DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY HENRY HATHAWAY
DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY HENRY HATHAWAY
INFORMATION FROM IMDb
Steve McQueen ... Nevada Smith
Karl Malden ... Tom Fitch
Brian Keith ... Jonas Cord
Arthur Kennedy ... Bill Bowdre
Suzanne Pleshette ... Pilar
Raf Vallone ... Father Zaccardi
Janet Margolin ... Neesa
Pat Hingle ... Big Foot
Howard Da Silva ... Warden
Martin Landau ... Jesse Coe
Paul Fix ... Sheriff Bonnell
Gene Evans ... Sam Sand
Josephine Hutchinson ... Mrs. Elvira McCanles
John Doucette ... Uncle Ben McCanles
Val Avery ... Buck Mason
Sheldon Allman ... Sheriff
Lyle Bettger ... Jack Rudabough
Bert Freed ... Quince
David McLean ... Romero
Steve Mitchell ... Buckshot
Merritt Bohn ... River Boat Pilot
Sandy Kenyon ... Clerk in Bank
Ric Roman ... Cipriano
John Lawrence ... Hogg
Stanley Adams ... Storekeeper
George Mitchell ... Paymaster
John Litel ... Doctor
Ted de Corsia ... Hudson (Bartender)
Loni Anderson ... Brunette Saloon Girl (uncredited)
Jan Arvan ... Dealer (uncredited)
Carmen Austin ... Cajun Girl (uncredited)
Baynes Barron ... Tanner / Poker Player (uncredited)
Isabel Boniface ... Tabinaka (uncredited)
Paul Bradley ... Saloon Dealer (uncredited)
Thordis Brandt ... Saloon Girl (uncredited)
Joe Budd ... Deputy (uncredited)
Forest Burns ... Guard (uncredited)
Frank Christi ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Iron Eyes Cody ... Taka-Ta (uncredited)
Bud Cokes ... Bartender (uncredited)
Carol Daniels ... Creole Prostitute (uncredited)
Walt Davis ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Jerry Gatlin ... Cowboy (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward ... Fitch Man (uncredited)
Robert F. Hoy ... Tanner / Poker Player (uncredited)
Loren Janes ... Cowboy in Abilene Hotel / Convict in Prison Camp (uncredited)
Maureen Janzen ... Saloon Girl (uncredited)
Dal Jenkins ... Cowboy (uncredited)
L.Q. Jones ... Cowboy (uncredited)
Dave Kashner ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Patty Kelly ... Saloon Girl (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Barfly (uncredited)
Jack Lilley ... Gang Member (uncredited)
Strother Martin ... Barney (uncredited)
Joanna Moore ... Angie Coe (uncredited)
Boyd 'Red' Morgan ... Stableman (uncredited)
Joyce Nizzari ... Saloon Girl (uncredited)
Francine Pyne ... Saloon Girl (uncredited)
Mike Ragan ... Customer (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson ... Deputy (uncredited)
Victor Romito ... Brother McMath (uncredited)
Clark Ross ... Townsman (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Roulette Dealer (uncredited)
Roy N. Sickner ... Harry (uncredited)
Milan Smith ... Barfly (uncredited)
Sarita Vara ... Cajun Girl (uncredited)
Ralph Volkie ... Bartender (uncredited)
Edy Williams ... Saloon Girl (uncredited)
Henry Wills ... Fitch Man (uncredited)
Dick Winslow ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Chief Yowlachie ... Medicine Man (uncredited)
Henry Hathaway ... producer
Joseph E. Levine ... executive producer
Steve McQueen ... producer (uncredited) Music by
Harold Robbins ... (based on the character in "The Carpetbaggers" created by)
John Michael Hayes ... (screen story) (screenplay
Lucien Ballard ... director of photography
Eli Bo Jack Blackfeather ... )
May Boss ... stunts (uncredited)
Gary Combs ... stunts (uncredited)
Jerry Gatlin ... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward ... stunts (uncredited)
Robert F. Hoy ... stunts (uncredited)
Whitey Hughes ... stunts (uncredited)
Loren Janes ... stunt double: Steve McQueen (uncredited) / stunts (uncredited)
Boyd 'Red' Morgan ... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson ... stunts (uncredited)
Victor Romito ... stunts (uncredited)
Roy N. Sickner ... stunts (uncredited)
Henry Wills ... stunts (uncredited)
The character Nevada Smith was supposed to be sixteen. He was played by 35-year-old Steve McQueen.
Suzanne Pleshette once said in an interview that her love scenes with Steve McQueen
in this movie were horribly awkward for both of them as they had enjoyed a completely platonic friendship since she first came to Hollywood
and he had very much taken on the role of big brother to her.
In the scene in the cattle pens when Max (Steve McQueen) fights Jessie Coe (Martin Landau),
Max crouches behind a fence and opens the gate to let the cattle out.
Some cattle come out the gate while others knock down the fence,
and Max must dodge the flailing legs and hooves of the stampeding cattle.
The knocking down of the fence was accidental, and McQueen was very nearly trampled for real.
Shots of Max rolling clear of the hooves were added when it was decided
to use the accidental footage.
Loni Anderson, best known for her role as the buxom blonde secretary
"Jennifer Marlowe" on the long-running TV series WKRP in Cincinnati (1978),
can be seen in a bit part as a brunette.
She's one of the dance hall girls who greets the cowboys upstairs at the hotel
while they're cleaning up for a night on the town.
She asks one of them, "What's your name? Walter? Hello, Walter."
When the cowboys are herding cattle at the ranch/rail yard,
there are several modern box cars in the background.
They are of steel construction with modern US Department of Transportation identification
codes that did not exist during the era depicted by this film.
When Nevada Smith is after Jessie Coe, the music playing in the saloon in the background
is "Frankie and Johnnie."
In a previous scene, Bowdre says he hasn't skinned an
Indian since the war (Civil War) 15 years ago.
Thus, the date of the story has to be no later than 1880.
The first published version of the music to "Frankie and Johnny"
appeared in 1904 (credited to and copyrighted by Hughie Cannon).
The scene in the swamp where the inmates are hauling logs out of the water
shows Max on a welded steel barge.
Welded steel barges weren't constructed until the advent of electric arc welding in the 1930s,
and didn't appear in general use until World War II.
The barge should have been a wood-hulled barge instead of welded steel.
A version of the California state flag, that was not adopted by the state legislature until 1911
is flying with a US flag in the small gold mining town where Smith is arrested.
Steve McQueen is clearly far too old to be a teenager at the beginning of the movie.
While Strother Martin's character, "Barney", is taking a bath, he is called "Strother" twice.
After waking up on the pool table, Smith is standing at the bar with his gun belt on his shoulder.
In the next shot he has it strapped on.
After Bowdre's whipping at the prison camp, Max runs into the water to save him from drowning.
Max turns Bowdre onto his back so his face is up, out of the water;
in the next shot, which is just a second later,
Max pulls a face-down Bowdre out of the water by his feet.
When Keith is teaching McQueen poker and McQueen pulls the gun on him,
Keith's gun vanishes from his right hand between shots and the whiskey bottle
changes from his left hand to his right.
When the 3 bad guys are breaking Max out of jail, there are 3 ropes on the window.
One rope breaks, but in the next scene there are again 3 ropes.
Near the beginning of the movie, when Uncle Ben is seen twice with his buckboard,
his name is painted on the seat back as "McCandles". The end credits spell it "McCanles".
After waking up on the pool table Smith orders a drink at the bar.
When the bartender pours the drink Smith puts his hand on the glass.
In next shot Smith reaches to pick up the glass.
After Smith wakes up on the pool table, the Sheriff confronts him about leaving town.
Just before he arrests Smith, shots from behind Smith show his arms at his side
and shots from the front show his arms spread out with palms showing.
Crew or equipment visible
The camera's shadow can be seen as it pans across several head of cattle
being driven in the scene immediately following the parting of ways between Max and Jonas.
As the three outlaws ride off after dragging Max down the river,
they pass close enough to the camera that the horses splash water,
which slowly drips down, revealing the presence of the lens.
Errors in geography
Nevada Smith is working cattle at the railhead in Abilene KS. and during that scene,
snow capped mountains are visible in the background. There are no mountains in Kansas.
Half-Indians are never blond.
Chuck Roberson, better known as John Wayne's stunt double, appears in this movie
as a member of the gang.
When the sheriff confronts Smith in the saloon,
he is also the deputy in the background holding the shotgun.
Later, during the gold heist, he is back with the gang.
When Max Sand (pretending to be Tom Fitch) gets busted out of prison by Fitch's buddies,
he climbs out of the busted jail window with his gunbelt on.
If he was in a jail cell, he wouldn't have had his gunbelt with him.
When Martin Landau swings the chair at Steve McQueen as he enters the saloon bedroom,
you can plainly see that a piece of plexiglas is in the door frame to protect McQueen.
When Smith opens the corral gate to empty the pen to get Coe,
the gate post he is next to and the broken fence board attached to it
are revealed to be of lightweight balsa wood breakaway construction.
What appears to be a heavy solid wood post breaks apart along the laminated seams
of glued up smaller bright white balsa wood pieces when a steer jumps through it.
At the end of the movie when Max Sand/Nevada Smith shoots Tom Fitch
in both knees as he lays half way in the river, blood flows from somewhere
upstream toward his legs, not from his legs downstream.
The name "Nevada Smith" was the original inspiration for the name
"Indiana Jones"; the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
character's name was originally "Indiana Smith".
George Lucas named him "Indiana" after his dog, and "Smith" after this movie.
But then it was changed to "Indiana Jones".
Of the 2,000 performers that auditioned for Lee Strasberg's
exclusive theatre school in 1955, Steve McQueen and Martin Landau
were the only ones who were accepted.
The role of Nevada Smith was originally created by Alan Ladd in The Carpetbaggers (1964)
A prequel highlighting the Smith character with Ladd was proposed,
but the actor's untimely death at age 50 precluded that.
Ironically both actors were only 5'7".
Steve McQueen was only eight years younger than Gene Evans, who played his father.
The cast and crew suffered from harsh filming conditions.
Whilst dining in Baton Rouge, Steve McQueen ran into William Holden and Richard Widmark,
who were filming Alvarez Kelly (1966) in the same area.
McQueen and Holden wound up drinking together the rest of the evening.
The scene of the cattle being driven through the Railroad Yard in
Abilene was taken at the "Laws Railroad Museum" near Bishop,Ca.
You can see the Sierra Mountain Range to the west in this scene.
Brian Keith's character is Jonas Cord, who is the same character
played by Leif Erikson in "The Carpetbaggers."
The irony of misspelled buckboard sign written McCandles instead of McCanles.
The actor John Doucette who plays Uncle Ben McCanles,
plays the Sheriff in the movie,
Big Jake with John Wayne. John Wayne's character name was Jacob McCandles.
Hot Creek, Mammoth Lakes, California, USA
(Jonas Cord intro/Neesa and Max bathing scene/climax scene in creek)
Bishop, California, USA
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California, USA
Cerro Gordo, California, USA
Inyo National Forest - 351 Pacu Lane, Bishop, California, USA
Krotz Springs, Louisiana, USA (LA. prison scenes)
Laws Station, Inyo, California, USA
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Owens Valley, California, USA