California (1947 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Farrow
Screenplay byFrank Butler
Theodore Strauss
Seton I. Miller (uncredited)
Story byBoris Ingster
Produced byJohn Farrow
Seton I. Miller
StarringRay Milland
Barbara Stanwyck
Barry Fitzgerald
CinematographyRay Rennahan
Edited byEda Warren
Music byVictor Young
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • January 14, 1947 (1947-01-14)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
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] Stanwyck's singing voice was dubbed by Kay St. Germaine.


Jonathan Trumbo, a deserter who had been an army lieutenant, 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 also accuses her of cheating at cards after losing to Lily, an insult that 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 law and order and California statehood. After Trumbo becomes involved in a saloon brawl, Lily orders him to never return to the saloon, but Trumbo wins the place in a poker game.

Lily mistakenly takes Pharaoh to be an honest man and moves into his hacienda. Coffin's men assault 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, and Lily shoots him. Trumbo, in love with Lily, promises to return to the army to atone for his desertion, hoping to someday return to her.



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