Cast & Crew
The beautiful and wealthy Amanda Lawrence gratefully accepts a ride from mining engineer Jonathan "Dart" Dartland and his alcoholic friend, Dr. Hugh Slater, when the car she has borrowed from the La Paz Guest Ranch breaks down in the Arizona desert. Although Hugh flirts with her, it is the handsome and reserved engineer who attracts her, and before saying goodbye, she invites the two to a dinner party in her mother's suite that evening. Dart arrives late, explaining as he walks with Amanda that he dislikes parties, people and mothers, particularly wealthy Eastern mothers with spoiled and beautiful daughters. Undaunted, Amanda kisses him and the two soon find that they are in love. Dart admits that his own mother is a Mescalero Apache, who settled on the local reservation following the death of his father, a Boston professor. Mortified at her earlier admission that Indians give her "the creeps," Amanda apologizes, and they kiss again. In the morning, Amanda dreamily informs her mother that they soon will have Indians in the family, whereupon Mrs. Lawrence books tickets for the flight back to New York. That afternoon, Amanda proposes to Dart, and on the following day, they are wed. The happy-go-lucky Amanda is unconcerned when Mrs. Mablett, the meddling wife of Dart's foreman, describes Apaches as "cruel, dangerous, and...tight-mouthed," but she is disturbed when Dart angrily sends her away from the mine, explaining that the Apache workers consider a woman in the underground tunnels a jinx. The newlyweds make up that evening, and Dart shows her the foxfire, a phosphorescent nighttime glow caused by the rotten timbers of the abandoned Foxfire mine, which he believes contains an undiscovered vein of gold. Over the next few months, Dart remains preoccupied with his work while Amanda develops an attachment to Hugh, which although understood by her as an innocent friendship, is taken more seriously by the lovesick doctor. Hugh's nurse, Maria Conchera, who is also part Apache, loves the doctor, and her jealous remarks fuel the town's appetite for gossip. Amanda opens Dart's foot locker and learns that his grandfather Tanosay was a respected Apache chief, but Dart is sensitive about his background and mistakes her interest for amusement. His anger and reticence cause Amanda to conceal her pregnancy from Dart, and the situation worsens when mine owner Ernest Tyson agrees to explore the Foxfire mine at Amanda's rather than Dart's prompting. While Dart gets the Foxfire project underway, Amanda visits the Apache reservation on a whim, and there finally meets her mother-in-law, Princess Saba. She listens in bewilderment as Saba explains that Apache boys over the age of twelve are expected to leave their mothers, never again exhibiting tears or weakness. The child Amanda bears, she continues, will be of little concern to Dart before reaching that age. After explaining that her husband's death was almost too much to endure, she concludes that the Indian philosophy of love is the right one: love is only temporary. Meanwhile, Dart, unable to find his wife, joins Maria in assuming that she has "gone off somewhere" with Hugh. By the time Amanda returns to town, Dart is angry and drunk. Grabbing her roughly, he roars that Apache men tear out the hair of women who are unfaithful. Dart stays at the mine for several days, unaware that Amanda has suffered a miscarriage. When he finally learns the truth, he rushes to the hospital, but Amanda sends him away. Later, she tells Dart the marriage is over because he treated her "like a squaw." Obsessed with finding the lost Foxfire gold, Dart drives his men too hard, and one day, the mine collapses. After helping the men out, the injured Dart climbs into a newly opened tunnel, where he finds, along with some old Apache tools and wall paintings, a rich vein of gold. Tyson and Dart's Apache friend, Walt Whitman, are thrilled by the discovery, but Dart, his hands bandaged, thinks only of Amanda. When Maria tells Amanda, who is about to leave for New York, about Dart's injury, Amanda rushes back to her husband. Admitting that he needs her, Dart explains that he is slow at love, but is no longer afraid of it. They kiss as the new "Foxfire Gold Company" sign is put in place.
Eddy C. Waller
Robert F. Simon
Hal K. Dawson
R. H. Baldwin
Leslie I. Carey
Russell A. Gausman
Ted J. Kent
Ruby R. Levitt
Joan St. Oegger
Jane Russell is Amanda Lawrence, a prominent socialite from New York. Out on a drive in the desert, away from the resort where she is staying with her mother, Amanda's car breaks down and she hitches a ride with the handsome Jonathan "Dart" Dartland (Jeff Chandler), a mining engineer working for the Tyson Copper company. The two hit it off immediately and impulsively marry, despite Amanda's mother (Frieda Inescort), who objects to Dart's half-Apache heritage.
Once married, Amanda and Dart move to the mining town of Lodestone, where he wants to find gold. While their relationship is passionate at the start, their marriage soon hits a rocky patch when Dart declares to Amanda that he has no interest in having children. Meanwhile, Amanda is on the receiving end of the affections of Dart's friend Hugh (Dan Duryea), leading Dart to believe that she is having an affair. In addition to their marriage woes, Amanda doesn't feel welcome among the miners in Lodestone, many of whom superstitiously believe that women are bad luck.
Foxfire was originally to star June Allyson, who closely fit the description of the Amanda Lawrence in Anya Seton's novel. When Allyson ultimately left the project, Universal-International cast the voluptuous Jane Russell instead, a completely different take from the more reserved, innocent, girl-next-door look of Allyson. This was one of many departures from Seton's original story, both aesthetic and plot-related, which included a change in the timeframe of the story from Depression-era to post-World War II.
Foxfire was released just two years after Jane Russell starred in Howard Hawks' sparkling musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) alongside Marilyn Monroe, arguably the peak of Russell's film career. She got her start in the infamous Howard Hughes film The Outlaw (1943), which not only made Russell a star but cemented her image as one of Hollywood's great sex symbols. Throughout the 1940s and early-to-mid 1950s, Russell starred in several films, including two with Bob Hope: The Paleface (1948) and Son of Paleface (1952), as well as a cameo in Road to Bali (1952). But it was her on-screen partnership with her good friend Robert Mitchum in two films, His Kind of Woman (1951) and Macao (1952), in addition to her Dorothy Shaw in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, that audiences best remember today.
After a handful of uncredited and small parts in the mid-to-late 1940s, Brooklyn-born Jeff Chander (born Ira Grossel) finally broke through with his Academy Award-winning role as Cochise in Delmer Daves' Western Broken Arrow (1950), starring James Stewart and Debra Paget. Due to his dark features, Chandler, who was Jewish, was often cast as Native American characters, a common practice at the time. While best known for his work in Westerns and action-adventure films, Chandler is also popular for his work in female-centric romantic dramas like Foxfire and the film noir-esque Female on the Beach (1955), also directed by Joseph Pevney and starring Joan Crawford.
Chandler was also a singer, recording several albums and singles, including the theme song for Foxfire. After breaking free of his contract with Universal, Chandler went freelance, starring in films such as Jeanne Eagels (1957) with Kim Novak for Columbia. During the filming of Merrill's Marauders in April 1961, Chandler seriously injured his back, leading to a necessary surgical procedure as soon as the film ended production. Two months later, Chandler died at the age of 42 from several complications that arose during his recovery.
Director: Joseph Pevney
Producer: Aaron Rosenberg
Screenplay: Ketti Frings
Cinematography: William H. Daniels
Editing: Ted J. Kent
Music: Frank Skinner
Cast: Jane Russell (Amanda Lawrence), Jeff Chandler (Jonathan Dartland), Dan Duryea (High Slater), Mara Corday (Maria), Barton MacLane (Jim Mablett), Frieda Inescort (Mrs. Lawrence), Celia Lovsky (Princess Saba), Eddy Waller (Old Larky), Robert F. Simon (Ernest Tyson), Charlotte Wynters (Mrs. Mablett), Robert Bice (Walt Whiteman) and Arthur Space (Foley).
By Jill Blake
This was the last motion picture to be photographed on the three-strip Technicolor camera.
According to a July 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item, June Allyson was originally cast as "Amanda Lawrence Dartland." Although a July 23, 1954 Hollywood Reporter production chart includes Linda Christian in the cast, she does not appear in the finished film. The onscreen credits note that "Miss Jane Russell's services" were provided "by courtesy of Russ-Field Corporation." According to studio publicity and a July 27, 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item, the picture was filmed on location at Oatman and Kingman, AZ, and was the first film in which husband and wife Barton MacLane and Charlotte Wynters appeared together. Foxfire marked the last American-made film to use Technicolor's bulky three-strip process. In the film, Jeff Chandler sings the theme song that he co-wrote with Henry Mancini. The Saturday Review critic remarked that the script "probes unusually deep in analyzing the position of women in an Apache tribe and their relation to their men, with one beautifully handled sequence in which the withered Indian mother explains by indirection the ways of her people to the bewildered young wife."
Released in United States Summer July 1955
Released in United States Summer July 1955