Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andre DeToth|
|Produced by||Bryan Foy|
|Screenplay by||Sloan Nibley|
|Story by||Sloan Nibley|
|Music by||David Buttolph|
|Cinematography||John W. Boyle|
|Edited by||Robert L. Swanson|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Box office||$1.7 million (USA rentals)|
Based on a story by Sloan Nibley, the film is about a railroad construction engineer whose plans to build a railroad line between Nevada's Carson City and Virginia City are met with hostility by the locals, who feel the trains will attract outlaws. Filmed on location at Iverson Ranch, Bell Ranch, and Bronson Canyon in Griffith Park,Carson City was Warner Bros.' first film shot in WarnerColor.
Mine owner William Sharon (Larry Keating) keeps having his gold shipments held up by a gang of bandits. Sharon hires banker Charles Crocker (Thurston Hall), who happens to have connections in the Central Pacific Railroad, to build a spur line from Virginia City to Carson City, so that the gold can be shipped by rail.
Silent Jeff Kincaid (Randolph Scott) is the railroad engineer. However, there is opposition to the railroad, chiefly from another mine owner, Big Jack Davis (Raymond Massey). He doesn't own a working mine; he finds it easier to rob from the other owners. Davis is the brains behind the gang holding up Sharon's shipments. The technique is to hold up the stagecoach and then provide food and champagne for the passengers, who then don't care that the gold is robbed.
Kincaid vows to rid Carson City of the bandits, but they frame him on a murder charge. In the climax, Kincaid has to contend with a suspicious landslide which kills some of his workers, trapping others, and a gold bullion heist.
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Though it is never mentioned by name, the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, which ran from Reno to Carson City, may have served as the inspiration for this story. One branch of the real-world railroad ran from Carson City to Virginia City. The railroad as a whole was built to serve the silver mines of Nevada, primarily Virginia City's Comstock Lode. The section that ran from Carson City to Virginia City was restored and reopened in 2009, as a heritage railroad.