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SHEPHRD of HILLS
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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

Locations
New York
Pierce City
Pittsburg
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Redlands
El Centro
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Escondido
San Diego

In Depth
Kinkead
Markham Review

Mike O'Brien
Tucson Library

UCLA Library

Princeton Library

Indiana U. Libr.

E Clampus Vitus
Bittersweet
Manuscripts

Sales

 


The Shepherd of the Hills -- 1941 


See Credits and Review below Picture

Click on Photos to Enlarge

Shep1941panad2.jpg (29332 bytes)
12"x 26" 3-page trade ad from Motion Picture Herald magazine, 1941.

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.

 


Hadsell


 

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Hadsell

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Hadsell


James Barton, Beula Bondi
Hadsell
shep1941photo02.jpg (83070 bytes)
Hadsell
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Hadsell

Hadsell

shep1941jamesbarton.jpg (54426 bytes)
Hadsell


Betty Field


Hadsell
shep1941bondi.jpg (70078 bytes)
 Beula Bondi as Aunt Mollie. Hadsell
shep1941bflesson2.jpg (130948 bytes)
Betty Field, Speed Hanson. Hadsell

Courtesy Dave Hadsell




James Barton

Betty Field

Harry Carey

Betty Field


Betty Field


Hadsell
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Hadsell
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Hadsell

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Hadsell

Postcards above: "The Old Mill at Cedar Lake, Calif, Shepherd of the Hills Set" (Jim Lane's Cabin.)
         

 


  Above: 14"x36" insert courtesy of
  Eric Tudor


Photo Courtesy
Dave Hadsell

sohargentina.jpg (25667 bytes)

A 29" by 43" one-sheet poster from Argentina


Insert poster (14"x36") courtesy Rick Gunter.
 



Life Magazine 4/21/41. Hadsell
shep1941lob05.jpg (41396 bytes) shepherdr5522.jpg (51490 bytes)

Shep1941belgium.jpg (53926 bytes) shep1941d.jpg (60810 bytes)    

Photo Courtesy 
Rick Gunter

Most common ad, also made as poster

Belgium, 18 1/4" x 14"

   

On the back of the photo on the right are written these words, "Funny, Eh? Harry Carey, James Barton and Beulah Bondi enjoy a hearty laugh from lines in the script for Paramount's "Shepherd of the Hills" as they rehearse a scene on the sidelines."  Courtesy Dave Hadsell

shep41careybartonbondi.jpg (78278 bytes)    

 

1941,  98 minutes,  Paramount,  Technicolor, 

Reviews: In the early 21st century this movie is widely available in video, and is shown occasionally on television. While most of the characters in the movie are named after those in the novel by Harold Bell Wright, the story is quite different, mainly because the angry and vengeful moonshiner that John Wayne plays is not at all like the strong but gentle Young Matt of the novel. All Harold Bell Wright fans seem to agree that the movie is abominable.

The three 1941 reviews of the movie that I know of are so different that one wonders if the critics saw the same movie.  The Motion Picture Guide has nothing bad to say about the movie, and the New York Times critic has nothing good to say, and the Variety critic says the movie is dreadful but the acting is outstanding.  The story line is this:

When John Wayne, as Young Matt, was a very young man his father abandoned him and his family, causing the death of Wayne's mother. Wayne vows to kill his father if he ever sees him again. He is so filled with anger that the young woman whom he loves is afraid to marry him. The father returns to the Ozark hills incognito as a shepherd and befriends his son, Wayne, who likes his father very much. Eventually Wayne finds out that the Shepherd is his father, and tries to kill him. But then Wayne finds out that the reason his father was gone for 20 years was not because he wanted to abandon his family, but because he had been imprisoned for murder. Once Wayne realizes that his father is only guilty of murder, not family abandonment, they resolve their differences, making it possible for Betty Field to marry him. Obviously, none of this resembles the story of Wright's book.

The Motion Picture Guide says, "This movie gave Wayne's career a healthy boost, as it followed his first major role in the successful movie, Stagecoach.

The New York Times, on the other hand calls the movie, "...a brimming portion of sentimental mush without even a Mickey Mouse at the bottom of the bowl."  Elsewhere that critic mentions "a mouthful of platitudes," "gummy emotionalism," and "tediously prolonged."  "The Shepherd of the Hills is a lachrymose bore. His holiness is synthetic: he sells his homilies cheap."  I suppose "his holiness" refers to Harold Bell Wright, but can't tell for sure. Maybe he is referring to the Shepherd, or to John Wayne.

The Variety critic comments that "Picture delineates characteristics and conditions in the Ozark back country, and proceeds to leisurely unfold a tale of backwoods drama disclosing Americana hillbilly life that is both interesting and unexciting in turn." But he devoted the next several paragraphs to praising the acting: "Picture is studded with excellent performances from top to bottom."

Release:  Columbia Pictures

Production: Produced by Jack Moss

Director:  Henry Hathaway

Writing/Screenplay: From Harold Bell Wright's novel by same name.

Location: Cedar Lake Camp, Big Bear Lake, California (In southern California, about an hour's drive northeast of San Bernardino.

Character

Actor

 

Character

Actor

Young Matt Matthews

John Wayne

 

Corky

Olin Howland

Sammy Lane

Betty Field

 

Elvy Royal

Dorothy Adams

Old Matt Matthews

James Barton

 

Baby Royal

Vivita Cambell

Daniel Howitt, shepherd

Harry Carey

 

Mrs. Palestrom

Fern Emmett

Aunt Mollie Matthews

Beula Bondi

 

Charlie, deputy

John Harmon

Andy Beeler

Samuel S. Hinds

 

Doctor

Selmer Jackson

Granny Becky

Margorie Main

 

Blacksmith

Charles Middleton

Wash Gibbs

Ward Bond

 

Hand

Bob Kortman

Pete Matthews

Marco Lawrence

 

Man with Mustache

Hank Bell

Coot Royal

John Qualen

 

Baldknobber

William Haade

Mr. Palestrom

Fuzzy Knight

 

Baldknobber

Henry Brandon

Jim Lane

Tom Fadden

 

Baldknobber

Jim Corey

Availability: This movie has been released on video several times, but in early 2005 was out of print. But copies are almost always available on eBay and at amazon.com

 


Your Questions and Suggestions are Welcome. Click here for Email Address.

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