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Wild Heritage (1958)

Passed | | Western | August 1958 (USA)
Two westward-bound families join forces to battle gunslingers.


Charles F. Haas (as Charles Haas)


Paul King (screenplay), Joseph Stone (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Rogers Jr. ... Judge Copeland
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Emma Breslin
Rod McKuen ... Dirk Breslin
Casey Tibbs Casey Tibbs ... Rusty - Trail Boss
Judi Meredith ... Callie Bascomb (as Judy Meredith)
Troy Donahue ... Jesse Bascomb
George Winslow ... Talbot Breslin
Gigi Perreau ... 'Missouri' Breslin
Gary Gray ... Hugh Adam David Breslin
Jeanette Nolan ... Ma (Janet) Bascomb
Paul Birch ... Jacob 'Jake' Breslin
John Beradino ... Arn - Rustler
Phil Harvey ... Jud - Rustler
Lawrence Dobkin ... Josh Burrage
Stephen Ellsworth Stephen Ellsworth ... Bolivar Bascomb


The Breslins (Jake, Emma, three boys, and nubile daughter) cross the plains in a covered wagon, then pause in a lawless western town where Jake is shot by gunslingers Arn and Jud. But folksy Judge Copeland persuades them to go on. At Break Wagon Hill, their wagon does the obvious and they homestead on the spot. We follow their trials and joys and those of neighbors, the Bascombs. Finally, violence reappears in the form of a pair of rustlers...our old friends Arn and Jud. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The saga of the YOUNG...the VIOLENT...the INNOCENT...who challenged a bold and reckless land! See more »




Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

August 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death Rides This Trail See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Arn, (Rustler): [to Judge Copeland] You ain't no judge here, Copeland. When a man carrying a gun starts a fight with me, he asks for it.
See more »


When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Music and lyrics by Louis Lambert
Sung while traveling cross country by covered wagon by Paul Birch, Maureen O'Sullivan, Rod McKuen, Gary Gray, Gigi Perreau, and George Winslow
See more »

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User Reviews

The Beslins and the Bascombs
28 April 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

A couple of people who would obtain stardom in the 60s, actor Troy Donahue and folksinger Rod McKuen are in the cast of this B western for Universal about a pair of families the Breslins and Bascombs who settle in the west. Will Rogers, Jr. is first billed in Wild Heritage but basically he doesn't do anything but watch over the pioneer families. Rogers is a judge but they have no courts and no sheriff and really no law.

Which is why a couple of outlaw brothers can shoot the Breslin family patriarch Paul Birch down and nothing done about it. Later on Stephen Ellsworth the head of the Bascombs is killed in a wagon accident. Which leaves widows Breslin and Bascomb played by Maureen O'Sullivan and Jeanette Nolan to carry on and homestead with their kids.

The kids who are Gigi Perreau, Rod McKuen, Gary Gray, and George Winslow for O'Sullivan and Troy Donahue and Judi Meredith for Nolan don't really get along for the most part. But pioneer life and the elements of nature and the common enemies of those two who shot down Birch make allies.

Wild Heritage is nothing spectacular, but it holds up well as a nice family film even for today.

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