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Garden of Evil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Garden of Evil
Poster - Garden of Evil 01.jpg
Directed byHenry Hathaway
Screenplay byFrank Fenton
Story byFred Freiberger
William Tunberg
Produced byCharles Brackett
StarringGary Cooper
Susan Hayward
Richard Widmark
CinematographyMilton R. Krasner
Jorge Stahl, Jr.
Edited byJames B. Clark
Music byBernard Herrmann
Color processTechnicolor
Production
company
20th Century Fox
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • July 9, 1954 (1954-07-09)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$2,070,000[1]
Box office$3.1 million (US rentals)[2]

Garden of Evil is a 1954 American CinemaScope Western film directed by Henry Hathaway, about three somewhat disreputable 19th-century soldiers of fortune, played by Gary Cooper as an ex-lawman, Richard Widmark as a gambler, and Cameron Mitchell as a bounty hunter, who are randomly hired by a woman, portrayed by Susan Hayward, to rescue her husband (Hugh Marlowe). Rita Moreno appears at the beginning of the film as a Mexican cantina singer/dancer.

Plot

En route to California, ex-sheriff Hooker (Gary Cooper), professional gambler Fiske (Richard Widmark), and bounty hunter Luke Daly (Cameron Mitchell) are temporarily stranded in a small Mexican fishing village when their steamship experiences engine trouble. While they discuss their options in a local saloon, enter Leah Fuller (Susan Hayward), whose husband John is trapped in a distant gold mine. She needs help to rescue him. Noticing Hooker and the others, she approaches them. She offers the waylaid travelers $2,000 each, tossing a bag of coins on their table. Her gesture attracts the attention of another saloon customer, Vicente Madriaga, who accepts her deal. Hooker and his companions soon sign on as well.

During the harrowing journey inland, Leah informs Hooker that the site where her husband is trapped was once a boom town, but a volcanic eruption wiped it out, leaving only a church steeple and the mine uncovered by lava. The resident priest called it the "garden of evil". The Indians now consider the volcano sacred. When the group arrives at the mine, they discover John unconscious but alive. They work to free him before the ceiling collapses further, then transport him to a nearby cabin where Hooker sets his broken leg.

With hostile Apaches nearby, the group quickly prepares to leave, but during the return journey, Daly is killed by an arrow in the back. At a burnt-out mission, Leah's husband is found dead and hung upside down on a cross. Vicente falls next, the victim of multiple arrows. At a choke point in the cliff-hugging path, which is the only way out, Hooker and Fiske draw cards to see which of them will stay behind to hold off the Indians while the other rides with Leah to safety. Fiske "wins" and succeeds in killing or driving off most of their pursuers before he is mortally wounded. After seeing that Leah is safe, Hooker returns to aid a dying Fiske, who admits he cheated on the card draw to guarantee he would stay behind. Fiske urges Hooker to settle down with Leah. Hooker returns to Leah, and they ride off into the sunset.

Cast

Production

The working title for the film was Volcano, it was changed because "there is an Italian pic of same title now playing U.S. art houses", a 1950 film directed by William Dieterle and starring Rossano Brazzi and Anna Magnani.

Robert L. Jacks was originally set to produce, but he left 20th Century-Fox to join Panoramic Productions and was replaced by Charles Brackett.

Outdoor sequences were shot on location in Mexico, at "the colonial town" of Tepotzotlán, in the jungle areas near Acapulco, Parícutin volcano with the church ruin of San Juan Parangaricutiro, and the village of Guanajuato with the then-unrestored church ruins of Templo Santiago Apóstol, Marfil. Interior scenes were also shot at the Churubusco Studios in Mexico City.[3]

Reception

The New York Times reviewer wrote, "Although the story and its fireworks are interesting, they are dwarfed by the rugged mountains and lush coconut and banana-tree jungles of the film's natural settings."[4]

In his 1988 book, The American West in Film: Critical Approaches to the Western, author Jon Tuska observed the American characters in Garden of Evil are "stalked on the way to the mine by Apaches wearing Mohawk hairpieces."[5] Tuska was referencing one of the filmmakers' gaffes -- dressing Apache tribe members as Mohawks. According to author Josephine Paterek, Apaches generally "wore the hair long and flowing or in two braids." This was sometimes augmented with a war cap consisting of "fur and curved antelope horns."[6] Mohawk and Iriquois tribes, those located in the northeastern U. S., almost exclusively, "shaved off all the hair except for the scalplock at the back", adorned with "a roach spreader of bone holding erect a feather that rotated freely..."[7] Mohawk hairstyles, however, were virtually nonexistent among Native-Americans in the Southwest.

See also

References

  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History. The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p249
  2. ^ "The Top Box-Office Hits of 1954", Variety Weekly, January 5, 1955
  3. ^ imdb.com Filming & Production
  4. ^ A. W. (July 10, 1954). "Three Films Arrive; Garden of Evil' Has Debut at the Roxy Apache,' at Mayfair, Stars Lancaster [sic]". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Tuska, Jon. The American West in Film: Critical Approaches to the Western. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1988. p. 81.
  6. ^ Paterek, Josephine. Encyclopedia of American Indian Costume. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1994. p. 157
  7. ^ Patarek, Josephine etc., p. 56.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 November 2021, at 17:47
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