Rhine worked on two separate treatments; Bess Meredyth worked with Earl on a first draft and continuity; and Rian James and Lieutenant Commander George Noville wrote a story outline for this film. According to a story conference contained in these files, Darryl F. Zanuck considered Walter Pidgeon, Donald Meek, Nicki Wood and Pauline Moore for roles in this film. A news item in HR notes that Walter Lang was the original director of this film, but was replaced by William Seiter when he became ill with the flu. The MPH review adds that the picture featured Blackfoot Indians from the reservation in Montana. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
17 Jun 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Jun 39
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 39
pp. 5-6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Feb 39
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
20 Jun 39
p. 9.
Motion Picture Herald
24 Jun 39
pp. 39-42.
New York Times
24 Jun 39
p. 13.
Variety
21 Jun 39
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Susannah, A Little Girl of the Mounties by Muriel Denison (New York, 1936).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Susannah
Release Date:
23 June 1939
Production Date:
early February--early March 1939
retakes began 30 March 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
23 June 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9265
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
77-78
Length(in feet):
7,105
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5039
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the early 1880's, the Canadian Pacific Railway is forging its way westward, meeting resistance from the Indians who resent the encroachment of the white man. One of the victims of that conflict is Susannah Sheldon, the sole survivor of an Indian massacre on a wagon train. Susannah is found by a mounted patrol in the command of Inspector Angus "Monty" Montague, who takes her back to the post where he and his friend, Pat O'Hannegan adopt her. Romance blossoms at the post when Superintendent Standing's daughter Vicky comes to visit from Toronto, enchanting Monty and sparking rivalry in Susannah and Harlan Chambers, the head of the railroad camp. The violence escalates when a band of renegade Indians steals horses from Chambers' camp and Chief Big Eagle, a friendly Indian, pledges to deliver the renegades. As a gesture of good faith, the Chief leaves his son Little Chief at the post, and Little Chief begins to teach Susannah the way of the Indians. While the children are out riding one day, they witness Wolf Pelt try to sell Chambers his stolen horses, thus inciting Chambers into threatening the Indians with extinction. Wolf Pelt, a renegade, uses Chambers' threat to demand that his tribe go to war, and that night, he raids the post to retrieve Little Chief and kidnap Monty. When Big Eagle demands that the railroad leave or Monty will die, Susannah rides off in search of Monty and is taken prisoner by the Indians. That night, as the tribe prepares to burn Monty at the stake, Susannah escapes from the tepee and accuses Wolf Pelt of inciting Chambers ... +


In the early 1880's, the Canadian Pacific Railway is forging its way westward, meeting resistance from the Indians who resent the encroachment of the white man. One of the victims of that conflict is Susannah Sheldon, the sole survivor of an Indian massacre on a wagon train. Susannah is found by a mounted patrol in the command of Inspector Angus "Monty" Montague, who takes her back to the post where he and his friend, Pat O'Hannegan adopt her. Romance blossoms at the post when Superintendent Standing's daughter Vicky comes to visit from Toronto, enchanting Monty and sparking rivalry in Susannah and Harlan Chambers, the head of the railroad camp. The violence escalates when a band of renegade Indians steals horses from Chambers' camp and Chief Big Eagle, a friendly Indian, pledges to deliver the renegades. As a gesture of good faith, the Chief leaves his son Little Chief at the post, and Little Chief begins to teach Susannah the way of the Indians. While the children are out riding one day, they witness Wolf Pelt try to sell Chambers his stolen horses, thus inciting Chambers into threatening the Indians with extinction. Wolf Pelt, a renegade, uses Chambers' threat to demand that his tribe go to war, and that night, he raids the post to retrieve Little Chief and kidnap Monty. When Big Eagle demands that the railroad leave or Monty will die, Susannah rides off in search of Monty and is taken prisoner by the Indians. That night, as the tribe prepares to burn Monty at the stake, Susannah escapes from the tepee and accuses Wolf Pelt of inciting Chambers with his thievery. When Wolf Pelt denies the charges, Big Chief calls for the test of the stick of truth, and when the stick drops towards Wolf Pelt, proving that he is a liar, Big Chief frees Monty and smokes the pipe of peace with Susannah and the white man. +

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.