AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Covered Wagon Days
Director: George Sherman (Dir)
Release Date:   22 Apr 1940
Production Date:   mid Mar--late Mar 1940
Duration (in mins):   56
Duration (in reels):   6
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Cast:   Robert Livingstone (Stony Brooke)  
    Raymond Hatton (Rusty Joslin)  
    Duncan Renaldo (Rico)  
    Kay Griffith (Maria)  
    George Douglas (Ransome)  
    Ruth Robinson (Mama Rinaldo)  
    Paul Marion (Carlos)  
    John Merton (Gregg)  
    Tom Chatterton (Major Norton)  
    Guy D'Ennery (Diego)  
    Tom London (Martin)  
    Reed Howes (Stevens)  

Summary: Stony Brooke, Rusty Joslin and Rico, the Three Mesquiteers, are riding to Mexico to celebrate the marriage of Rico's brother Carlos when they are stopped at the border by officials who are investigating a ring smuggling silver into the United States. Unknown to the trio, the smugglers are operating by means of a tunnel that links a silver mine on each side of the border, and the Juanita mine on the Mexican side is owned by Rico's uncle, but has been closed for years. The smugglers, led by Ransome, the owner of the mining supply depot, attempt to buy the mine, but when the old man refuses to sell, Ransome orders him slain and frames Carlos for the murder. After Carlos is arrested, Ransome's men organize a lynch mob, but the Mesquiteers save Carlos from the hangman's noose and hide him in the hills. Feigning friendship for Carlos, Ransome sends Maria, Carlos' bride with a message for the fugitive, and then arranges for his men to follow her to the hideout. The Mesquiteers hold off the bushwackers while Carlos and Maria flee in her carriage, but when Carlos is wounded during the escape, Maria takes him to the army post, where he is arrested for murder. During Carlos' trial the next day, Stony sneaks into Ransome's store and discovers the entrance to a hidden mine shaft in the cellar. Meanwhile, Rico and Rusty visit the Juanita mine, where they also discover the hidden shaft housing the smuggled silver. As the Mesquiteers struggle with Ransome and his men, a keg of dynamite explodes, and in the chaos, Ransome escapes. Stony pursues him and forces a confession, thus exonerating Carlos of all guilt. 

Production Company: Republic Pictures Corp.  
Distribution Company: Republic Pictures Corp.  
Director: George Sherman (Dir)
  William O'Connor (Asst dir)
  Mike Eason (Asst dir)
Producer: Harry Grey (Assoc prod)
Writer: Earle Snell (Orig scr)
Photography: William Nobles (Photog)
Film Editor: Bernard Loftus (Film ed)
Music: Cy Feuer (Mus score)
Production Misc: Al Wilson (Prod mgr)
Country: United States
Series: Three Mesquiteers

Source Text: Based on characters created by William Colt MacDonald.
Authors: William Colt MacDonald

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Republic Pictures Corp. 22/4/1940 dd/mm/yyyy LP9626

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA High Fidelity Recording

 
Genre: Western
 
Subjects (Major): Confession (Law)
  Cowboys
  Explosions
  Frame-ups
  Mexican-American border region
  Mexican Americans
  Murder
  Silver mines
  Smuggling
 
Subjects (Minor): Brothers
  Lynching
  Mobs
  Uncles
  Weddings

Note: A HR production chart places Al Taylor, Lee Shumway, Barry Hays and Elias Gamboa in the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources add Dick Alexander, Art Mix, Jack Montgomery, Edward Hearn, Frank McCarroll, Jack Kirk, Herman Hack, Ken Terrell and Tex Palmer to the cast. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and see entry for The Three Mesquiteers in (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4617). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   9 May 40   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Mar 40   pp. 6-7.
Motion Picture Herald   6 Apr 40   p. 27.
Motion Picture Herald   11 May 40   p. 52.
Variety   8 May 40   p. 12.

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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.
 
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