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Movies
(Introduction)
1916, Eyes

1919, Shepherd
1924, Man
1924, Mine
1925, Son Father 
1925. Brian K
1926, Barb W
1928, Shepherd
(1928, Lights)
1930, Eyes
1935, When Man
1936,  Matthews
1936, The Mine
1936, Wild Brian
1937, West  Gold
1937, Out West
1937, Secret Vly
1937, Californian
1941, Shepherd
1949, Massacre
1959, Shep (TV)
1964, Shepherd

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In Depth
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E Clampus Vitus
Bittersweet
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Secret Valley -- 1937 


See Credits and Review below Picture

Click on Photos to Enlarge

Movie press book, Courtesy Eric Tudor

Movies: Wright's Greatest Sorrow

Click here to read the story:

  • How and why Wright got into the movie business

  • Which movies were actually based on his stories

  • Which were based on stories he had never even seen and quickly despised.

 


Lobby card 
Courtesy A.K. Smiley Library, Redlands
secretvalleytitle.jpg (19581 bytes) Title card, from set of lobby cards.
Courtesy Rick Gunter
Insert. 36" x 14"    Courtesy Rick Gunter
secret.jpg (40804 bytes) Window Card courtesy Rick Gunter
secret_valley_1sh.jpg (15451 bytes)
One-Sheet
courtesy Rick Gunter
virginiagrey2.jpg (35880 bytes)
Virginia Grey
virginiagrey.jpg (35896 bytes)
Virginia Grey
 

1937,  60 minutes,  FOX,  black and white, mono (Released in Great Britain as "Gangster's Bride.")

Reviews: "The concoction is neither exhilarating nor satisfying," pronounces the Variety critic, who says he doubts that the story resembles anything Wright wrote.  In this the critic was certainly correct, since Wright did not write the story or even see it before it was produced as a movie, though Wright was paid for it.  See my movie introduction page for more of the story of the 1935 Lesser/Wright contract.  In a personal letter now in the University of Arizona library, Wright mentions that the actual writer sued him when the movie was released with Wright's name on it.  He does not mention how the legal action was settled, but I suspect the judge dropped the case since it was Lesser who hired the writer, used the story, and attached Wright's name to it.

"In the story a rich society girl in the eastern United States gets married, only to discover two hours after the ceremony that she has married a big city gangster (Jack Mullhall).  She flees to Richard Arlen's western ranch, and is soon pursued by Mullhall and his thug friends.  This results in a showdown between the strong men of the east and the strong man of  the west, easily won, of course, by Richard Arlen.  

The Variety critic notes that the acting is wooden, the editing jerky, the camera work is best when looking at scenery, "fadeout perhaps the sloppiest to be foisted on a western by this company in some time."  "Dialog is of elementary type; seldom original."

I was interested to note that Richard Arlen, who appears in several Harold Bell Wright movies, was not considered by the Variety reviewer to be a western actor.  "Richard Arlen will have to be depended on to drag 'em in," he says.  "This is a handicap in that he is not now known as a western star, where they go for the cactus cinema, and currently doesn't possess the lift to draw single-handed in other spots."

Release:  20th Century-Fox

Production: A Sol Lesser Production

Director:  Howard Bretherton

Writing/Screenplay: Adapted from a Harold Bell Wright story by Paul Franklin; screen play by Dan Jarrett and Earle Snell

Lee Rogers Richard Arlen
Jean Carlo Virginia Grey
Russell Parker Jack Mulhall
Slick Collins Norman Willis
Paddy Sid Saylor
Austin Martin Russell Hicks
Tobasco Willie Fung
Maude Allen

Availability: This movie is usually available from Movies Unlimited, 3015 Darnell Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154. 1-800-668-4344 www.moviesunlimited.com.

 


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This Harold Bell Wright web site is written and produced by Gerry Chudleigh with the help of many friends.
Copyright 2000-May, 2011 by Gerry Chudleigh
Last updated 05/26/11