|Directed by||Richard Thorpe|
|Produced by||Nicholas Nayfack|
|Screenplay by||Irving Ravetch|
|Based on||Vengeance Valley
by Luke Short
|Music by||Rudolph G. Kopp|
|Cinematography||George J. Folsey|
|Edited by||Conrad A. Nervig|
Vengeance Valley is a 1951 American western film starring Burt Lancaster and based on the novel by Luke Short. In 1979, the film entered the public domain due to the failure of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to renew the copyright registration in the 28th year after the movies' publication. The picture was directed by Richard Thorpe with a supporting cast featuring Robert Walker, Joanne Dru, Sally Forrest, John Ireland and Ray Collins.
Fifteen years ago, wealthy but crippled Colorado cattleman Arch Strobie (Ray Collins), whose own son Lee (Robert Walker) was wild, took in young Owen Daybright (Burt Lancaster) as a foster son to help raise and control Lee. 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, but they are unaware that Owen has done this 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; he gets what he wants and learns that the other half will go to Owen, once Arch retires or dies.
Jen locks Lee out of their bedroom. He 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, intending to run off with it, but Owen learns of the plan.
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 that they are both going to confess everything to Arch. Lee refuses and draws his gun, forcing Owen to kill him. Owen breaks the news to Arch and Jen.
- Burt Lancaster as Owen Daybright
- Robert Walker as Lee Strobie
- Joanne Dru as Jen Strobie
- Sally Forrest as Lily Fasken
- John Ireland as Hub Fasken
- Carleton Carpenter as Hewie, a loyal young ranch hand in love with Lily. Hewie is also the storyteller for the audience and Carpenter's voice is heard sporadically in a quiet tone during the movie
- Ray Collins as Arch Strobie
- Ted de Corsia as Herb Backett, a cattle rustler Owen beats up
- Hugh O'Brian as Dick Fasken
- Will Wright as Mr. Willoughby, the ranch cook
- Grayce Mills as Mrs. Burke
- Jim Hayward as Sheriff Con Alvis
- James Harrison as Orv Esterly
- Stanley Andrews as Mead Calhoun
- Glenn Strange appears later in the movie as Dave Allard, but does not appear in the movie credits
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 $2 Million 138 Thousand Dollars.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- 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. JSTOR 25165419. OCLC 15122313.
- Vengeance Valley on IMDb
- Vengeance Valley at AllMovie
- Vengeance Valley at the TCM Movie Database
- Vengeance Valley at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Vengeance Valley is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- The Round-up. From Vengeance valley. Music: Rudolph George Kopp. - example 1979 copyright renewal for the music: V2581 P215-416
- copyright document V3549D483 - titles 019 to 021 from document V3549 D479-483 P1-66
- on YouTube
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vengeance Valley (film).|