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Black Bart (film)

Black Bart is a 1948 American western film distributed by Universal-International, directed by George Sherman, produced by Leonard Goldstein, and stars Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea as the real-life cowboy bandit Charles Bolles, and Jeffrey Lynn. It was shot in Technicolor and was also known as Black Bart, Highwayman.[2] The film was written by Luci Ward, Jack Natteford, and William Bowers and was released on March 3, 1948.

Black Bart
Blackbart Bel.jpg
Belgian film poster
Directed byGeorge Sherman
Produced byLeonard Goldstein
Written byWilliam Bowers
Jack Natteford
Luci Ward
StarringYvonne De Carlo
Dan Duryea
Jeffrey Lynn
Music byFrank Skinner
Leith Stevens
CinematographyIrving Glassberg
Edited byRussell F. Schoengarth
Production
company
Distributed byUniversal-International
Release date
March 3, 1948 (1948-03-03)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$1 million[1]

PlotEdit

From his jail cell, old-time outlaw Jersey Brady (Percy Kilbride) tells the story of his ex-partner, notorious highwayman Charles E. Boles, also known as Black Bart (Dan Duryea).

Years earlier, Charles, Lance Hardeen (Jeffrey Lynn), and Jersey are working as outlaws when Charles decides to leave the gang, move to California, and pull off one last, big heist, which will allow him to go straight. Although Lance tries to trick Charles out of his share of their hidden loot, Charles secretly double-crosses Lance first and steals all the money.

Months later in Sacramento, Charles meets an ex-partner Clark (John McIntire), who now uses his position as a lawyer to commit big crimes. Together, the two plan to destroy the local Wells Fargo bank, create their own bank in its place, and profit from the growing gold rush business. Over the next two months, Clark tips off Charles about all the Wells Fargo money shipments, and a disguised Charles robs each stage until the townspeople lose confidence in the bank.

One day, when a masked Charles, now known as Black Bart, stops a coach transporting Lance, Jersey, and the celebrated dancer Lola Montez (Yvonne De Carlo), Lance recognizes Charles' voice and helps to save the coach from his thievery. Lance then brings the coach to the bank's relay station, where he further impresses Lola by saving the broken leg of the driver. Soon after, however, Charles, as Black Bart, also intrigues Lola when he sneaks into the station, returns her diamond bracelet, and embraces her before fleeing.

The next day when they reach Sacramento, Wells Fargo manager Mark Lorimer and Sheriff Gordon (Lloyd Gough) hire Lance and Jersey, whom they consider their new heroes, as coach guards. Charles, a respected rancher by day, greets them in the local bar, and although Lance reveals that he knows Charles is Black Bart and tells him that he wants Lola, Charles insists they take out Lola together. One day, Charles gets Lola alone and the two fall in love, but after he admits he is Black Bart, she implores him to give up his criminal life to be with her, and he agrees to do so after just one last job.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Gordon devises a plan for Lance to act as lookout for a posse of deputies who are to guard a coach carrying the payload that will save Wells Fargo. As Lance and Jersey scheme to rob the stage themselves and blame it on Black Bart, Clark tells Charles that if the stage gets through, their plan will be ruined. Black Bart meets the stage, orders Jersey to throw the money box down as the stage rides past, and escapes from Lance. When he opens the box, however, he finds it empty and realizes the money must still be at the relay station.

That night, after Charles tells Lola he has to go back to retrieve the money, she convinces him to not take the risk. Charles then tells Lance that he can steal and keep all the money himself. Lance, however, forces Charles to go with him to the relay station, and as soon as they get there, they are ambushed by a waiting posse. They escape into a barn, but when the posse sets it on fire, they are forced to run out and both of them are shot.

Making a final statement about not knowing what happened to Lola after the incident, Jersey wraps up his story from his current home, a jail cell.

Main castEdit

ProductionEdit

The script was based on a real life bandit. Universal announced the film in June 1946 saying that Charles Korvin might be cast and the film would be called Black Bart - Highwayman.[3][4]

When Universal merged with International Pictures, the project was shelved, but it was revived in January 1947 under the title The Adventures of Black Bart. Luci Ward and Jack Natteford, who had written Badman's Territory, were assigned to write the script. Paul Malvern was initially supposed to produce for the film but Leonard Goldstein eventually got the job, his first as producer. George Sherma signed to direct.[5][6]

In April 1947 Universal announced the lead roles were to be played by Yvonne de Carlo, Dan Duryea, and Edmond O'Brien.[7] In June O'Brien dropped out to make Imagination (which became A Double Life) and was replaced by Jeffrey Lynn who had just finished his long term career at Warners.[8]

Parts of the film were shot in Kanab Canyon, Strawberry Valley, and Strawberry Point in Utah.[9]:288

ReceptionEdit

The film was popular at the box office.[10]

Home media availabilityEdit

Universal has not yet officially released this film on DVD or Blu-ray in the North America region. However, it is available on DVD in Europe, presented in PAL format where the film is sped-up slightly to fit this different format and has a runtime of 77 minutes. Most DVD-Rs of the movie made for North American purchasers use the same print from the PAL DVDs.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "109 Mill Techni Sked". Variety. 18 February 1948. p. 14.
  2. ^ U-I SELECTS CAST FOR 'BLACK BART': Dan Duryea, Yvonne de Carlo and Edmond O'Brien Named for Leads in Adventure By THOMAS F. BRADY Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 17 Apr 1947: 35.
  3. ^ Ramsden Inspires New 'Flaming Youth' Trend Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 27 June 1946: A2.
  4. ^ MYSTERY BOUGHT FOR TOM CONWAY: Eagle-Lion Gets 'The Morgue, the Merrier,' for $20,000-- 'High Conquest' to Be Film Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. 27 June 1946: 27.
  5. ^ LAUGHTON TO PLAY ROLE IN 'BIG CLOCK': Will Appear With Ray Milland in Paramount Mystery Film Based on Novel by Searin By THOMAS F. BRADY Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES 25 Jan 1947: 12.
  6. ^ "Leonard Goldstein Papers". Margaret Herrick Library. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  7. ^ U-I SELECTS CAST FOR 'BLACK BART': Dan Duryea, Yvonne de Carlo and Edmond O'Brien Named for Leads in Adventure By THOMAS F. BRADY Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES 17 Apr 1947: 35.
  8. ^ NEWS OF THE SCREEN By THOMAS F. BRADY Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. 5 June 1947: 31.
  9. ^ D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: A history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
  10. ^ Hedda Hopper--LOOKING AT HOLLYWOOD Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]18 Mar 1948: 22
  11. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Bart-DVD-R-Starring-Duryea-Charles-Bolles-DeCarlo-1948/dp/B00UTTEN6O

External linksEdit