The Silver Horde (1930 film)
|The Silver Horde|
|Directed by||George Archainbaud|
|Produced by||William LeBaron|
|Written by||Rex Beach (novel)
Wallace Smith (adaptation)
|Cinematography||John W. Boyle
|Editing by||Otto Ludwig|
|Studio||RKO Radio Pictures|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
|Release dates||October 25, 1930|
|Running time||75 minutes|
The Silver Horde is a 1930 romantic drama film starring Joel McCrea, in his first leading role, as a fisherman torn between two women, played by Evelyn Brent and Jean Arthur. The title is a reference to salmon. It is the second film adaptation of the 1909 novel of the same name by Rex Beach, which is a follow up to his earlier novel The Spoilers. The first filming of The Silver Horde was a silent also titled The Silver Horde, released in 1920. The character, Cherry Malotte, also appeared in Beach's The Spoilers.
In the Alaska wilderness, Boyd Emerson (Joel McCrea) and Fraser (Raymond Hatton), arrive by dogsled at a village. They are puzzled to receive a chilly welcome from its inhabitants. Frustrated, Boyd gets into a fight with local George Balt (Louis Wolheim), which is broken up by Cherry Malotte (Evelyn Brent). She invites the newcomers to dinner. She explains that they have stumbled into a bitter struggle between two rival fishing groups, hers and Fred Marsh's.
Boyd is ready to give up his fruitless search for gold. Cherry reinvigorates him and persuades him to join her side. She sends him, Fraser and Balt to Seattle to get a loan of $200,000 from Cherry's banker friend, Tom Hilliard, to rebuild a cannery. After concluding the deal, Boyd goes to see his socialite fiancée, Mildred Wayland (Jean Arthur). She is determined to marry him, despite her father's wish that she wed someone with wealth: none other than Fred Marsh. When Marsh provokes him, Boyd carelessly blurts out his plans. Wayne Wayland and Marsh between them see to it that the financing is withdrawn.
Notified, Cherry sails for Seattle and dines with Hilliard. It soon becomes plain to the banker that Cherry has fallen in love with Boyd. He explains that the young man already has a girlfriend, and points out the couple dancing elsewhere in the establishment. Cherry then secures the loan by taking up Hilliard's offer to go to his apartment. Boyd assumes, however, that it was due to Mildred's influence with her father.
Returning to Alaska with new machinery and Balt's crew, Boyd gets the cannery running in weeks, just in time for the annual salmon run. When Marsh sends his men to wreck their equipment, a brawl breaks out on the water, during which the Waylands arrive on their yacht.
Marsh tells Mildred about Cherry, that she is a notorious prostitute known from Sitka to San Francisco. He lies, telling Mildred that Cherry got the loan by spending the night with Hilliard at Boyd's insistence, and that she is more than Boyd's business partner. Mildred ends her engagement, despite Boyd's protests of innocence. Boyd, meanwhile, breaks up with Cherry when she cannot deny how she got the money.
Concerned only about Boyd's happiness, Cherry contacts an old friend in her former trade, Queenie. The two board the Wayland yacht, where Cherry proves that Queenie is Marsh's wife. Cherry then convinces Mildred that, while she loves Boyd, nothing happened between them. When Boyd shows up, Mildred is eager to take him back, but by this time, he realizes who he truly loves. He finds Cherry and tells her he cares only about their future together, not her past.
- Evelyn Brent as Cherry Malotte
- Louis Wolheim as George Balt
- Joel McCrea as Boyd Emerson
- Raymond Hatton as Fraser
- Jean Arthur as Mildred Wayland
- Gavin Gordon as Fred Marsh
- Blanche Sweet as Queenie
- Purnell Pratt as Wayne Wayland, Mildred's father
- William B. Davidson as Tom Hilliard
- Ivan Linow as Svenson, Balt's friend, whom Boyd has to beat to gain the respect of the men
The film recorded a loss of $100,000.
Public domain status
- Richard Jewel, 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p57
- "The Silver Horde". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
- Pierce, David (June 2007). "Forgotten Faces: Why Some of Our Cinema Heritage Is Part of the Public Domain". Film History: An International Journal 19 (2): 125–43. doi:10.2979/FIL.2007.19.2.125. ISSN 0892-2160. OCLC 15122313. Retrieved 2012-01-05. See Note #60, pg. 143