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(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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Western Gold -- 1937 


See Credits and Review below Picture

Click on Photos to Enlarge

Six-sheet (81"x81") movie poster above courtesy Rick Gunter


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.

 

One-sheet (27"x41") courtesy Rick Gunter
Three 11 x 14 inch lobby cards
westgold4.jpg (54153 bytes) Lobby Card

Western Gold  (1937)  57 minutes,  Principle FOX bw.  Released in Great Britain as "The Mysterious Stranger." 

Reviews: As usual for a Harold Bell Wright movie, the critics hated it.  Variety says, "Western gold won't cut much box office ice," and Motion Picture Guide says, "Lacking the necessary element of action, this civil war oater falls from memory . . . ."  From the reviews it is obvious that this movie bears no resemblance at all to Helen of the Old House, of which this is supposed to be a screen version.  The setting is the American Civil War.  It seems that the North is having a difficult time supporting U. S. Government currency because gold is not getting through from the mines and rivers of California.  President Abraham Lincoln appoints a soldier, played by Smith Ballew, to go west and find out what the problem is.  There he discovers that an old school chum is diverting the gold to his own purposes.  In the end, the reviewers hint, the Union is saved when the bad guy is killed and Smith Ballew manages to deliver a stage load of gold to Lincoln.

Both reviewers were more interested in Smith Ballew than the movie.  Ballew was apparently well known as the singing host of the "Shell Chateau" radio program.  The MPG reviewer says, "Ballew, who allegedly dubbed John Wayne's singing voice in his 'Singin' Sandy' series of westerns, gets a chance here to warble a number of familiar songs of the era."  Both reviewers agree his singing was okay, but his acting, as Variety said, "lacks a lot of stuff for the camera. . . ."  Variety says, "Not a very good bow for Smith Ballew to the western fans."

Release: 20th Century Fox

Production: Sol Lesser-Principle production

Screenplay:   Variety says, "Story, Harold Bell Wright; screen play, Earl Snell and Forest Barnes." In the review, Variety mentions that the movie "is taken from the Harold Bell Wright bookshelf.  It sold on the bookstands as, 'Helen of the Old House.'"  Motion Picture Guide says, "Writers, Earle Snell, Forest Barnes (based on the novel, Helen of the Old House by Harold Bell Wright."

Bill Gibson Smith Ballew
Jeannie Thatcher Heather Angel
Fred Foster Leroy Mason
Bart Ben Alexander
Jake Otis Harlan
Jasper Victor Potel
Pres. Abe Lincoln Frank McGlynn, Sr
Thatcher Howard Hickman
Holman Alan Bridge
Steve Bud Osborne
Bud Wesley Girard
Ezra Lew Kelly
Clem Tom London
Squatter Horace Murphy

Availability: This movie is usually available from Movies Unlimited, 3015 Darnell Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154. 1-800-668-4344 www.moviesunlimited.com. Also Dave Hadsell reports "In December of 2002 I purchased a copy of Western Gold from VCI Entertainment 11333 East 60th Place, Tulsa, OK 74146 The item number was 1880."

 


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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