Cast & Crew
Square Shootin' Harry Lanyon, a gambling proprietor, loves Ruth Watson, but because he believes that she loves his adopted son Billy, he keeps his feelings hidden. Lanyon reads Bret Harte's "The Outcasts of Poker Flats" and imagines himself to be the gambling proprietor John Oakhurst, who takes Sophy, a girl abandoned on a river boat by gambler Ned Stratton, to Poker Flats, where Oakhurst's adopted son Tommy falls in love with her. Tommy protects Sophy from Stratton and is shot. He recovers and proposes to her, but before the wedding, she sends Oakhurst a note saying that she loves him. Because Oakhurst thinks that Tommy will be better for her, he does not respond. After Oakhurst persuades the vigilantes to burn his gambling house and drive him out, so that Tommy and Sophy can lead a clean life, the couple pursues him to the mountains. During a violent snowstorm, Oakhurst shoots himself, freeing the lovers to return. When Lanyon finishes the story and finds that Ruth loves him, he remarks that "the fellow in the book was a durn fool."
The story first appeared in Overland Monthly. Snow scenes in this film were shot in Truckee, CA. RKO remade Harte's story in 1937 and Fox produced it in 1952. The RKO film was directed by Christy Cabanne and starred Preston Foster and Jean Muir. The 1952 film was directed by Joseph M. Newman and starred Anne Baxter and Dale Robertson.