Montana (1950)

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    There is 1 reply in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • Montana (1950)




      Plot Summary
      Australian sheep-man Morgan Lane comes to Montana looking for government-owned grazing land,
      and encamps his sheep at the boundary line (where the bad grazing ends and the good grazing begins)
      set up by the cattle barons to keep the sheep from nubbing away at the good grass.
      He goes to town, posing as a merchant, explains his Australian accent,
      and learns that Maria Singleton, owner of a large ranch, and Rodney Ackroyd
      (who never explains where he got his name), another ranch owner and Miss Singleton's fiancée,
      are the leaders of the cattlemen against the sheep-men.
      Romance tugs at Morgan and Miss Singleton, who quickly decides that Morgan
      has a much better name than Rodney (and other attributes)
      but the cattle-vs.-sheep feud keeps them apart.
      Until they meet in the street for a showdown gunfight following
      a disastrous clash between the cattle and sheep factions.
      Written by Les Adams

      Errol Flynn ... Morgan Lane
      Alexis Smith ... Maria Singleton
      S.Z. Sakall ... Papa Otto Schultz (as S.Z. 'Cuddles' Sakall)
      Douglas Kennedy ... Rodney Ackroyd
      James Brown ... Tex Coyne
      Ian MacDonald ... Slim Reeves
      Charles Irwin ... MacKenzie - Sheep Herder
      Paul E. Burns ... Tecumseh Burke
      Tudor Owen Tudor Owen ... Jock
      Lester Matthews ...
      George Forsythe
      and many more...

      Ray Enright
      Raoul Walsh ... (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      James R. Webb ... (screenplay) and
      Borden Chase ... (screenplay)
      Charles O'Neal ... (screenplay)
      Ernest Haycox ... (story)

      William Jacobs ... producer

      David Buttolph

      Karl Freund

      Gary Cooper and Ronald Reagan were originally announced for the lead role before Errol Flynn was cast.

      Filmed in 1948.

      The scene where the cattle stampede comes to an end and the cattle are halted
      was used at the beginning of an Alan Ladd film Stampeded (1957).

      The film was originally to have been made in 1941.

      In this film Errol Flynn played an Australian.
      In real life he was from Tasmania, an island that forms part of Australia.

      [Repeated line]
      Morgan Lane: Among other things.

      Filming Locations
      Warner Ranch, Calabasas, California, USA

      Watch the Movie

      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Montana is a 1950 Western film starring Errol Flynn.
      It was only the second time Flynn played an Australian on screen,
      the first time being Desperate Journey (1942).

      The film was Flynn's fourth and final pairing with frequent co-star Alexis Smith.

      Warner Bros had made a number of Westerns named after famous American cities,
      including Dodge City, Virginia City and Santa Fe Trail.
      In June 1940 they announced they were making a Western Montana,
      based on C.B. Glasscock's book "The War of the Copper Kings".
      In August 1941 Warner Bros announced that Errol Flynn would be appearing
      in the Technicolor Western Montana in 1941-42.

      However America's entry into World War Two appeared to delay the production.

      After the war it was reported Eagle Lion wanted to make a Western
      called Montana starring Joel McCrea.
      Then in July 1947 Warners seemed to reactivate the project -
      Vincent Sherman was named as director, William Jacobs producer and
      Thames Williamson to work on the script; Errol Flynn was listed as a possible star.
      However Errol Flynn disliked making Westerns. 1949 he told Hedda Hopper:

      Acting for me is sheer fun. There's only one thing I really don't want to do any more
      and that's Westerns. I guess I've trod every back trail and canyon pass in the entire west.
      I've never literally had to read the line, 'they went that a-way pard',
      but there is one cliche I've said so many times it comes back to me in all my nightmares.
      Every time there's a gap in the story, every time the writers don't know what to do next,
      they have me pull up ahead of my gang, assume a decidedly grim look,
      and say 'All right men, you know what to do now.'
      The fact is I've made so many of these things, scripts seem so much the same,
      that what it adds up to in my mind is that the studio says, 'Here's a horse. Get on.'

      In December 1947 it was announced that Ronald Reagan would play the lead in Montana,
      with the script based on a novel by Ernest Haycox.
      The film became officially part of Warners 1948 schedule.

      Eventually Warner Bros decided to give the film to Errol Flynn.
      In June 1948 they ordered him to return from holiday and take the role under his contract.
      Ray Enright assigned to direct - his first film under a long term contract with Warners.

      Filming began August 1948, after Flynn had just completed a three month boat trip on the Zaca.

      The film reportedly started shooting with the script only half ready.
      James R. Webb and Charles G Booth were credited as working from a story by Ernest Haycox.

      Little, if any, of the film was shot in Montana.

      The Los Angeles Times said the film "won't set the cinema world on fire
      but it's solid Western entertainment."
      The Washington Post called it "a fair enough hour and a quarter."

      User Review

      Montana? Not Baaaad!
      9 September 2008 | by srpwx (United States

      scp wrote:

      Errol Flynn, as a sheep-herder? Say it ain't sew! No wonder Flynn drank his way through this turgid Western.

      I'd be pulling the wool over your eyes by saying Flynn doesn't mail it in. Lots of short scenes with many edits plus obvious studio cuts against outdoor backdrops. Flynn's first film in 1950 but the miles and trials were taking a toll on Errol. His eyes were too bloodshot to shoot some scenes.

      Nevertheless, the Technicolor cinematography (Calabasas Ranch)is first rate plus production values make up for the drab characters. It's tough to care about anyone except beautiful, flaming redhead, Alexis Smith. I've never seen whiter teeth in my life. Cute little scar on her chin too. Flynn and Smith have some nice scenes plus sing a fun little ditty: Reckon, I'm in love! Seriously, it's not bad! A sheep-herder invades cattle country! If this sounds like a bum steer of a film, you're probably right but it's Flynn in his final decade.
      He went downhill fast from here but "amoung other things", he still looks good next to Alexis.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

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