AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Red Mountain
Alternate Title: Quantrell's Raiders
Director: William Dieterle (Dir)
Release Date:   May 1952
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 25 Apr 1952; Los Angeles opening: 30 May 1952
Production Date:   25 Oct--early Dec 1950
Duration (in mins):   84-85
Duration (in reels):   9
Print this page
Display Movie Summary

Cast:   Alan Ladd (Capt. Brett Sherwood)  
    Lizabeth Scott (Chris)  
    Arthur Kennedy (Lane Waldron)  
    John Ireland (Gen. William Quantrill)  
    Jeff Corey (Skee)  
    James Bell (Dr. Terry)  
    Bert Freed (Sgt. Randall)  
    Walter Sande (Benjie)  
    Neville Brand (Dixon)  
    Carleton Young (Morgan)  
    Whit Bissell (Miles)  
    Jay Silverheels (Little Crow)  
    Francis McDonald (Marshal Roberts)  
    Iron Eyes Cody (Indian)  
    Herbert Belles (Indian guard)  
    Dan White (Jim Braden)  
    Ralph Moody (Meredyth)  
    Crane Whitley (Cavalry major)  
    Emmett Lynn (Old posse member)  

Summary: In 1865, as the Civil War nears its end, Broken Bow, Colorado assayer Jim Braden is shot and killed in his office with a bullet that Marshal Roberts identifies as Confederate issue. Townsmen immediately conclude that prospector Lane Waldron, a former Rebel soldier, is responsible, as he was seen racing from the office shortly before the murder. An angry posse forms and intercepts Lane on the rocky trail outside town. Although Lane proclaims his innocence, stating that Braden had merely assayed a sample from his recent gold strike, the posse prepares to lynch him. Seconds before he is to hang, however, the rope is shot in two. Lane dashes off on his horse, and he and his armed benefactor elude the posse. Once safe at Lane's hideaway cabin, his rescuer introduces himself as Brett Sherwood and reveals that he found the sample that Lane had dropped and knows that he did not murder Braden. That night, Lane grabs Brett's gun while he is sleeping, then noting that it is Confederate issue, accuses him of killing Braden. In response, Brett reaches for his rifle and informs Lane that he emptied the gun's chamber before retiring. Brett makes Lane his prisoner, and the next day, holds Chris, Lane's girl friend, at gunpoint when she shows up at the cabin. Brett then sets off, leaving the couple behind, but Lane insists on following him, hoping he can use him to clear his name. Lane and Chris eventually overtake Brett and tie him up. That night, while Lane sleeps, Chris tells Brett that her family was massacred by William Quantrill's Confederate raiders and she is pro-Union. In turn, Brett describes how Union general Sherman burned his family's Southern home. As they talk, Brett works to free his hands and takes Chris by surprise. Armed, Brett prepares to flee and leave Lane and Chris with only one horse, but Lane fights back. In the struggle, however, Lane falls down a cliff and breaks his leg. Feeling responsible, Brett carries Lane up to a cliffside cave to protect him from an oncoming storm. The rain passes, but just as Brett is about to abandon Lane and Chris, a Union patrol is spotted below. Suspicious, Brett approaches them alone and is surprised to discover that the patrol's leader is General Quantrill, the man he has been sent to meet. Quantrill introduces Brett, who is a Confederate captain, to his men, who include a group of Ute Indians. Although Brett is wary of the Indians, he agrees to help Quantrill with his crusade to claim the West for the foundering Confederacy. While a guard, Skee, is assigned to watch Chris and Lane, a Ute scout announces that the posse has been sighted. Concerned that they will discover the Union detail he massacred, Quantrill orders that the posse be eliminated. Quantrill, who has made a pact with various hostile Indian tribes, then shows Brett where the ambush took place, and Brett is disgusted to see that the soldiers were scalped. Back at the cave, Skee assaults Chris, but she gets his gun, and the crippled Lane ends up shooting him. Lane then fires a final round to alert the posse as it rides by, and the posse defends itself when Quantrill's men swoop down on them. After the ensuing gun battle, Brett, who has fallen in love with Chris, tries to buy the prisoners time by telling Quantrill about Lane's gold strike. The egomaniacal Quantrill is reluctant to deviate from his plan until Brett convinces him that the surviving posse members will not be able to receive help from the Cavalry for two days. Brett then advises Chris that if she promises to remain silent about Quantrill, he will free her. Despite her attraction to Brett, Chris angrily refuses his deal, and later, Sgt. Randall tries to torture Lane into revealing the mine's location. Lane is delirious with fever, however, and Chris convinces Randall that Lane cannot talk until he is treated by a doctor. Chris and Randall sneak into Broken Bow and kidnap Dr. Terry, and once in the cave, Terry operates on Lane's infected leg. Despite the operation's success, Quantrill decides to move out in the morning, with or without the information. Aware that Quantrill has ordered Chris and Lane killed, Brett tries to warn the prisoners but is caught by one of Quantrill's men. Brett beats the man to death, then gives Lane and Chris enough ammunition to defend themselves and helps Terry to sneak away on horseback. After Brett scatters Quantrill's horses, he joins Lane and Chris in the cave, and a gun battle ensues. During a lull, Terry's horse and slain body appear, so Brett rappels down the backside of the cliff and rides to Broken Bow. Quantrill and the Indians surround the cave, and Lane is shot by a Ute. In the cave, a dying Lane tells Chris that he wants her to share the gold mine with Brett and is shot again. Chris kills his attacker, then the posse, having been alerted by Brett, rides up, followed by the Cavalry. During the melee, Brett is shot by Quantrill, but shoots and kills the general in return. Later, the recuperating Brett confesses that Braden stole his claim and Brett shot him when he went for his gun. After the marshal notes that Braden stole many claims and deserved his fate, Chris tells Brett that the war is over. Free of the past, Chris and Brett look forward to a new life together. 

Production Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.  
Production Text: Hal Wallis' Production
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.  
Director: William Dieterle (Dir)
  Richard McWhorter (Asst dir)
  John Farrow (Fill-in dir)
Producer: Hal B. Wallis (Prod)
Writer: John Meredyth Lucas (Scr)
  George F. Slavin (Scr)
  George W. George (Scr)
  George F. Slavin (From a story by)
  George W. George (From a story by)
  Edna Anhalt (Contr to scr const)
  Edward Anhalt (Contr to scr const)
Photography: Charles B. Lang Jr. (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Hal Pereira (Art dir)
  Franz Bachelin (Art dir)
Film Editor: Warren Low (Ed supv)
Set Decoration: Sam Comer (Set dec)
  Ray Moyer (Set dec)
  Robert Goodstein (Props)
Music: Franz Waxman (Mus score)
Sound: Don McKay (Sd rec)
  Walter Oberst (Sd rec)
  James Miller (Sd)
Special Effects: Farciot Edouart (Process photog)
  Wallace Kelley (Process photog)
Make Up: Wally Westmore (Makeup supv)
Production Misc: Andy Durkus (Unit mgr)
  Chief Long Bow (Translator)
Color Personnel: Richard Mueller (Technicolor col consultant)
Country: United States
Language: English

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Paramount Pictures Corp. 13/11/1951 dd/mm/yyyy LP1748 Yes

PCA NO: 15057
Physical Properties: Sd: Western Electric Recording
  col: Technicolor

Genre: Western
Subjects (Major): Officers (Military)
  Quantrill's Raiders
  Romantic rivalry
  United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Subjects (Minor): Assayers
  Attempted rape
  Falls from heights
  Operations, Surgical
  United States. Army. Cavalry
  Ute Indians
  Wounds and injuries

Note: The working title of this film was Quantrell's [sic] Raiders . Onscreen credits include the following written foreword: "1865. In the South the Confederacy lay dying of the wounds Sherman slashed in the Valley of the Shenandoah. Northern armies pressed toward the inevitable victory....But in the vast no-man's-land of the West, Fate still hung in the balance. There, a last incredibly daring dream of Southern victory was attempted in the Battle of Red Mountain, by General Quantrell [sic], Confederate hero, fanatical soldier and master of guerilla [sic] warfare." Quantrill's name is misspelled "Quantrell" in the foreword and in all production news items, reviews and publicity. Unlike what is presented in the film, the real William C. Quantrill died in Kentucky during a surprise attack by Union guerrillas. For more information about the Confederate officer, see entry for the 1940 Republic release Dark Command in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 . SAB incorrectly listed the source of the film as a play by George F. Slavin and George W. George.
       HR news items and Paramount publicity items add the following information about the production: In Jan 1950, producer Hal Wallis announced that Burt Lancaster and Wendell Corey, who had co-starred in three of Wallis' late 1940s films, including Sorry, Wrong Number (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ), had been cast in Red Mountain . John Ireland replaced Corey in late Oct 1950, when Corey developed a liver infection. Gilbert Roland and Charlton Heston were also announced as possible cast members, but did not appear in the final film. Location shooting took place near Gallup, NM, at six different camps. Navajo Indians from a nearby reservation were recruited as extras, and Chief Long Bow, a full-blooded Pueblo Indian, acted as translator.
       During shooting, John Farrow took over direction for a few days when William Dieterle was stricken with a virus infection. The following actors were announced as cast members in HR : George Lewis, Ralph Gomez, Forest Burns, Pete Dunn, Danny Fisher, Donald House, Tim Nelson, Marcella Mae Becker, Louise Dale, Sally Durkus, Kenneth Cooper, Charles Hayward, Nick Nicoll, Ann Gallant, Rosita Richards, Opal Taylor, Robert Metz, Sarah Weissburg, Donald McGuire, Malna Mills, Charles Quirk, Willard Willingham, Leo Sulky, Rex Moore, James Cornell, Joe Gray, Jack Harvey, Bob Ridley, Danny Sands and Earl Spainard. Their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   17 Nov 1951.   
Daily Variety   14 Nov 51   p. 3.
Film Daily   19 Nov 51   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Jan 50   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   25 Jan 50   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Oct 50   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   26 Oct 50   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Oct 50   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   30 Oct 50   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   31 Oct 50   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   9 Nov 50   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Nov 50   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Nov 50   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Nov 50   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Nov 50   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   1 Dec 50   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   4 Dec 50   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Apr 51   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Nov 51   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   17 Nov 51   p. 1109.
New York Times   25 Apr 52   p. 19.
New York Times   26 Apr 52   p. 19.
Time   21 Jan 1952.   
Variety   14 Nov 51   p. 6.

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
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.