Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy.
During the American Civil War, Captain Kerry Bradford escapes from a notorious confederate prison. He and two of his men are sent to Virginia City where Confederate sympathizers are prepared to donate $5 million dollars to the cause of Southern independence. The war is going badly for the Confederacy and money may tip the war in their favor. On the stagecoach to Virginia City, Bradford meets and falls in love with Julia Hayne not realizing that she is one of the conspirators. When he gets to Virginia City, he also runs into Confederate Captain Vance Irby who has been sent to collect and safely deliver the gold. Irby manages to get out of the city but the Union cavalry is in hot pursue. When Bradfoed catches up with them, he not only has to fight Irby but also John Murrell, a bandit who has his own plans for the gold. He alsoWritten by
The name of the villain John Murrell was taken from the leader of a bandit gang that operated along the Mississippi River in the 1820s-40s. Murrell was a small time outlaw who attained legendary status due to a sensationalized account of his life and crimes published by Virgil Stewart. The largely fictional pamphlet even influenced Mark Twain, who considered Murrell to be as large a figure as Jesse James, and wrote of Injun Joe discovering Murrell's lost treasure in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The real life Murrell never traveled west of Arkansas, where various geographical features are named for him. He died of tuberculosis in 1844 - 19 years before Virginia City takes place. Oddly, in the film Humphrey Bogart played John Murrell with an on-again, off-again Mexican accent (it is not at all in evidence when Murrell first appears in the stagecoach scene, but seems to grow more pronounced as the film goes on). See more »
In the opening scene Captain Irby inspects a pistol. He opens a loading gate on the right side of the pistol. This indicates a metallic cartridge pistol. Almost all Civil War pistols in use at that time were cap and ball or paper cartridges. Both were loaded in the open end of the cylinder and used percussion caps. See more »
I can't depend on you any longer, I can see that. Serve you right if I knocked your bone-heads together!
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While not up to Errol Flynn's other great western, "Dodge City," this movie is another in the long list of first-rate films that Flynn and director Michael Curtiz made together. The film has two main drawbacks: the severe miscasting of Humphrey Bogart as a Mexican bandit named Morrell (?!) and Miriam Hopkins as the Flynn/Scott love interest. Maybe she was being punished by Jack Warner for some transgression, or maybe she wanted to try to try something different, but Hopkins just isn't up to it. She plays her part of a saloon girl/spy like a grand dame, when the part calls for the sexy, comedic touch of an Ann Sheridan. Bogart's miscasting should be self-evident (you keep expecting to hear him turn to his gang of bandidos and say, "Alright, you mugs . . ."), and Randolph Scott is somewhat stiff (but still a better choice than Ronald Reagan, who was reportedly offered the part first). Other than that, though, the film has the usual Warner Bros. panache. The action scenes are first-rate, the cast--consisting of what came to be known as The Warner Bros. Stock Company--is top-notch, and the film has a zest and elan that characterizes the films that Flynn and Curtiz made together. A slam-bang western, and highly recommended.
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