5.5/10
154
8 user 3 critic

The Naked Hills (1956)

Approved | | Western | 17 June 1956 (USA)
In 1849, an Indiana farmer develops a life-long gold fever and an obsession with finding the 'mother lode' in the Californian hills.

Director:

Josef Shaftel

Writers:

Helen S. Bilkie (story), Josef Shaftel (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
David Wayne ... Tracy Powell
Keenan Wynn ... Sam Wilkins
James Barton ... Jimmo McCann
Marcia Henderson ... Julie
Jim Backus ... Willis Haver
Denver Pyle ... Bert Killian / Narrator
Myrna Dell ... Aggie
Lewis L. Russell Lewis L. Russell ... Baxter (as Lewis Russell)
Frank Fenton ... Harold
Fuzzy Knight ... Pitch Man
Jim Hayward Jim Hayward ... Counter Man
Christopher Olsen ... Billy as a Boy (as Chris Olsen)
Steven Terrell Steven Terrell ... Billy as a Young Man
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Storyline

Tracy Powell, an Indiana farmer, gets the gold fever and heads for Stockton, California in 1849. There, he abandons his first partner, Bert Killian, and teams up with Sam Wilkins, a claim jumper employed by Willis Haver. Six years later, Powell returns to Indiana and his sweetheart, Julie. They marry and he tries farming again but, on the night their son is born, he takes off again searching for gold. This time he heads for the hills with an inveterate prospector, Jimmo McCann. A decade later, the two are still hunting for their big strike when McCann is killed in an accident. Powell returns home with news of a big strike but the deserted Julie will have nothing to do with him. His friend Killian will not believe him but Haver, now a banker gives him a small loan and then beats him out of his claim. Many years pass before he comes home, now sixty-years-old, and this time, his wife and son open their home to him. But he vows to go prospecting come next spring. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the golden hell of the High Sierras !

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Four Seasons See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

La Salle Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite being credited sixth and only appearing sporadically, Denver Pyle's character narrates the entire film. See more »

Quotes

Bert Killian: A man don't need no mountain to live out his life happy.
Tracy Powell: You ain't seen it up in the hills like I have, Bert. It's truly like they say: in one day a man can make hisself enough to live like a king the rest of his life.
Bert Killian: You got a sickness, Tracy. Can't you see it? You got a sickness. And you'll either die from it or end up partners with the devil. There ain't no in-between.
Tracy Powell: Then you and me better have a drink. 'Cause you're lookin' at a man who's figurin' on goin' straight to the devil.
See more »

Soundtracks

The Four Seasons
Music by Herschel Burke Gilbert
Lyrics by Bob Russell
Sung by James Barton
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gold Discovered In California.
7 July 2014 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Naked Hills is directed by Josef Shaftel, who also co-writes the screenplay with Helen S. Bilkie. It stars David Wayne, Keenan Wynn, James Barton, Marcia Henderson and Denver Pyle. Music is by Herschel Burke Gilbert and Pathecolor cinematography is by Frederick Gately.

1800s California and Tracy Powell (Wayne) is gripped by gold fever and deserts his friends and family to search the hills for the precious metal.

Very routine gold fever Oater that plays like a poor man's Treasure of the Sierra Madre. It spans decades as Powell lets the search for gold take over his life, while the background threads involving his partners, both romantically and gold seeking, make up the drama as he heads towards his day of destiny. An opportunity is wasted to really produce a psychologically strong film about an obsessive man who keeps failing, but Shaftel constantly resorts to formula fodder to tell his story and it hurts the piece. Cast are fine, especially Wayne, who gets a chance to be the lead man and delivers a performance of note in spite of the insipid screenplay. 4/10


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