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Powder River (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Powder River
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.


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. Ambushed by outlaws Loney Logan and Will Horn, he gets away safely thanks to Johnny and 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. Chino knocks him cold. Frenchie's beau, gunslinger Mitch Hardin, intervenes, but after being stricken with a headache so painful it incapacitates him, Chino saves his life.

Chino rejects an offer to become the town's new sheriff, but back at the river finds Johnny dead and their gold stolen. In town, a stagecoach delivers the sophisticated Debbie Allen, who has come from Connecticut to find her former sweetheart, Mitch, who it turns out was once a doctor there. She realizes 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 Debbie, leaving town, they let word leak of a $300,000 gold shipment being aboard. Loney's men come to rob it and are defeated, but Debbie is shot. In town, Mitch is the only one with the surgical skill to save Debbie's life, and he does so. But when all seems well, Chino discovers that it was Mitch who murdered Johnny and stole the gold. As they begin to shoot it out, Mitch shoots Chino's gun out of his hand, collapses in agony and dies in Chino's arms. Frenchie arrives, sobs and cradles Mitch's head. The next day Frenchie boards the stage leaving Chino and Debbie to their 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 16 November 2021, at 15:18
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