WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
MOVIE: STALLION CANYON (aka WILD HORSE RANGE)
Kanab Pictures Corporation, 1949
HISTORYThis movie was produced by Kanab Pictures Corporation (producers H. R. Brandon and Robert L. Fenton). It was the only film produced by Kanab Pictures. The film was directed by Harry L. Fraser with the original screenplay by Hy Heath. Astor Pictures Corp. handled the distribution.
The original working name of the film was "Wild Horse Range", but that was changed to "Stallion Canyon" before release.
Filming was done in 1948.
The movie was released June 15, 1949.
There was a premiere showing of "Stallion Canyon" on Thursday, June ??, 1949 held at both the Dixie Theatre and Gaiety Theatre in St. George. Movie executives and some of the cast were present. There was a parade held before the showing.
PLOTJust as Curt Benson and his men finish rounding up a herd of wild horses for Aunt Milly's Curley Q Ranch, Thunderbred, a wild stallion, thunders across the hills in the direction of the corral, and before anyone can stop him, opens the corral and stampedes the horses.
This is the beginning of our story-which embodies all the elements of thrill-riding, fighting, shooting, danger, murder, dark deeds in the night and a beautiful romance.
Curt suspects that the stallion was let loose purposely by someone who is anxious to spoil Aunt Milly's chances of recouping recent losses. To get this evidence is not easy, but thanks to the aid of Little Bear, an Indian friend, efforts are made to find out.
Little Bear and Curt suspect Tom Lawson, a ruthless rancher to whom Aunt Milly is in debt. Little Bear decides to investigate the Lawson ranch to check on the horses which were seen in the neighborhood.
Lawson, in an effort to slay one of his cowboys who "knows too much," plans to get rid of the Indian at the same time. He has the cowboy murdered and puts the blame on Little Bear. However, Curt comes to the Indian's aid and hides him while they track down the man whose dum-dum bullets killed the cowboy, for whose death Little Bear is blamed.
Aunt Milly decides that the only way to save the ranch is to enter the Stockmen's Race, and Curt suggests that Thunderbred would be the logical choice to run against Lawson's fast-stepping racer.
In the meantime, the ruthless Lawson tracks down Little Bear and forces the sheriff to arrest him, and in a moment of anger Lawson fires at Curt for interfering, after which Curt discovers that it was a dum-dum bullet fired at him.
Only Little Bear can ride Thunderbred in the big race and with the help of the kindly sheriff, Breezy, the Indian is released long enough to win.
The Curley Q ranch is saved. Lawson and a few of his henchmen are killed during a thrilling climax. Ellen and Curt are left together as Little Bear and Thunderbred return to the hills of Utah to enjoy their well-deserved freedom.
LOCATIONSFilmed around the Jacob Hamblin home in Santa Clara and on the Red Hill north of St. George as well as in Kanab.
The old Western style village with fake store fronts was built up along Hamblin Drive, the lane running east from the Jacob Hamblin Home.
CASTKen Curtis (as Curt Benson, the hero)
Carolina Cotton (as Ellen Collins, the heroine)
Shug Fisher (as Red)
Forrest Taylor (as Tom Lawson, the villain rancher)
Ted Adams (as Wolf Norton)
Billy Hammond (as Little Bear)
Roy Butler (as Sheriff Breezy)
Alice Richey (as Aunt Milly Collins)
L. H. Larsen (as Steve, a ranch hand)
E. N. "Dick" Hammer (as Luke Harris) - Of Dick's Cafe fame
Clark Veater (as Dobie, a cowhand)
D. C. Swapp (as Judge Thompson)
Gail Bailey (as Laramie, an outlaw)
Bud Gates (as Idaho, a ranch hand)
Bob Brandon (as Johnny Adams)
Gerald Cox - From St. George
James E. Kemple - From St. George
"PeeWee" Miller (a small speaking part) - From Washington City
Ladies from the Swiss Camp of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers
If you know anything (name, owner, trainer, etc.) about "Thunderbred", the "Wild Stallion" horse used in this movie, please contact us.
WCHS-01711 Lobby poster for the Movie, Stallion Canyon
Other WCHS photos:
WCHS-01355 Photo of the premiere marquee at the Dixie Theatre
WCHS-01712 Promotional photo (seven cast members) for the movie, "Stallion Canyon"
WCHS-01713 Promotional photo (Ken Curtis and Carolina Cotton) for the movie, "Stallion Canyon"
WCHS-01714 Promotional photo (Roy Butler and Carolina Cotton) for the movie, "Stallion Canyon"
Click here for some photos from Carolina Cotton's personal camera.
These photos were taken around this area and some show local people.
If you can add any information about these photos (who, where, etc.), please contact us.
DOCUMENTSWhen the Movies Came to Town: A Memory of the Making of the Movie, Stallion Canyon
by James E. Kemple
Carolina Cotton's Script
Page 1 - Synopsis and Cast
Page 2 - Photos of the Stars
Page 3 - Theme Song: "The Hills of Utah", Page 1
Page 4 - Theme Song: "The Hills of Utah", Page 2
Page 5 - Letter from Utah Governor J. Backen Lee
Page 6 - Scenes from the Picture
Booklet Page 1
Booklet Page 2
Booklet Page 3
Booklet Pages 4-5
Booklet Page 6
Booklet Page 7
Booklet Page 8
'Stallion Canyon' Gets Double Utah Premiere, 1949
New York Variety review, June 1, 1949
New York Film Daily review, June 2, 1949
Kansas City, Mo. Box Office review, June 4, 1949
New York The Exhibitor review, June 8, 1949
Kansas City, Mo. Box Office review, June 11, 1949
REFERENCESCarolina Cotton's Personal Memorabilia
from the collection of Carolina's daughter, Sharon Marie.
P. O. Box 730
Bakersfield, CA 93302
firstname.lastname@example.org or Sharon at email@example.com
Song: The Hills of Utah
Song from the movie, Stallion Canyon.
Written by Hy Heath and sung by Ken Curtis with Carolina Cotton and Shug Fisher.
See the accompanying YouTube notes for more information.
The Internet Movie Data Base (IMDb) entry