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The Secret of Convict Lake (1951)

Approved | | Western | 8 September 1951 (Sweden)
In 1871 a convict escapes, with other prisoners, to kill the man that framed him, but has second thoughts after meeting the man's beautiful future wife.

Director:

Michael Gordon

Writers:

Anna Hunger (story), Jack Pollexfen (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Glenn Ford ... Jim Canfield
Gene Tierney ... Marcia Stoddard
Ethel Barrymore ... Granny
Zachary Scott ... Johnny Greer
Ann Dvorak ... Rachel Schaeffer
Barbara Bates ... Barbara Purcell
Cyril Cusack ... Edward 'Limey' Cockerell
Richard Hylton ... Clyde Maxwell
Helen Westcott ... Susan Haggerty
Jeanette Nolan ... Harriet Purcell
Ruth Donnelly ... Mary Fancher
Harry Carter ... Rudy Schaeffer
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Storyline

Jim Canfield, convicted of a crime he did not commit, escapes a Nevada prison with several hardened criminals. He leads them to the small farming community home of the man who not only framed him, but committed the crime. But Jim's plans for revenge are put on hold when he discovers that the local men have all joined the posse in the convict's pursuit, leaving their women behind. He soon becomes attracted to the beautiful and resourceful Marcia, who turns out to be the fiance of the man who framed him. Can Jim protect the women from his less-civilized comrades, fall under Marcia's humanizing influence and still maintain his murderous resolve? Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

6 women at the mercy of the west's most dangerous outlaws !

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 September 1951 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

L'énigme du lac noir See more »

Filming Locations:

Bishop, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the story is fictional, it is inspired by a real incident in which a posse from a California town had a shoot-out with convicts escaped from the Carson City prison. Convict Lake is a real place in California, named after the incident. See more »

Quotes

Granny: They were evil men and they touched us all with their evil. But maybe we ain't the ones to do the judgin'. We ain't without sin. None of us. So I say may the Lord have mercy on us as well as on them. And deliver us from evil and hatred. Amen.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This film was a critical and commercial success (Wikipedia)
24 November 2011 | by tmwestSee all my reviews

Some films end up being forgotten and that's the case with this excellent western directed by Michael Gordon (Cyrano de Bergerac, Pillow Talk) and with great black and white cinematography by Leo Tover (The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Tall Men, The Sun Also Rises, among many others). Inspired by a legend of the Convict Lake (Sierra Nevada, California), it tells the story of men who escaped from jail and go looking for 40000 dollars, through the snow in a lonely group of houses located on an almost unreachable valley. Glenn Ford and the great bad guy Zachary Scott are the main male characters and Gene Tierney, Ethel Barrymore and Ann Dvorak, the female. Great script, even Ben Hecht touched it, though uncredited. Dale Robertson lends his voice as the narrator, also uncredited. This film was a critical and commercial success and I am sure that it will eventually be back where it belongs, among the best westerns, in DVDs , etc.


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