Romance of the Redwoods (1939)

61 or 67 mins | Drama | 30 March 1939

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HISTORY

A working title for this film was Power to Burn. The title card for the film reads: "Jack London's Romance of the Redwoods." London's short story first appeared in The Overland Montly (Feb 1899). Although a modern source claims that two other films--the 1918 Artcraft film A Romance of the Redwoods (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.3767) and the 1948 Columbia film Thunderhoof--were based on the same Jack London short story, the 1918 picture was a screen original and the plot details of neither film bear resemblance to the 1939 picture. ...

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A working title for this film was Power to Burn. The title card for the film reads: "Jack London's Romance of the Redwoods." London's short story first appeared in The Overland Montly (Feb 1899). Although a modern source claims that two other films--the 1918 Artcraft film A Romance of the Redwoods (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.3767) and the 1948 Columbia film Thunderhoof--were based on the same Jack London short story, the 1918 picture was a screen original and the plot details of neither film bear resemblance to the 1939 picture.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
17 May 1939
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
14 Dec 1938
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 1938
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 1939
p. 5
New York Times
24 Apr 1939
p. 13
Variety
19 Apr 1939
p. 22
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Clifford Broughton
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
J. A. Goodrich
Sd eng
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The White Silence" by Jack London in his The Son of the Wolf: Tales of the Far North (New York, 1900).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Jack London's Romance of the Redwoods
Power to Burn
Release Date:
30 March 1939
Production Date:
20 Dec 1938--19 Jan 1939
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
3 April 1939
LP8756
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
61 or 67
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5042
SYNOPSIS

Jed Malone, a city boy who wants to be a lumberjack, seeks employment at Boss Whittaker's lumberyard, but is turned away because he appears to be too delicate for hard labor. However, when Steve Blake, a worker at the plant, learns that Jed has picked up an injured dog along the way, he appreciates the city boy's heart and convinces Whittaker to take him on. Jed proves his worth almost immediately when he saves Steve's life in a sawmill accident, but they soon have a falling out when Steve discovers that Jed has won over his secret love, June Martin, a beautiful dishwasher at the town's boardinghouse. When Jed and June announce their engagement, Steve tries to hide his broken heart, but, at a party thrown in honor of the couple, he nearly kills Jed in a friendly wrestling match. June breaks up the fight, and soon the whole town begins talking about Steve's jealousy. After spending more time with Jed, Steve begins to soften, and eventually he gives Jed his blessing to marry June. On the afternoon of their wedding, Jed is hurled to his death when a mechanism on the saw fails. Steve, witnessing the tragedy, flies into an angry rage, smashes the machine to bits and blames Whittaker for failing to replace the defective saw. To cover his negligence, Whittaker hints that Steve killed Jed out of jealousy, and Steve is jailed for murder. At the trial, June testifies on Steve's behalf, and although the jury acquits him for lack of evidence, the townspeople still believe that he is guilty. Just as Steve takes to the road ...

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Jed Malone, a city boy who wants to be a lumberjack, seeks employment at Boss Whittaker's lumberyard, but is turned away because he appears to be too delicate for hard labor. However, when Steve Blake, a worker at the plant, learns that Jed has picked up an injured dog along the way, he appreciates the city boy's heart and convinces Whittaker to take him on. Jed proves his worth almost immediately when he saves Steve's life in a sawmill accident, but they soon have a falling out when Steve discovers that Jed has won over his secret love, June Martin, a beautiful dishwasher at the town's boardinghouse. When Jed and June announce their engagement, Steve tries to hide his broken heart, but, at a party thrown in honor of the couple, he nearly kills Jed in a friendly wrestling match. June breaks up the fight, and soon the whole town begins talking about Steve's jealousy. After spending more time with Jed, Steve begins to soften, and eventually he gives Jed his blessing to marry June. On the afternoon of their wedding, Jed is hurled to his death when a mechanism on the saw fails. Steve, witnessing the tragedy, flies into an angry rage, smashes the machine to bits and blames Whittaker for failing to replace the defective saw. To cover his negligence, Whittaker hints that Steve killed Jed out of jealousy, and Steve is jailed for murder. At the trial, June testifies on Steve's behalf, and although the jury acquits him for lack of evidence, the townspeople still believe that he is guilty. Just as Steve takes to the road to start a new life somewhere else, June receives a distress call that a truckload of men are trapped in a mammoth forest fire and need Steve's help. Steve demonstrates his true nature by risking his own life to brave the blaze and rescue the men, and his act of heroism lifts the cloud of recrimination that has hung over him. All ends happily as he and June are married.

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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.