The Painted Hills

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Painted Hills
Lassie the Painted Hills poster.jpg
Original theatrical poster
Directed by Harold F. Kress
Produced by Kenneth Bennett
Chester M. Franklin
Screenplay by True Boardman
Story by Alexander Hull
Starring Pal (credited as "Lassie")
Paul Kelly
Bruce Cowling
Gary Gray
Music by Daniele Amfitheatrof
Cinematography Alfred Gilks
Harold Lipstein
Edited by Newell B. Willis
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • April 26, 1951 (1951-04-26)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $667,000[1]
Box office $1,085,000[1]

The Painted Hills, also known as Lassie's Adventures in the Goldrush, is a 1951 action film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and directed by Harold F. Kress. Adapted by True Boardman from Alexander Hull's novel Shep of the Painted Hills, the film stars Paul Kelly, Ann Doran, and dog actor Pal (credited as "Lassie") in a story about a collie named Shep who seeks revenge after her master is murdered. Technical Advisor Nipo T. Strongheart for Native American topics worked with the Miwok people for their role in the movie.[2] The Painted Hills was the seventh, and final, MGM Lassie film released.[3]


A prospector named Jonathan Harvey (Paul Kelly), whose faithful companion is a rough collie named Shep, looks after the family of his late partner, Martha Blake (Ann Doran) and her son Tommy (Gary Gray). After years of digging in the hills of California (where the movie was shot), he finally strikes gold. However, before he can share it with the Blakes, his greedy partner Lin Taylor (Bruce Cowling) kills Jonathan and attempts to lay claim on the gold. He poisons Shep, who nearly dies, and nearly kills Tommy, but ultimately Shep recovers and leads Lin into the mountains, where he falls off a cliff to his death.

Main cast[edit]


According to MGM records, the film earned $783,000 in the US and Canada and $302,000 elsewhere, leading to a loss of $122,000.[1]

Public domain status[edit]

Along with seven other MGM films released the first half of 1951, the copyright on The Painted Hills lapsed after MGM neglected to file the necessary renewal applications in 1979. As such, the film is now part of the public domain and has been released to VHS and DVD by a variety of companies.[4]

MST 3000[edit]

The movie was riffed on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (episode 510)[5]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ Strongheart, Nipo T. (Autumn 1954). "History in Hollywood". The Wisconsin Magazine of History 38 (1): 10–16, 41–46. JSTOR 4632754. 
  3. ^ Collins, Ace. Lassie: a Dog's Life. Penguin Books, 1993.
  4. ^ 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 2008-02-21. MGM was never known for its mystery films, but there has been a mystery as to why the studio's copyrights on eight features from the 1950/51 season fell into the public domain...Technicolor films include Mr. Imperium, a musical with Lana Turner and Ezio Pinza, The Painted Hills, the studio's final Lassie picture, and Vengeance Valley with Burt Lancaster and Robert Walker in a Cain and Abel story...These are mostly 'A' pictures, they were all in-house productions, they weren't sold to another studio, they had valid copyright notices, they were all released from January to June 1951, and MGM did file copyright renewal applications for them. 
  5. ^ List of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes

External links[edit]