Unconquered


2h 26m 1947

Brief Synopsis

An English convict girl sent to the colonies gets mixed up in the war with the Indians.

Film Details

Also Known As
Cecil B. DeMille's Unconquered
MPAA Rating
Genre
Adventure
Historical
Western
Release Date
Feb 4, 1947
Premiere Information
Denver, CO opening: 4 Nov 1947
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Allegheny Mountain Region, Pennsylvania, United States; Ashton--Big Mesa Falls, Idaho, United States; Clearwater River, Idaho, United States; Conejo Grade, California, United States; Cook's Forest, Pennsylvania, United States; Kiskiminetas River, Pennsylvania, United States; McCall, Idaho, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Unconquered: A Novel of the Pontiac Conspiracy by Neil H. Swanson (New York, 1947).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 26m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
13,188ft

Synopsis

In 1763 at the Old Bailey in London, Abigail Hale is sentenced to death for helping her brother fight the press gang which was attempting to forcibly press him into service at sea. To avoid hanging, Abby agrees to fourteen years of indentured service in the colonies and boards a ship bound for Norfolk, Virginia. The ship's brutish captain, Martin Garth, who is transporting munitions for the Indians of the Ohio Valley, bids for Abby, but is outbid by Captain Chris Holden from Virginia. When the ship reaches Norfolk, Chris, who is about to be married, grants Abby her freedom. After learning that an edict has forbidden the sale of guns, Garth buys every indentured servant on the ship, including Abby, who thinks Chris has double-crossed her. Meanwhile, Chris's fiancée Diana leaves him for his brother. In Peakestown, colonial leaders who are planning to seize Pittsburgh from the Indians meet with Chris and Garth. Garth, who is a blood brother to Guyasuta, the chief of the Senecas, and has married Guyasuta's daughter Hannah in order to trade the Indians guns for furs, claims the Indians gave him the land deeds to Pittsburgh. Under Pontiac, chief of the Ottawas, Indians from the Ottawa, Seneca, Delaware, Shawnee and other tribes, meanwhile, have been circulating a war belt to enlist the tribes to fight the colonists and drive them to the sea. Chris's friend, John Fraser, found the belt on a dead Indian and gave it to him. Since the colonialists have no army, Chris offers to carry peace belts to the Indians. Chris's two scouts are quickly killed by Indians sent by Garth to steal the peace belts. Chris arrives at Fort Pitt, where Abby is a barmaid in Garth's saloon, and she helps him retrieve the belts. Armed with two pistols, Chris makes his escape with Abby to John's blacksmith shop. At a ball at Fort Pitt in honor of King George III's birthday, Garth exposes Abby to Captain Simeon Ecuyer, who was at her trial, and Chris lays claim to her in order to force Garth into a duel. Ecuyer determines Garth to be Abby's legal owner and, unaware that Garth is a traitor, forbids Chris from pursuing him and Abby. When Indian envoys alert Garth that the war has started and that they need weapons, he places Abby in the care of the Indians and goes to Guyasuta's camp, where plans are being made to burn the forts after the settlers are convinced to surrender. Meanwhile, at Fort Pitt, a widowed settler enters the ball carrying her wounded daughter and reports an Indian massacre. Ecuyer orders Chris to clear the town of people and burn it down, but he instructs John to carry out the order so that he can save Abby. Garth leaves Guyasuta's camp for Fort Pitt, forsaking Abby, who is tortured and burned by the Senecas. In a cloud of smoke, Chris arrives and convinces Guyasuta and Sioto, his medicine man, that his compass is the "medicine of death." He and Abby escape, but are pursued in canoes. By going over a mammoth waterfall, Abby and Chris convince the Senecas that they are dead, and they escape on foot to the outskirts of Venango to a cabin belonging to a family that has been killed. In Venango, all the settlers have been massacred except an old man, who warns Chris and Abby not to be tricked by the Indians into surrender. Meanwhile, Garth advises Ecuyer and Captain Steele, the officer in command, to raise a white flag at Fort Pitt, and relates Guyasuta's promise that all will be set free. Chris warns the settlers not to surrender, but is court-martialed for defying Ecuyer's earlier orders and sentenced to death. Abby agrees to stay with Garth of her own volition if he will free Chris, and Hannah, who had earlier arranged for Abby to be kidnapped by the Indians because she was jealous of Garth's interest in her, sacrifices herself by crossing the moat disguised as Chris and taking gunfire meant for him. Chris arrives at the fort at Bushy Run, held by Colonel Henry Bouquet and his 42nd Infantry, hoping his garrison will rescue Fort Pitt, but a quarter of Bouquet's men have been massacred. As the Indians begin their assault on Fort Pitt, Chris gathers a handful of the 42nd's surviving infantrymen and wagons full of dead soldiers and marches on Fort Pitt. The Indians, believing the garrison is alive, retreat. Chris kills Garth before he can escape with Abby, and is pardoned by Ecuyer. Ecuyer then marries Abby and Chris and orders Chris to go west with the frontier.

Cast

Gary Cooper

Captain Christopher Holden

Paulette Goddard

Abby [Hale]

Howard Da Silva

[Martin] Garth

Boris Karloff

Guyasuta, Chief of the Senecas

Cecil Kellaway

Jeremy Love

Ward Bond

John Fraser

Virginia Campbell

Mrs. John Fraser

Katherine Demille

Hannah

Henry Wilcoxon

Captain Steele

Sir C. Aubrey Smith

Lord Chief Justice

Victor Varconi

Captain Simeon Ecuyer

Virginia Grey

Diana

Mike Mazurki

Bone

Porter Hall

Leach

Richard Gaines

Colonel George Washington

Gavin Muir

Lieut. Fergus McKenzie

Jane Nigh

Evelyn

Alan Napier

Sir William Johnson

Marc Lawrence

Sioto, medicine man

Raymond Hatton

Venango scout

John Mylong

Colonel Henry Bouquet

George Kirby

Charles Mason, London astronomer

Leonard Carey

Jeremiah Dixon, London astronomer

Frank Wilcox

Richard Henry Lee

Davison Clark

Mr. Carroll of Virginia

Griff Barnett

Brother Andrews of Pennsylvania

Lloyd Bridges

Lieut. Hutchins

Oliver Thorndike

Lieut. Baillie

Nan Sunderland

Mrs. Pruitt

Rus Conklin

Mamaultee

Iron Eyes Cody

Red Corn

Julia Faye

Widow Swivens

Paul E. Burns

Dan McCoy

Mary Field

Maggie

Diane Wadelow

Lancashire lass

Clarence Muse

Jason

Robert Warwick

Pontiac, chief of the Ottawas

Sanders Clark

Ben

Matthew Boulton

Captain Brooks

Willa Pearl Curtis

Mammy

Jeff York

Wide-shouldered youth

Frank Moran

Burly ruffian

Olaf Hytten

Star of London purser

Alec Harford

Shifty-eyed cutthroat

Fred Zendar

Trapper

Dick Alexander

Slave

William Meader

Slave

Wallace Earl

Slave

Barbara Morrison

Ship passenger

Lloyd Whitlock

Ship passenger

Boyd Irwin

Ship passenger

George Magrill

Ship's agent/Royal American officer

Budd Fine

Ship's mate

Valmere Barman

Ship's girl

Kenneth Gibson

Townsman

Carl Saxe

Townsman

Sam Ash

Townsman

James Flavin

Townsman

Al Murphy

Townsman

Harlan Miller

Townsman

Fred Zendar

Townsman

Byron Foulger

Townsman

Joe Whitehead

Townsman

Walter Baldwin

Townsman

Bill Wallace

Townsman

Jasper Palmer

Townsman

Jim Nolan

Townsman

Jim Drum

Townsman

Don Lynch

Townsman

Bill Murphy

Townsman

Ted Mapes

Townsman

Gil Sullivan

Townsman

George Anderson

Townsman

Trevor Bardette

Townsman

Chuck Hamilton

Townsman

George Bunny

Townsman

James Carlisle

Townsman

Llorna Jordan

Townswoman

June Harris

Townswoman

Ethel Wales

Townswoman

Besse Wade

Townswoman

Betty Farrington

Townswoman

Jane Everett

Townswoman

Donya Dean

Townswoman

Dorothy Adams

Townswoman

Syd Saylor

Spieler for Dr. Diablo

John Harmon

Spieler for Boukabokabus

Eddie Dunn

Frontiersman

Bill Sundholm

Frontiersman

Francis Ford

Frontiersman

Francis Mcdonald

Frontiersman

Guy Wilkerson

Frontiersman

Jack Clifford

Frontiersman

John Northpole

Frontiersman

Bob Kortman

Frontiersman

Ray Spiker

Frontiersman

June Harris

Frontierswoman

Jack Weatherwax

Man with dog act

Earle Hodgins

Spieler for mermaid

Alan Bridge

Militiaman

Hope Landin

Joshua's mother

Richard Reeves

Joshua

Si Jenks

Farmer

Crane Whitley

Plantation agent

Robert Barron

Overseer

Louise Saraydar

Girl

Eric Alden

Zeke/Indian

Frank Hagney

Jake

Hugh Prosser

Gilded Beaver soldier

Ray Teal

Gilded Beaver soldier

Edgar Dearing

Gilded Beaver soldier/Frontiersman

Noble Johnson

Big Ottowa Indian

Chief Thundercloud

Chief Killbuck

Sally Rawlinson

Brunette girl

Larry Thompson

Officer

Russ Clark

Officer

John James

Officer

Bill Hall

Corporal

John Merton

Corporal

Constance Purdy

Buxom woman

Geraldine Wall

Mrs. Bitt

Donna Courter

Ballroom woman

Greta Granstedt

Ballroom woman

James Horne

Royal American officer

Ted Allan

Royal American officer

David Ralston

Royal American officer

Gilbert Wilson

Royal American officer

Lex Barker

Royal American officer

Gus Taute

Royal American officer

Clancy Cooper

Sentry

Fred Coby

Royal American soldier

Lee Phelps

Royal American sergeant

Charles Victor

Royal American officer/Officer/Court clerk

Jerry James

Captain Clark/Royal American officer/Officer/Court clerk/Townsman

Larry Lawson

Royal American officer/Trapper

Charles Middleton

Mulligan

Ottola Nesmith

Guest

Fred Kohler Jr.

Sergeant

Forrest Taylor

Trader

Jack Lee

Major Trent

Karolyn Grimes

Little girl

Beatrice Gray

Ballroom girl

Fred Datig Jr.

Boy

Christopher Clark

Boy

Buddy Roosevelt

Guard

Dwight Butcher

Guard

Bill Haade

Trapper

Erville Alderson

Trapper

John Mallon

Trapper

Mike Lally

Trapper

Charles Sullivan

Trapper

Jeff Corey

Trapper

Len Hendry

Trapper/Indian

Eugene Eberle

Drummer boy

Calvin Ellison

Drummer boy

Bert Moorhouse

Virginia militia officer

Mike Kilian

Virginia militia officer

Carl Mathews

Trapper witness/Indian

William Bailey

Townsman witness

Lane Chandler

Pennsylvania militia officer

John Miljan

Prosecutor

J. W. Cody

Lesser chief

Chuck Hamilton

Lesser chief

Maxine Chevalier

Squaw

Claire Dubrey

Squaw

Mimi Aguglia

Squaw

Nenette Vallon

Squaw

Inez Palange

Squaw

Rose Higgins

Squaw

Chabing

Young squaw

Charmienne Harker

Young squaw

Roderic Redwing

Indian

Jay Silverheels

Indian

Vaughn Anthony

Indian

Bob Kortman

Indian

Albert A. Cavigga

Indian

Belle Mitchell

Old crone squaw

Fernanda Eliscu

Old crone squaw

Boyd Davis

Dr. Boyd

Charles Flynn

Ensign Price

Jack Overman

Ramparts soldier

Harry Cording

Ramparts soldier

Bill Hunter

Ramparts soldier

Jack Pennick

Joe Lovat

Allan Ray

Henry Mowbray

Old Bailey tipstaff

John Goldsworthy

Old Bailey tipstaff

Montague Shaw

Old Bailey undersheriff

Crauford Kent

Old Bailey chaplain

Gordon Richards

Old Bailey sheriff

Arthur Gould-porter

Old Bailey personal clerk

Colin Kenny

Old Bailey warder

Leyland Hodgson

Old Bailey warder

Arthur Blake

Old Bailey visiting noble

Leslie Denison

Old Bailey usher

Dick Elmore

Young officer

Bob Baughman

Regimental drummer

Anna Lehr

Gertrude Valerie

Crew

Glen Alden

Makeup

Katherine Arruda

Secretary to Donald Hayne

Max Asher

Makeup

Fred Barber

Special Effects Camera op

Anne Bauchens

Editing

Claire Behnke

Screenplay clerk

Claire Behnke

Script cutting

Charles Bennett

Screenwriter

Guy Bennett

2d unit 2d Camera

George Bertholon

Prod Department

Jake Boumeister

2d unit grip

Phil Boutelje

Music Department

Vincent Bratton

2d unit grip

Bud Brill

2d unit 2d Assistant Director

Robert Brower

Associate (Color)

Russ Brown

Set const

Roy Burns

Bus Manager

Frank Caffey

Prod Department

Joe Caplan

Wardrobe

Maybelle Carey

Hair

Gladys Carley

Cutting

James Cassin

P.A. operator and chair Assistant

Julie Cockerill

Wardrobe

Iron Eyes Cody

Indian language adv

Iron Eyes Cody

2d unit double

Florence Cole

Secretary to Cecil B. DeMille

Carl Coleman

2d unit Props

Sam Comer

Set Decoration

John Cope

Sound Recording

Frank Cordell

2d unit double for Gary Cooper

Jack Crosby

Dances staged by

Archie Dalzell

Camera Department staff

Jim Daraio

2d unit painter

Howard David

Coordinator

C. Kenneth Deland

2d unit bus Manager

Cecil B. Demille

Producer

Fred Ditmar

2d unit Technicolor tech

Hans Dreier

Art Director

Andy Durkus

Assistant bus Manager

Phil Eastman

Camera Department staff

Farciot Edouart

Director of process Photographer

Joe Egli

Casting

Capt. Fred F. Ellis B.m.m. (ret.)

Tech Supervisor [ship]

Evelyn Faber

Secretary to Roy Burns and Edward Salven

F. Finger

Special Effects Camera

Lila Finn

2d unit double

Ed Fitzharris

2d unit Wardrobe

Roy Fjastad

Music Department

Robert Foulk

Dialogue Director

Fred Frank

Prod staff

Fredric M. Frank

Screenwriter

Dwight Franklin

Illustrator

Sam Freedle

Screenplay clerk

George Gall

2d unit Technicolor Assistant

Bill Geiger

2d unit grip

C. Gemora

Lab tech

Jerry Gerard

2d unit machine shop

C. Goettman

2d unit grip

F. Goff

2d unit grip

Maurice Goodman

Set Dresser

Robert Goodstein

Dance Department

Jack Gosnell

Set Dresser

Hubert H. Soldier Graham

Electrician

Marge Graham

Casting

Bill Greenwald

Casting

King Greenwood

Wardrobe

Hugo Grenzbach

Sound Recording

John Hamilton

Camera Department staff

Charles M. Hansen

Makeup

Donald Hayne

Prod staff

E. Hazel

2d unit grip

Harry Hogan

2d unit Screenplay clerk

Ted Holderness

Coordinator

Robert Hosler

2d unit Assistant Camera

Ross Howe

Cable man

Charles Huber

Makeup

Bill Hurley

Horseman

Devereux Jennings

Special Photography Effects

Gordon Jennings

Director of Photographer Effects

John Johnson

2d unit 2d Wardrobe

Wesley Jones

2d unit nurseryman

Natalie Kalmus

Technicolor Color Consultant

Madame Barbara Karinska

Executive by

Jack Kaufman

2d unit still Camera

Bob Kegg

2d unit timekeeper

Wallace Kelley

2d unit Camera

Wallace Kelley

Director of process Photographer

C. Kelly

2d unit grip

Colie Kessinger

Grip

William Kislingbury

2d unit Special Effects Assistant

Phil Koury

Pub

Arthur A. Lane

2d unit 2d Camera

Jesse Lasky Jr.

Prod staff

Jesse Lasky Jr.

Screenwriter

Paul Lerpae

Special Photography Effects

Jack Leys

Prop

Frank Lindsay Jr.

Prop

Al Lipsey

2d unit grip

Louis Lipstone

Music Department

Roger Mace

2d unit Technicolor tech

Jeanie Macpherson

Scen

Nellie Manley

Hair Supervisor

Al Mann

Dance Department

Russell Martin

P.A. operator and chair Assistant

Wilet Martin

2d unit Technicolor Assistant

Danny Mccauley

Assistant Director

Maudlee Mcdougall

Hair

Frank Mcmahon

2d unit double

Richard Mcwhorter

2d unit Assistant Director

Earl Miller

2d unit grip

Mickey Moore

Assistant Director

Tish Morgan

Casting

Eddie Morse

Assistant Director

Bernice Mosk

Secretary

Bernice Mosk

Prod staff

Cecil Myers

2d unit Technicolor loader

Lorne P. Netten

Electrician

W. H. Newson

2d unit grip

Henry Noerdlinger

Research

Wallace Nogle

Boom

Bob Osterman

Casting

Frank Parmenter

2d unit auditor

Arthur Pierson

Rehearsal Director

Ted Powell

Grip

Adolph Prautsch

2d unit Technicolor mechanic

Lee Price

Painter

N. Rains

Scen

Tony Reagan

Casting

Gertrude Reed

Hair

Whitie Reed

Grip

George Reese

Assistant Director/company clerk

Bob Reilly

Camera Department staff

Ray Rennahan

Director of Photography

Frank Richardson

Wardrobe Supervisor

G. E. Richardson

Still Photographer

Don Robb

Prod Department

I. Roberts

Special Effects Camera

James Roe

2d unit Props shop

Al Roelofs

Art Department staff

Doris Roland

2d unit hair

Ted Roland

2d unit painter

Arthur Rosson

2nd Unit Director

Edward Salven

Assistant Director

Stanley Jay Sawley

Set Decoration

Eric Selig

Wardrobe

Mike Seminerio

2d unit grip

Bill Shanks

Script cutting

Edna Shotwell

Wardrobe

Kenneth Smith

2d unit grip

William Snyder

2d unit Technicolor Camera

William Sosteleo

Sound Recording

Evelyn Sullivan

Receptionist

George Tallian

2d unit Sound tech

Bill Teel

Art Department staff

Charles Termini

2d unit Technicolor Assistant

Virginia Terrill

Secretary to Jeanie Macpherson

Dwight Thompson

2d unit 2d Props

Joe Thompson

Prop

Walter Tyler

Art Director

Reine Van Gelder

Makeup Secretary

Edward Wahrman

Special Effects Assistant Camera

Gwen Wakeling

Costumes

Buck Walters

Boom grip

Dick Webb

Props shop

Bob West

2d unit grip

Wally Westmore

Makeup Supervisor

Henry Wills

2d unit double

Ned Winchester

2d unit double

Murray Young

2d unit grip

Victor Young

Music Score

Fred Zendar

2d unit double

Film Details

Also Known As
Cecil B. DeMille's Unconquered
MPAA Rating
Genre
Adventure
Historical
Western
Release Date
Feb 4, 1947
Premiere Information
Denver, CO opening: 4 Nov 1947
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Allegheny Mountain Region, Pennsylvania, United States; Ashton--Big Mesa Falls, Idaho, United States; Clearwater River, Idaho, United States; Conejo Grade, California, United States; Cook's Forest, Pennsylvania, United States; Kiskiminetas River, Pennsylvania, United States; McCall, Idaho, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Unconquered: A Novel of the Pontiac Conspiracy by Neil H. Swanson (New York, 1947).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 26m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
13,188ft

Award Nominations

Best Special Effects

1948

Quotes

Trivia

The famous Swedish actor Edvard Persson was travelling through the US to make Jens M?nsson i Amerika (1947) when he came to Hollywood and made a cameo appearance in this film. The director, Cecil B. DeMille, reciprocated with a cameo appearance in Persson's movie.

Notes

The title card to the film reads "Cecil B. DeMille's Unconquered." A spoken narration opens the film, establishing the period and giving some historical background and motivation for the story. It begins, "At the forks of the Ohio stands an American city, a colossus of steel, whose mills and furnaces bring forth bone and sinew for a nation. Not so long ago, a lowly outpost guarded this very spot. It was called Fort Pitt...."
       According to a September 25, 1947 article in Daily Variety, this film, which cost $4.2 million to make, was DeMille's most expensive film to date. Referring to the September 1947 subpoenaing of forty-seven members of the film community by the House Committee on Un-American Activities to appear at hearings in Washington, D.C., DeMille, about to embark on a publicity tour for this film, is quoted in the article as having said "I'm also going to try to correct the impression that Hollywood is a nest of Communism." According to the Paramount Collection contained in the AMPAS Library, in June 1946, the Production Code Administration suggested a rewrite of "Abby's" wedding scene to eliminate its "objectionable flavor," stating "the present offhand handling of this marriage seems unduly light and undignified."
       Portions of this film were shot at the Conejo Grade, forty-five miles west of Los Angeles, CA. According to the Paramount Collection, a second unit photographed up and down the north fork of Clearwater River in Idaho, eighty-two miles from the closest town of Orofino on July 4, 1946. Big Mesa Falls in Ashton, ID (near Boise) was filmed for the waterfall scenes, and the rapids river sequence was shot in McCall, ID (also near Boise). The exteriors of the log fort and Wolf Creek were shot in a state forest in New York. Extensive filming took place in the Kiskiminetas River country in western Pennsylvania and in Cook's Forest, sixty miles from Pittsburgh, PA. According to a July 1, 1946 Par News item, after three weeks of shooting in Cook's Forest, part of Cook's National Park, heavy rains and floods forced the second unit to move 250 miles east to a scenic plateau north of the Allegheny Mountains. DeMille had fifteen fifty-foot birch trees shipped from Pennsylvania forests to Hollywood for the Peakestown spring fair scene in the film. According to Paramount News, DeMille used dozens of real fireballs and flaming arrows in the battle scene; eight persons suffered burns and one extra's hair was burned.
       A Paramount News item noted that DeMille bowed to the PCA by using soapsuds in Paulette Goddard's barrel bath scene, even though there was no bubblebath in 1763. Several reviews mentioned DeMille's depiction of Goddard in a crude wooden barrel as uncharacteristic of DeMille's traditionally lavish bath scenes, and an article in the New York Times on July 28, 1946 stated that "a reliable piece of DeMille glamour-the bath scene-is going to find itself thrown for a loss in the showman's budget-heavy venture." According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, between three and four thousand extras were used for the film in one hundred and ten days of shooting. Although Paramount circulated much press about DeMille's authentic and sensitive use of Native Americans in this film, an article in the New York Times on October 19, 1947 said "it is deplorably evident that Unconquered, in this year of grace, is as viciously anti-redskin as The Birth of a Nation was anti-Negro long years back." The New York Times review of the film, in reference to the depiction of "villainous Indians," stated that "all of them [were] incontrovertible Caucasians"; but, according to an article in Picturegoer, one hundred and fifty Native Americans ranging from Navajos to Cherokees were used in the assault on Fort Pitt scenes. The film's technicial advisor, Iron Eyes Cody, was of Seneca-Cherokee ancestry. Cody began working with DeMille as an actor in 1914 in The Squaw Man.
       This film was nominated for a 1947 Academy Award for Special Effects. Included in the nomination were Farciot Edouart, Devereux Jennings, Gordon Jennings, Wallace Kelley and Paul Lerpae for visual effects, including miniatures, transperency process projection, and optical effects for the long boat sequence, the water falls and canoe escape sequence and the battle sequence. George Dutton was nominated for sound, and George Dutton for sound effects.