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Powder River (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Powder River
Powder River (film).jpg
Directed byLouis King
Screenplay byDaniel Mainwaring
(as Geoffrey Homes)
Story bySam Hellman
(from a story by)
Based onWyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal
1931 novel
by Stuart N. Lake
Produced byAndre Hakim
StarringRory Calhoun
Corinne Calvet
Cameron Mitchell
CinematographyEdward Cronjager
Edited byWilliam B. Murphy
Color processTechnicolor
20th Century Fox
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • June 17, 1953 (1953-06-17)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,000,000 (US)[2]

Powder River is a 1953 American Western film directed by Louis King and starring Rory Calhoun, Corinne Calvet and Cameron Mitchell.[3]

The screenplay was written by Stuart N. Lake, who two years later was the story consultant on the ABC/Desilu western television series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.

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In 1875, ex-lawman Chino Bull puts away his guns and heads for the Powder River with old pal Johnny Slater to pan for gold. When he is ambushed by outlaws Loney Logan and Will Horn, Johnny comes to his rescue, and he rides to town for supplies.

At a saloon run by beautiful Frenchie Dumont, he meets Loney's brother, Harvey, a card dealer. A drunken Sam Harris begins shooting up the place, killing the sheriff with a stray bullet as everyone else flees. Chino volunteers to go in after him and knocks him out, but declines the offer to become sheriff.Returning to the river, Chino finds Johnny dead and their gold stolen. Now broke, he returns to town and reluctantly takes on the sheriff job.

Frenchie's beau, gunslinger Mitch Hardin, rides into town and challenges Chino, but is stricken with a headache so painful it incapacitates him.

A stagecoach brings to town the sophisticated Debbie Allen, who has come from Connecticut to find her former sweetheart, Mitch, who was once a doctor there. She learns that Mitch is now involved with Frenchie and also that he is suffering from a brain tumor, causing the severe headaches. Debbie decides to go back east on the next stage.

Chino sets a trap. Accompanied by Mitch, who owes Chino for saving his life, and let word leak of a $300,000 gold shipment being aboard. Loney's men come to rob it and are defeated. Later in town Chino arrests Harvey and then Debbie is accidentally shot by Harvey's men when they attack Chino in the barn. Mitch is the only one with the surgical skill to save Debbie's life, and he does so

Loney's gang tries to rescue Harvey but he is shot by Chino while trying to escape. Loney's gang attack and Chino kills Loney.

When Debbie tells Mitch she is staying, Mitch decides to leave. Chino discovers that it was in fact Mitch who murdered Johnny and stole their gold. As they begin to shoot it out, Mitch shoots Chino's gun out of his hand, but then collapses in agony and dies in Chino's arms. Frenchie arrives, is distraught and cradles Mitch's head. The next day, Frenchie boards the stage, leaving Chino and Debbie to a future together.



  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. p248
  2. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1953', Variety, January 13, 1954
  3. ^ Powder River at TCMDB

External links

This page was last edited on 2 June 2023, at 00:02
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