The Man from Colorado

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The Man from Colorado
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Henry Levin
Produced by Jules Schermer
Screenplay by Robert Andrews
Ben Maddow
Story by Borden Chase
Starring Glenn Ford
William Holden
Ellen Drew
Music by George Duning
Cinematography William Snyder
Edited by Charles Nelson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
1948 (UK)
January 20, 1949 (USA)
Running time
100 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1 million[1]

The Man from Colorado is a 1948 American western-psychological drama film directed by Henry Levin and produced by Jules Schermer for Columbia Pictures. It stars Glenn Ford as a Union officer who becomes addicted to killing during the American Civil War, William Holden as his best friend, and Ellen Drew as their common love interest. Robert Andrews and Ben Maddow based the screenplay on a story by Borden Chase.


In Colorado near the end of the American Civil War, Union Colonel Owen Devereaux (Glenn Ford) orders his regiment to fire on a detachment of Confederate soldiers, even though he (and only he) has seen that they are signaling their surrender with a white flag. Afterward, his best friend and second-in-command, Captain Del Stewart (William Holden), finds the flag and buries it as a surviving Confederate officer secretly looks on.

Immediately after the battle, the war ends. As the soldiers celebrate, Sergeant Jericho Howard (James Millican) gets drunk while on duty and is insubordinate to Devereaux, who has him arrested. At a ball, the mayor announces Devereaux's appointment as the federal judge for the region. Stewart asks Caroline Emmett (Ellen Drew) to marry him, but she later marries Devereaux instead.

When the Confederate survivor confronts Devereaux about the white flag, Devereaux shoots him, even though the man has already been subdued. Stewart realizes that Devereaux must have seen the flag and concludes that the war has unhinged Devereaux's mind. He agrees to serve as Devereaux's marshal after Devereaux promises not to participate in arrests.

Many of Devereaux's men owned mines before the war began, but a wealthy businessman named Big Ed Carter (Ray Collins) claimed the mines for himself. As federal judge, Devereaux upholds Carter's claim based on a legal technicality involving the soldiers' absence during the war.

Meanwhile, Howard escapes and stages a series of gold robberies. Devereaux's uncle, Doc Merriam (Edgar Buchanan), hopes that the end of the war and marriage to Caroline will restore Devereaux's sanity, but Devereaux hangs Howard's partner after a summary trial, prompting several other men to join Howard. Devereaux also threatens to hang Howard's younger brother Johnny (Jerome Courtland) based on circumstantial evidence after another robbery, even though Johnny is not part of his brother's gang. After warning Devereaux not to hang Johnny, Stewart finds Howard and persuades him to turn himself in, but Devereaux hangs Johnny despite Stewart's warning. Stewart resigns in disgust and joins Howard's gang.

After Stewart helps to rescue some men from being hanged, Devereaux lures him into town by spreading a rumor that Caroline is in danger, arrests him, and puts him in jail. When Caroline sees this, she breaks into Devereaux's desk and reads his diary, finally realizes that he has lost his mind, and persuades Doc Merriam to rescue Stewart. She begins to put Stewart and Doc Merriam on a carriage to alert the state government of Devereaux's insanity, but Devereaux shoots Stewart, so she joins Stewart and the doctor as they flee to a nearby mining town. Devereaux sets fire to the town. When Carter accuses him of being mad with jealousy over Caroline's loyalty to Stewart, he rides into town, confronts Stewart and Howard, and is killed when a wall from a burning building falls on him. Howard is also killed.

Stewart says goodbye to Caroline and others before traveling to Washington DC to plead on behalf of the dispossessed miners.



  1. ^ "109-Million Techni Sked". Variety. 18 February 1948. p. 14. 

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