Guns of the Timberland

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Guns of the Timberland
Guns of the Timberlands.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert D. Webb
Produced by Aaron Spelling
Alan Ladd
Written by Joseph Petracca
Based on novel by Louis L'Amour
Starring Alan Ladd
Jeanne Crain
Gilbert Roland
Frankie Avalon
Music by David Buttolph
Cinematography John F. Seitz
Distributed by Warner Brothers
Release dates
  • 1960 (1960)
Running time
91 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Guns of the Timberland is a 1960 feature film starring Alan Ladd and Jeanne Crain. It was made by Ladd's Jaguar Productions and released through Warner Bros..


Logger Jim Hadley (Alan Ladd) and his lumberjack crew are looking for new forest to cut. They locate a prime prospect outside the town of Deep Wells. The residents of Deep Wells led by Laura Riley (Jeanne Crain) are opposed to the felling of the trees, believing that losing them would cause mudslides during the heavy rains. Conflict between the town's residents and the loggers is inevitable.




Louis L'Amour's novel Guns of the Timberlands was published in 1955. L'Amour had become popular with Hollywood following the success of Hondo and the novel was optioned by Alan Ladd's company, Jaguar, in 1955.[1][2] Ladd offered a lead role to Van Heflin, hoping to reunite his old co-star from Shane.[3] He also wanted Raymond Burr.[4] At one stage the film was going to be known as Shasta.[5]

The movie was meant to be made before The Deep Six but was postponed.[6] In 1957 it was announced the film would be made from a script by David Victor and Herbert Little, produced by Albert J Cohen.[7] However then Alan Ladd made two TV pilots with a young writer, Aaron Spelling. Spelling's work so impressed Ladd that the latter made Spelling a producer on Timberland.[8] Robert Webb and Joseph Petracca had just written The Proud Rebel for Ladd; Webb was hired to direct Timberland from a script by Petracca.[9]

Van Heflin never appeared in the film. Jeanne Crain and Gilbert Roland signed to support Ladd, along with the latter's daughter Alana. Frankie Avalon, who just had a hit single in Venus, signed to make his dramatic debut in the film.[10]


Filming started April 1959.[11]

The film was shot on location in and around Blairsden, California, Graeagle, California,[12] and other locations throughout Plumas County.[13] The scenes involving the steam engine and railroad cars were shot on the Western Pacific Railroad right-of-way. The scene where the steam engine goes over the tall "bridge" was shot using the Clio trestle.[14]

Filming finished in June 1959.[15]

In the film Frankie Avalon sings the songs "The Faithful Kind" and "Gee Whiz Whillikins Golly Gee", which were both released on a 45 rpm single in 1960.


After the film was released Alan Ladd said he intended to turn it into a TV series.[16] This did not eventuate.



  1. ^ Don'ts for Horse Operas Stressed: Write for the Experts, Says Best-Selling Louis L'Amour Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 01 July 1958: C9.
  2. ^ Dorothy Kilgallen: Friends Think Bing May Wed Kathy The Washington Post and Times Herald (1954-1959) [Washington, D.C] 25 Nov 1955: 37.
  3. ^ A.F.L. UNIT URGES BOYCOTT OF FILM: Council Says 'Daniel Boone' Was Made Outside U.S. to Flout Union Control Of Local Origin By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 13 Feb 1956: 24.
  4. ^ Drama: Joanne Woodward's Pact Continued Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 25 Jan 1956: 20.
  5. ^ Louella Parsons: Alan Ladd Talks Shop With Van The Washington Post and Times Herald (1954-1959) [Washington, D.C] 01 Dec 1955: 34.
  6. ^ Drama: Heston, Eleanor Parker Boosted for 'Maverick,' Gale Storm New Ginger? Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 09 Jan 1956: B13.
  7. ^ MOVIELAND EVENTS: 'Guns of Timberland' on Active Schedule Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 03 Apr 1957: B8.
  8. ^ Borgnine Takes a Script to Carolyn Jones' Home Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 17 Mar 1959: b7.
  9. ^ ALAN LADD FILM NAMES DIRECTOR: Robert Webb Is Signed for 'Guns of Timberland' -- Columbia Adds Writers Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 24 Mar 1959: 45
  10. ^ FILMLAND EVENTS: Fred MacMurray Offered New Lead Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 07 Apr 1959: A8.
  11. ^ "THALBERG AWARD TO JACK WARNER: Studio President Cited for High Quality of Movies--Ladd's Co-Stars Named, New York Times, March 26, 1959". Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  12. ^ "IMDb Guns of the Timberland". Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  13. ^ "Epodunk Quincy Community Profile, Filming location for 1960 movie, Guns of the Timberland". Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  14. ^ "Turner Classic Movies, The Guns of the Timberland". Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  15. ^ Los Angeles Times, June 8 1959
  16. ^ The Ladds ARE Hollywood: Daddy Alan, Son David, and Daughter Alana--They're All Making Pictures AND Money Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 15 May 1960: f34


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