Cast & Crew
Noah Beery Jr.
In 1875, notorious outlaw Apache Jack flees into the Arizona desert after killing the bride of Manuel Lopez. Sheriff Bill Cummings sets out on Apache Jack's trail with a posse comprised of Manuel Lopez, who seeks to avenge his wife's murder; Westerners Rayburn and Chic Lyman; an Easterner named Mulford; frontiersman Kier; cowboy Billy Sweet; Eaton, an Englishman; and two prospectors, Cluff and Garth. Deep in the Arizona wastelands, the party discovers the body of an advance scout who was killed by Apache Jack. When the posse arrives at an oasis in a narrow wash, the men quench their thirst in the water, but are startled by the sight of several skeletons near the watering hole. While Cluff and Garth find indications of a rich silver deposit in the area, the posse sets up camp. Eaton is appointed to stand guard over the horses at night, but at daybreak the Sheriff awakens to find him, his horse and Cluff and Garth missing. No sooner are the men found at an adjoining wash, however, than Cluff is killed by a bullet fired by an unseen Apache sharpshooter on the ridge. Certain that they are surrounded by Apaches, the men play cards to determine who will be sent to get help. Garth and Billy are pressed into the dangerous mission, but before they go, a horse carrying Eaton's corpse rides in, reminding them of the Apaches' deadliness. The endless wait for help to arrive proves too much for Lopez, who takes off on a mad search for his dead wife. While attempting to stop Lopez, Kier is stabbed. The Sheriff, Mulford, and Rayburn are the only men left alive after the wounded Kier dies, and Lyman is shot from his horse by an Apache. Desperate, the three men devise a plan to create a diversion to allow two of them to flee unnoticed by the Apaches. Rayburn goes up the wash, while the Sheriff and Mulford hide in the rocks, but he is soon shot by the indians, who approach the watering hole thinking that they have killed off the last remaining man. As Apache Jack examines the graves of the murdered posse, the Sheriff and Mulford shoot and kill the outlaw and several indians. Believing that they have eliminated the Apache threats, the Sheriff and Mulford emerge, only to be fired upon by a wounded indian, who kills Mulford. The Sheriff, the sole survivor of the ambush, shoots the wounded Apache and is soon rescued by a passing cavalry party.
Noah Beery Jr.
Van Nest Polglase
Earl A. Wolcott
Clarence Upson Young
Bad Lands (1939) - Bad Lands
Bad Lands sets the well-worn plot in the Arizona desert in 1875. Robert Barrat, a prolific stage, screen and television actor in one of his few starring roles, plays a sheriff who leads a posse in search of a killer and sees his men killed off one by one by Apaches until he is the only survivor. Screenwriter Clarence Upson Young adds a subplot involving a coveted vein of silver ore.
The cast includes Francis Ford, the older brother of director John Ford; and Noah Beery, Jr., son of one prominent actor (Noah, Sr.) and nephew of another (Wallace). Beery had a long career in films before moving on to television, where he was best known as James Garner's father in the series The Rockford Files. Bad Lands also has future star John Payne, then billed as Jack Payne, in a small role as a character called "Apache Jack."
Producer: Robert Sisk
Director: Lew Landers
Screenplay: Clarence Upson Young
Cinematography: Frank Redman
Original Music: Roy Webb
Editing: George Hively
Principal Cast: Robert Barrat (Sheriff Bill Cummings), Addison Richards (Rayburn), Andy Clyde (Henry Cluff), Guinn "Big Boy" Williams (Billy Sweet), Francis Ford (Charlie Garth), Noah Beery, Jr. (Chick Lyman).
by Roger Fristoe
Bad Lands (1939) - Bad Lands
Sheriff, I'm so thirsty I could drink my Saturday bath... if I had one.- Henry Cluff
One drop would kill the whole posse.- Charlie Garth
Why, you're just a little choosy how you kick the bucket, ain't ya? You're just a-figuring and a-worrying in that head of yours, thinking there will be a miracle... and you don't have to die at all. Well, I used to josh myself that way once, too. I sleep better now.- Rayburn
You look like a man who wants to cash his chips. Keep talking that way and somebody might accommodate you.- Sheriff Bill Cummings
They sure say a lot with a little smoke.- Charlie Garth
Apaches don't do night work. It's against the rules of their God. They prefer the rosy dawn for murder.- Charlie Garth
Of course, Apache Jack's influence will be pretty ungodly.- Sheriff Bill Cummings
A working title for this film was The Great Seizer. According to a Hollywood Reporter pre-production news item, Bad Lands was set for a two-week shoot on location at Victorville, California. A Hollywood Reporter production chart lists Stanley Ridges in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Many contemporary reviews of the picture compare it to the 1934 RKO film The Lost Patrol (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.2580).