Cast & Crew
Mack V. Wright
A stormy night brings a strange assortment of people to the deserted Sally Ann mine. Joe Ryan and his gang wait inside a shack, watched in secret by a pair of hidden eyes. John Mason, whose father left him a half-interest in the mine, rides into town with his sidekick, Clarence Washington Brown, just in time to stop a fight between Ryan and Benedict, the former manager of the mine, who implies that Ryan came by his half-share in the mine illegally. Benedict takes John and Clarence home with him where they meet Janet Carter, the daughter of Bill Carter, who discovered the mine with John's father. After a night of mysterious, ghostly comings and goings accompanied by flashing lights, Janet learns that Ryan's father framed her father in order to steal his interest in the mine. Carter, however, managed to hide the gold before he was taken to jail. When John hears her story, he offers to help her get Ryan. He arranges for Ryan to rob Clarence and then offers to trade Ryan's mine deed in exchange for not prosecuting him for robbery. Ryan's gang thwarts John's efforts by kidnapping him and later, Janet and Benedict, holding them in the mine shafts that run under the Carter house. A hooded figure, who turns out to be Carter, tries to rescue them and fails. After Clarence inadvertently scares Ryan's men, John escapes and sends his horse "Duke" home to round up his men. Ryan's men torture Carter until he reveals where he has hidden his gold. They load it into a cart, but before they can escape, John's men arrive and overcome the gang. Now that the gold is safe, John and Janet make plans for their future.
Mack V. Wright
Union Captain John Hayes (Randolph Scott) is ordered by his Army superiors to set up a stagecoach delivery route to transport gold from California to Union forces back East. But in the small Colorado town of Julesberg, where he supervises the gold run, Hayes encounters violent resistance from the pro-Confederate locals dominated by the town's ruthless hotel owner Clay Putnam (Andrew Duggan) and his vicious gang of outlaws led by the malevolent Mace (Michael Pate).
Teaming up with a local farmer, a young Union soldier Rod Miller (Michael Dante), and his beautiful wife, Jeanie (Karen Steele), Hayes assembles the horses, coaches and lodgings to operate his Overland stage line. But soon another, smaller war has broken out between North and South, as Hayes' allies and Putnam's thugs battle for dominance. The Putnam gang stops at nothing to intercept the Overland's booty -- including murder. In one shocking scene, a stagecoach which the gang knows carries a mother and her young daughter as passengers, is nevertheless mortally attacked, symbolizing the gang's disregard for human life.
Complicating affairs is the still-smoldering relationship between Hayes and Norma Putnam (Virginia Mayo), now married to the wealthy, corrupt Clay Putnam, but beginning to question her husband's shady business.
But in Oscar "Budd" Boetticher Westerns, it is typically the violent struggles between men, not romantic imbroglios, which compose the central action of the picture. Boetticher creates an atmosphere of stifling tension from the moment Hayes arrives in the town and is publicly humiliated by the horsewhip-brandishing Mace. Even the town's women, standing at the sidelines, laugh at Hayes' shame, in an indication of how bitterly Boetticher views these Southern sympathizers. The film's atmosphere is unrelentingly grim -- even the war-maimed Rod is shown no mercy, ostracized and taunted by the town thugs and served tainted food by a local restaurant owner.
The Western is known for its pairings of actor and director, like John Wayne and John Ford, or James Stewart and Anthony Mann. And Boetticher's films boasted a similar union, of director and star Randolph Scott, who also appeared in Boetticher's Ride Lonesome, the same year.
A prototypical Western hero with his tall, lean, rugged good looks, Scott's presence helped define seven of Boetticher's classic B-Westerns made between 1956 and 1960 and produced by the independent Ranown company.
Though less known than John Wayne or James Stewart today, Scott was a perennially popular Hollywood box-office draw in Boetticher's Westerns and retired from the business one of Hollywood's wealthiest men with multimillion dollar holdings in oil wells, real estate, and securities.
Beloved by connoisseurs of the genre, Boetticher was known primarily as a director of Westerns, though he also branched out into bullfight films (Boetticher once worked as a professional matador in Mexico) and the occasional gangster picture (The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960). Boetticher's tension-driven Westerns of the Fifties are nimble, tight productions, and Westbound is characteristic of the director's best work in the genre which stood at the divide between the classic era of John Ford and Anthony Mann, and the darker cycle ushered in with the more violent, pessimistic Westerns to come from Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah.
Director: Bud Boetticher
Producer: Henry Blanke
Screenplay: Berne Giler, Albert S. Le Vino (story)
Cinematography: J. Peverell Marley
Production Design: Howard Campbell
Music: David Buttolph
Cast: Randolph Scott (Capt. John Hayes), Virginia Mayo (Norma Putnam), Karen Steele (Jeanie Miller), Michael Dante (Rod Miller), Andrew Duggan (Clay Putnam), Michael Pate (Mace), Wally Brown (Stubby).
By Felicia Feaster
The man they found was the 25-year-old John Wayne, who already had 30 pictures under his belt, most of them Westerns. He had the same wiry build as Maynard and looked enough like him to match the close-ups and the action shots. Between mid-1932 and mid-1933, Warners put Wayne in six Westerns (always playing a character with the first name "John"), four of them direct remakes of Maynard╒s movies and the other two using footage from the cowboy star╒s silents. Westerns were not Warners╒ forte nor something they were much interested in; this was the studio best known for gritty Depression-era urban dramas and crime stories, such as Little Caesar (1931) and The Public Enemy (1931). But the Wayne movies, made for rural markets and the bottom half of double features, got good reviews and returned excellent profits (and why not, recycling footage and hiring Wayne for only $825 a picture?). Still, it would be seven years and 45 more pictures before Wayne broke through to major stardom in John Ford's Stagecoach (1939).
Wayne almost didn't get put under contract. When his tireless agent Al Kingston brought him to Warners, studio executives were reluctant to hire someone they heard was an irresponsible drinker and womanizer. But Wayne revealed the source of the rumors to be Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn, a man the Warners producers didn╒t much care for anyway, and Wayne was signed. This was the first movie he did under his new short-term contract, although it was the third released. The rather odd story finds him returning to a mine to claim his half share in it. There he meets a woman whose father has lost his half of the mine to an outlaw. Wayne is forced to contend with the outlaw and his gang as well as a mysterious cloaked phantom who lives deep in the mine shafts. The story and script were by Adele Buffington, who had a long career in movies - from 1919 to 1958 - writing mostly B-Westerns.
Director: Mack V. Wright
Producer: Leon Schlesinger
Screenplay: Adele Buffington
Cinematography: Nicholas Musuraca
Editing: William Clemens
Original Music: Leo Forbstein
Cast: John Wayne (John Mason), Sheila Terry (Janet Carter), Erville Alderson (Benedict), Harry Woods (Joe Ryan), Blue Washington (Clarence).
by Rob Nixon
The statue of the Maltese Falcon, later used in the Humphrey Bogart classic Maltese Falcon, The (1941) can be seen in a scene where the film's heroine Sheila Terry is playing the organ.
Warner Brothers salvaged long shots of silent Ken Maynard films and used them in this film. Thus, many of the long shots of 'John Wayne' are actually Ken Maynard from earlier films.
Actor Erville Alderson's surname is misspelled "Anderson" in the onscreen credits. According to production files in the AMPAS Library, some of the scenes were filmed on location in Sonora, CA near Yosemite National Park. According to modern sources, the Maltese Falcon statue from Warner Bros.' 1931 film The Maltese Falcon appears in a scene in which Sheila Terry plays the organ. Slim Whitaker, Jim Corey, Ben Corbett, Bud Osborne are included in the cast by modern sources. This film was a remake of the 1929 First National film Phantom City starring Ken Maynard and his horse Tarzan (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.4221).
Released in United States 1932
Released in United States June 14, 1989
Released in United States 1932
Released in United States June 14, 1989 (Shown at Film Forum in New York City June 14, 1989.)
Shown at Film Forum in New York City June 14, 1989.