California in '49 (1924)

Genres - Western  |   Run Time - 63 min.  |  
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The epic struggle for the rights to California became the basis for Days of '49, a 15-chapter serial produced by Ben Wilson's Berwilla Corporation. The chapterplay was re-edited into this 7-reel feature Western starring Neva Gerber as Swiss settler Johan Sutter's highly fictitious but spirited daughter who falls for a handsome trail guide (Edmund Cobb). Historical episodes keep interfering the slam-bang action in this Western, such as when a group of settlers, stranded in a snow storm, poignantly implore Cobb to "try to break through -- and take our last horse, even if it will cut our food supply short!" The group in question was, of course, the ill-fated Donner Party. Constantly reminding the viewer of its serial origins, the film is often quite disjointed. In fact, Neva Gerber's "Sierra Sutter" could have been referring to California in '49, when following an Indian raid she remarked (via a title): "I shall never forget the awfulness of it all."

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Keywords

gold, millionaire, upward-mobility