Vengeance Valley

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Vengeance Valley
Vengeance valley poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Richard Thorpe
Produced by Nicholas Nayfack
Screenplay by Irving Ravetch
Based on Vengeance Valley
1950 novel 
by Luke Short
Starring
Music by Rudolph G. Kopp
Cinematography George J. Folsey
Edited by Conrad A. Nervig
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • February 16, 1951 (1951-02-16)
Running time
83 minutes
Language English
Budget $1,008,000[1]
Box office $3,146,000[1]

Vengeance Valley is a 1951 American Western film starring Burt Lancaster, based on the novel by Luke Short. In 1979, the film entered the public domain due to MGM's failure to renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.[2]

Plot[edit]

Fifteen years ago, wealthy but crippled Colorado cattleman Arch Strobie (Ray Collins), whose own son Lee (Robert Walker) is wild, took in young Owen Daybright (Burt Lancaster) as a foster son to help raise him. Now Owen is ranch foreman, but Lee, despite being married to Jen (Joanne Dru), is wilder than ever.

Unmarried Lily Fasken (Sally Forrest) gives birth but refuses to identify the father. After Owen gives Lily $500 to help care for the baby, her brothers Hub (John Ireland) and Dick (Hugh O'Brian) believe that he is the guilty party, unaware that he did so on Lee's behalf. The brothers try to beat up Owen and he lodges a complaint against them. Sentenced to a week in jail, they vow to get even as soon as they're out.

When Arch chides Lee for overdrawing his bank account by withdrawing $500 in gold, Jen realizes that Lee fathered Lily's baby. She confronts him and Lee tries to lie his way out. She decides to leave him but is persuaded by Owen and Arch to stay. Lee inveigles Arch to make him a partner in the ranch by saying that he will strike out on his own unless he gets a half-interest and learns that the other half will go to Owen once Arch retires.

Jen locks Lee out of their bedroom. Lee gets drunk, mistakenly believing she and Owen are carrying on behind his back. He schemes to get rid of Owen and make a fortune at the same time by conspiring with Hub and Dick to ambush Owen during the spring cattle roundup. On the trail, Lee secretly sells 3,000 head of the cattle, planning to run off with it, but Owen learns about it.

Lee pretends to change his mind. He persuades Owen to ride in with him to stop the sale, but in fact he lures Owen into a trap. Hub and Dick, waiting in ambush, wound Owen as Lee casually rides away. In the ensuing gunfight, Owen Kills Dick. Hearing shots, a group of trailhands ride to Owen's rescue. They chase down and shoot Hub. Owen catches up with Lee and tells him he is going to confess everything to Arch. Lee draws his gun, forcing Owen to kill him. Owen breaks the news to Arch and Jen.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

According to MGM records the film earned $1,997,000 in the US and Canada and $1,149,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $841,000.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ 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 2012-01-05. 

External links[edit]