Lust for Gold (1949)

Lust for Gold (1949)
6.8
  • 1184
  • Passed
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Release year: 1949 ()
  • Running time: 90 min
  • Original Title: Lust for Gold
  • Voted: 1184

The tale of how immigrant Jacob Walz, the "Dutchman" (German) of Arizona's notorious Lost Dutchman gold mine, found treasure and love and lost them again.

#PersonCharacters
1Ida LupinoJulia Thomas
2Glenn FordJacob 'Dutch' Walz
3Gig YoungPete Thomas
4William PrinceBarry Storm
  • The Root of All Evil by 7

    The "Lost Dutchman" Gold Mine has entered American folklore as one of those unattainable, and menacing, treasures. Supposedly Jacob Walz found it in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, and died without ever revealing fully it's location. At least a dozen people have died violently searching for it. Therefore this film easily adds to the story of greed and blood that covers the wealth of that forgotten mine.

    I liked the negative performances of the leads (Ford, Lupino, and Young), none of whom are likable or redeemable. It was very unusual to see them in such characterizations (although Lupino had played some villainous types, like "Betsy Broke" in "The Light That Failed"). Young was still a few years from his first decent role, the weak drunkard in "Come Fill The Cup". Ford usually played good guys, although he did play the politically ambitious Civil War madman in "The Man From Colorado" in this period. But here they all cut their teeth quite well in the film as low lives.

    The interesting thing is that they are not the only villains - greed also percolates in the modern part of the movie, where the hero (William Prince) discovers the most unlikely, deadly villain facing him at the end.

    Altogether a worthwhile film.

  • A film noir western by 7

    I haven't seen this film in a long time and it seems to be a relatively unknown film but this is worth looking for. This is the story of the lost Peralta mine in Arizona's Superstition Mountains near Pheonix better known in legend as The Lost Dutchman's Mine. The film begins in the present day of the film's release of 1949 and we discover there have been several murders recently related to the unknown whereabouts of the mine. The film goes back in time to 1880 and tells the story of the German-born prospector John Walz erroneously called The Dutchman. Between 1880 and his claims to have discovered the mine that had been known by the native Arizona Indians long before, and up to 1949 some 20 murders have been associated with the mine. This film takes some liberties from the story of Walz who didn't come to the area until he was 58 years old and by the time of the film's setting in the 1880's he was in his 70's. Glen Ford stars as Walz in this unusual film noir/western. Ida Lupino is Julian and Gig Young is Pete. In the excellent supporting cast are Edgar Buchanan, Will Gere, Jay Silverheels, Arthur Hunnicut, Paul Ford and William Prince as Barry Storm who wrote the book Thunder God's Gold from which this film is adapted from. S. Sylvan Simon was a versatile director best known for comedies he directed for such comics as Red Skelton and Abbot & Costello but also a film noir director of such films as Grand Central Station, I Love Trouble and Washington Melodrama. Archie Stout who would win an Oscar along with Winton C. Hoch for their photography in The Quiet Man is this film's cinematographer. Ida Lupino would tap Stout to be the cinematographer of her directorial debut in Never Fear, the first of three films they would do together. I would give this an 8.5 out of 10.

  • Undervalued Columbia Classic by 7

    From its initial release in 1949, to the VHS forty years later, to the DVD this year, Columbia Pictures never had a clue how great this movie is. Always under promoted, always passed off as just another cheap western; until it was listed on eBay where buyers have been hungrily going for it. The unique structure has a present day (1948) narrative set in Florence, Arizona, as the Dutchman's grandson seeks the Lost Dutchman mine. This part is the first 20 minutes and the final 20 minutes of the movie. In the middle is a gritty, excellent flashback that tells the Dutchman's story: Greed, romance, betrayal, more betrayal, and more greed. Frankly, I've watched the 40 minute middle of this movie over 50 times. It always grabs me. I was 11 years old when I saw this movie at the Silver. It impressed me then, but more so now. Be sure you see this one.

  • If You Think Everyone Is A Bad Guy, This Is Your Kind of Movie by 7

    Lust For Gold is one of those movies where the title tells the story. Everyone in this story from the leads down to the most insignificant extra is just eaten up with a mad, insatiable obsession with gold. I should say everyone in both stories, since this movie presents a story within a story. The modern (1949) story starts with a murder mystery, not resolved until the last reel, after a flashback to the 1880's which takes up most of the running time.

    This is a well filmed, well directed, and well acted picture with an intriguing story line, yet it fails to be truly entertaining because it lacks a single well developed character who is likable. The three principle players of the Old West story, Glen Ford, Ida Lupino, and Gig Young are absolutely unredeemable, cruel, wicked scumbags willing to lie, steal, cheat, betray, commit murder and adultery to get the gold and keep it. Even the bland, young hero of the New West story, played by William Prince, though basically decent, seems foolish and unpleasant because of his single-minded obsession with finding the lost gold mine. In the Old West story every minor character is portrayed as vicious, snippy, gossipy, and above all greedy. There is some suspense in the story, or at least it holds your attention and keeps you interested in what happens next. Yet it is not truly suspenseful, because that requires that you care about what happens to the characters. And you can't care about the type of lowlifes who inhabit this unremittingly grim picture. If there had been just one major character I could have cared about, I would have rated Lust For Gold a star higher. As is, it is a very unsatisfying movie.

    It's probably a coincidence the producers of this movie decided the print it in sepia tone, but it provides the appropriate look for the type of person who views life thru feces-tinted lenses. Lust For Gold will thoroughly validate this this type's nihilistic philosophy. Those with a happier outlook on life may wish to skip it.

  • Evil And Greed by 10

    Shot on location in the area of Superstition Mountain in Arizona, Lust For Gold ranks as one of the best westerns ever made, best films Glenn Ford ever made, best films Ida Lupino ever made and definitely the best item from director Sylvan Simon. This is one no holds barred tale of greed that makes Treasure Of The Sierra Madre look like Mary Poppins.

    It's the story of the famed Lost Dutchman Gold Mine which actually didn't belong to a Dutchman at all. It was on a sacred Indian site, that first the Spanish discovered and then was rediscovered by Glenn Ford's character Jacob Walz, a German immigrant who was called 'Dutchman' as many Germans were back in the day.

    The story is a two track item, the modern story centers on William Prince who is hunting for the legendary lost gold mine his grandfather Ford had rediscovered. There have been some murders committed in the Superstition Mountain area, but that doesn't deter Prince even after he finds the latest victim and reports the crime to Sheriff Paul Ford and his deputies Will Geer and Jay Silverheels.

    While visiting a nursing home for some of the old pioneer settlers, Prince hears about his grandfather who had in fact run out on his grandmother and child to search for gold in Arizona. Ford is one evil man in this, one of his few times he plays a bad guy. But he gets involved with some equally bad people in Ida Lupino and her husband Gig Young who would like to find out where Ford's mine is and steal it from him.

    The flashback story has several cast members coming to a violent end, both by homicide and by earthquake in one case. The modern story however, the ending for the murderer on Superstition Mountain will haunt you forever once you've seen it. I saw Lust For Gold over forty years ago and it still stays with me.

    The cast is great, the cinematography on Superstition Mountain is breathtaking and the movie will never leave you once seen.

#PersonCrew
1George Duningcomposer
2S. Sylvan Simondirector
3George Marshalldirector
4Ted Sherdemanwriter
5Richard Englishwriter
6Barry Stormwriter