Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Outcasts of Poker Flat is an adaptation of Bret Harte's western story of the same name, with elements of Harte's The Luck of Roaring Camp thrown in for good measure. Set during the California gold rush, the story traces the destinies of several divergent individuals. Preston S. Foster is gambler John Oakhurst, a seemingly underhanded gent with an untapped streak of decency. Jean Muir is a schoolteacher who tries to find some good in the gambler. Margaret Irving is the duchess, a woman of (presumed) ill repute. And Virginia Weidler is "Luck," the diminutive mascot of the mining town of Roaring Camp. Van Heflin is also around and about as the minister of the mining community. The film spends its first half establishing the characters and its second half placing them in a life-threatening situation wherein the true natures of all concerned are revealed. The Outcasts of Poker Flat, previously filmed in 1919, was remade (minus the "Luck of Roaring Camp" subplot) in 1952.
criminal, bad-guy-turns-good, bishop, community, encouragement, gambling, gold-rush, help, mine, outcast, poker, reform [improve], reformed-criminal, rehabilitation [physical therapy], revenge, ruthlessness, schoolteacher, teacher, town, woman