AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Wild Horse Mesa
Director: Henry Hathaway (Dir)
Release Date:   25 Nov 1932
Duration (in mins):   60 or 72.5
Duration (in reels):   7
Print this page
Display Movie Summary


Cast:   Randolph Scott (Chane Weymer)  
    Sally Blane (Sandy Melberne)  
    Fred Kohler (Rand)  
    Lucille La Verne ("Ma" ["The General"] Melberne)  
    Charley Grapewin (Sam Bass)  
    James Bush (Bent Weymer)  
    Jim Thorpe (Indian chief)  
    George F. Hayes (Slack)  
    Buddy Roosevelt (Horn)  
    E. H. Calvert (Sheriff)  

Summary: In Four Corners, outlaw Rand plans to rustle horses from the Indian reservation into a barbed wire corral. Cowboy Chane Weymer blows up the fence and warns Rand not to steal from the Indians. Intimidated, Rand leaves, but his barbed wire has caught and killed a young colt, angering its father, "Panquitch," leader of the wild horses. Rand involves Ma "The General" Melberne, owner of the general store, in his scheme to capture the horses, but does not tell her that it is illegal, or that the horses will be maimed by the barbed wire. That night Chane's brother Bent locks up the store, but is knocked out by Rand and his men, who rob the safe and frame Bent for the robbery. Later, without showing his face, Chane throws money into the store and claims responsibility for the crime, but eludes the sheriff. Later that evening, he returns to the store and talks with Sandy, the General's daughter who is in love with Bent, and finds a piece of a pearl-handled gun. The General sells her store and with her brother, Sam Bass, Sandy and Bent, joins Rand for the wild horse roundup. In the desert, Sandy watches as Chane tries to capture Panquitch, but when he sees she is in the way of a stampede, he gives up Panquitch to rescue her. Since Sally has hurt her ankle, he takes her to an Indian camp where she spends the night. Chane returns her to Rand's camp the next day, and is chagrined to discover that Bent and Sally are engaged, but stays at the camp until nightfall. In the meantime, Rand tries to turn Bent against his brother, and plots to kill Chane and plant some of the stolen money on him. After Chane matches the piece from the pearl-handled gun to Rand's gun, they fight. They "jail" Rand in the barbed wire, while the herd of horses is sent toward him by his own men, who are unaware of his situation. Rand frees himself, but Panquitch chases him until he falls off a cliff and dies. Later, the Indians gift Chane with Panquitch, but he sets him free after Sally promises to marry him if Panquitch can return to his mate. 

Production Company: Paramount Publix Corp.  
Distribution Company: Paramount Publix Corp.  
Director: Henry Hathaway (Dir)
Writer: Harold Shumate (Scr)
  Frank Howard Clark (Scr)
Photography: Arthur Todd (Photog)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the novel Wild Horse Mesa by Zane Grey (New York, 1928).
Authors: Zane Grey

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Paramount Publix Corp. 28/11/1932 dd/mm/yyyy LP3442 Yes

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Noiseless Recording

 
Genre: Western
 
Subjects (Major): Brothers
  Duplicity
  Frame-ups
  Horses
  Indians of North America
  Rustlers
 
Subjects (Minor): Deserts
  Engagements
  Falls from heights
  Fights
  Family relationships
  Firearms
  General stores
  Robbery
  Romantic rivalry
  Roundups
  Self-sacrifice
  Sheriffs

Note: Zane Grey's novel was serialized in Country Gentleman magazine, beginning 24 Apr 1924. According to the copyright synopsis, "Rand" kills "Bent" just before he is killed by "Panquitch." Neither the viewed film nor the script, however, suggests that "Bent" is killed, although he does not reappear at the end of the film. According to copyright records, the film was shot on location near Flagstaff, AZ, and used 350 Navajo Indians as extras. Paramount previously made an adaptation of Grey's novel in 1925, which was directed by George B. Seitz and starred Jack Holt and Noah Beery (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.6371). RKO produced a third adaptation in 1947, directed by Wallace A. Grissell and starring Tim Holt (son of Jack Holt) and Nan Leslie (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 941-50 ). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Hollywood Reporter   10 Nov 32   p. 3.
Variety   17 Jan 33   p. 15.

Display Movie Summary
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.
 
Advanced Search
AFI Membership
The definitive list of classic American films

© 2014 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.