California (1947 film)

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California 1946 poster small.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Farrow
Produced by John Farrow
Seton I. Miller
Screenplay by Frank Butler
Theodore Strauss
Seton I. Miller (uncredited)
Story by Boris Ingster
Starring Ray Milland
Barbara Stanwyck
Barry Fitzgerald
Music by Victor Young
Cinematography Ray Rennahan
Edited by Eda Warren
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • January 14, 1947 (1947-01-14) (New York City)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $3.9 million (US rentals)[1]

California is a 1947 American western film directed by John Farrow and featuring Ray Milland, Barbara Stanwyck and Barry Fitzgerald.[2] Barbara Stanwyck's singing voice was dubbed by Kay St.Germaine.


A deserter who had been an Army lieutenant, Jonathan Trumbo is hired to guide a wagon train bound for California during the California Gold Rush. When a woman named Lily Bishop is accused of cheating at poker in a saloon, farmer Michael Fabian invites her to join the wagon train over Trumbo's strenuous objections. Trumbo, too, accuses of her of cheating at cards after losing to Lily, an insult she promises not to forget.

Lily leaves with Booth Pennock, a ruffian who injures Trumbo with a whip before departing. Lily ends up in Pharaoh City, running a saloon. The town is controlled by Pharaoh Coffin, a former slave trader who opposes the law and order of California approving statehood. Trumbo turns up and gets involved in a saloon brawl. Lily orders him never to set foot there again, but Trumbo wins the place in a poker game.

She mistakenly takes Pharaoh to be an honest man and moves onto his hacienda. Coffin's men beat up Trumbo, who is rescued on the trail by Mexicans and vows revenge. When his wounds heal, Trumbo returns and becomes a spokesman for statehood advocacy. Coffin's hired men kill Fabian for similar beliefs, causing Lily to finally see Coffin for the crazed villain he is. Trumbo forms a posse and corners Coffin, who is descending into madness. Lily shoots him. Trumbo, in love with Lily, promises to return to the Army to atone for his desertion, hoping someday to return to her.



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