This week’s mystery movie was the 1949 Warner Bros. film “Colorado Territory,” with Joel McCrea, Virginia Mayo, Dorothy Malone, Henry Hull, John Archer, James Mitchell, Morris Ankrum, Basil Ruysdael, Frank Puglia, Ian Wolfe, Harry Woods and Houseley Stevenson. Written by John Twist and Edmund H. North, photography by Sid Hickox, art direction by Ted Smith, dialogue direction by Eugene Busch, wardrobe by Leah Rhodes, special effects by William McGann and H.F. Koenekamp, makeup by Perc Westmore, set decoration by Fred M. MacLean, orchestration by Maurice de Packh and music by David Buttolph. Produced by Anthony Veiller, directed by Raoul Walsh.
“Colorado Territory” is available on DVD from Warner Archive. And, yes, it’s another remake of “High Sierra.”
Writing in the New York Times (June 25, 1949), Bosley Crowther (who absolutely hated “I Died a Thousand Times”) said:
Apparently the Warners are still moved by the memory [of “High Sierra”] or at least by the memory of the business it did at the box offices, For they have studiously remade it (without saying so, by the way) in a Western frontier setting and with a train-robber as their boy…
And the funny thing is that the impulse of the Warners has not played them false. “High Sierra” in a Colorado setting and on horseback is pretty darned good. In fact, the romantic assumptions and the sentimental liberties of its plot are more suited to the Western landscape than they were to a modern-day scene….
And that’s what is is, in essence, a hard-riding, ya-hoo Western film about a good-hearted, well-intended bandit who is caught in the death-grip of fate.
For Monday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is Grey Eyes in his only film appearance.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery woman, and a Back of the Head Guy.
Update: This is Hallene Hill with Victor Kilian as Back of the Head Guy.
For Wednesday, we have a mystery lad and a mysterious horse.
Update: This is Jim Mitchum.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery Native American and Tuesday’s “harmless” auntie).
For Thursday, we have this mystery sourdough …
Update: This is Houseley Stevenson.
… a mysterious upstanding citizen …
Update: This is John Archer.
…. his mysterious partner in good deeds …
Update: This is James Mitchell.
… a somewhat nervous mystery gent …
Update: This is Ian Wolfe.
… still another mysterious gent …
Update: This is Henry Hull.
… and a mysterious padre. Our mystery movie has a huge cast.
Update: This is Frank Puglia.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery lad in his screen debut).
For Friday, our mystery gent and a mystery woman….
Update: This is Dorothy Malone and Joel McCrea.
… and another mystery woman.
Update: This is Virginia Mayo and Joel McCrea.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Monday’s mysterious Native American, Tuesday’s mysterious “harmless” auntie, Wednesday’s mysterious son of a famous star, the two mysterious disreputable citizens, the mystery nervous gent, the rumpled mystery guest and the beaming padre), Anne Papineau (mystery movie, a mysterious disreputable citizen, our mysteriously nervous gent, the rumpled mystery gent and the mystery beaming padre), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests), Gary (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery Native American and Thursday’s mystery gents), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery Native American, Tuesday’s “harmless” auntie, Wednesday’s son of a famous movie star in his screen debut, Thursday’s mystery disreputable citizens, mystery nervous gent, tousled gent and beaming padre), B.J. Merholz (mystery movie), Chrisbo (mystery movie, a mysterious disreputable citizen, mysterious nervous gent, mystery rumpled gent and beaming padre), Sarah (mystery movie, Thursday’s nervous gent and a mystery disreputable citizen) and Sue Slutzky (Monday’s mystery Native American, Tuesday’s “harmless” auntie, Wednesday’s son of a big, big movie star, Thursday’s mystery sourdough, two mysterious disreputable citizens, nervous gent, rumpled fellow and beaming padre).
Note to Chrisbo: Exactly.