::Marlene Dietrich Internet Museum
by Michael Puettner Language English Language German



::1942 - The Spoilers / Die Freibeuterin (Stahlharte Fäuste)

USA 1942
Charles K. Feldman Group for Universal
black & white

In 1900, Nome, Alaska, gold miners Flapjack Sims and Banty protest to saloon owner Cherry Malotte that their claim has been stolen by crooked businessmen Bennett and Clark. She tells them not to take the law into their own hands, as Alexander McNamara, the new gold commissioner, has just arrived in town. Unknown to Cherry, McNamara is part of the claim-jumping scheme, as is Judge Horace Stillman and his beautiful niece, Helen Chester. Later, Roy Glennister, co-owner of the Midas gold mine and the love of Cherry's life, returns to Nome after a holiday abroad, amidst rumors that his romantic interest has wandered to Helen. Roy, however, goes to see Cherry in her parlor and tells her that he is "not the bended knees type." After making up with Cherry, Brad encounters McNamara at a poker table, where some of the other miners boldly accuse the commissioner of claim jumping. A fight begins, and Roy takes sides with the outnumbered McNamara. A few days later, though, Jonathan Struve, a stooge of McNamara, attempts to serve Roy and his partner, Al Dextry, with a legal notice, claiming that their mine is the property of another miner. While they initially dismiss the action, Helen arrives and warns Roy that the notice is legal, as it has been signed by her uncle. A few days later, McNamara and his men arrive at the Midas mine, intent on taking it over, but they are met with armed resistance. Judge Stillman then arrives and informs Roy and Dextry that, because of the disputed claims, the mine must be put into a receivership until a hearing can be held. Trusting the Stillmans, Roy agrees to the hearing, but his older and wiser partner refuses, causing the two longtime friends to end their partnership. Later, Stillman holds his hearings, and while he reinstates Flapjack's claim, he refuses to restore the Midas mine to Roy and Dextry. Realizing that he has been deceived, Roy begs his friend's forgiveness, then makes arrangements with Dextry to appeal the decision. Meanwhile, McNamara and Stillman congratulate themselves on their scheme, by which they estimate they can steal $250,000 out of the Midas mine before the appeal. Helen, however, is having second thoughts, as she has fallen in love with Roy. With their legal options blocked, Roy, Dextry and their men break into the bank and steal back their money. In the midst of the robbery, however, Bronco Kid, Cherry's troubleshooter and rejected suitor, attempts to murder Roy, but accidentally kills the sheriff instead. After Roy is arrested for the murder, McNamara makes plans to kill him during a phony jailbreak. Helen, however, warns Cherry of McNamara's plans. With Cherry's help, Roy breaks out of jail, then uses a train to demolish the blockage around his mine. Back in town, McNamara and the Stillman learn of the insurrection from Struve, and the gang makes immediate plans to leave town. McNamara, however, decides to go first to the saloon and collect Cherry. Roy then arrives in town, and after killing Struve, heads for the saloon to confront McNamara. The two men fight and Roy is victorious. As he is about to kill the crooked gold commissioner, Roy is stopped by Dextry, who tells him to leave McNamara in the hands of "the law." Exhausted, Roy agrees and collapses, with Cherry by his side.

Marlene Dietrich (Cherry Malotte)
Randolph Scott (Alexander McNamara)
John Wayne (Roy Glennister)
Margaret Lindsay (Helen Chester)
Harry Carey (Al Dextry)
Richard Barthelmess (Bronco Kid Farrow)
George Cleveland (Banty)
Samuel S. Hinds (Judge Horace Stillman)
Russell Simpson (Flapjack Sims)
William Farnum (Wheaton)
Marietta Canty (Idabelle)
Jack Norton (Mr. Skinner)
Ray Bennett (Clark)
Forrest Taylor (Bennett)
Art Miles (Deputy)
Charles McMurphy (Deputy)
Charles Halton (Jonathan Stuve)
Bud Osborne (Marshall)
Drew Demorest (Galloway)
Frank Austin (Townsman)
Irving Bacon (Hotel Manager)
Robert Barron (Miner)
Ed Brady (Miner in Saloon)
Chester Clute (Mr. Montrose, Clerk)
Harry Cording (Miner)
Richard Cramer (Deputy)
John Elliott (Engineer Kelly)
Willie Fung (Chinese Man in Jail Cell)
William Gould (New Marshal)
William Haade (Deputy Joe)
Earle Hodgins (Miner)
Robert Homans (Sea Captain)
Lloyd Ingraham (Kelly)
Emmett Lynn (Miner in Search of Lodging)
Robert McKenzie (Restaurant Proprietor)
Paul Newlan (Miner)
Kitty O'Neil (Bit Role)
Dick Rush (Court Bailiff)
Robert W. Service (The Poet)
Mickey Simpson (Disgruntled Miner)
Harry Strang (Miner)
Glenn Strange (Deputy)
Ben Taggart (Banker)
Max Wagner (Deputy)
Matt Willis (Poker Player)
Harry Woods (Disgruntled Miner)
Duke York (Miner)

Ray Enright (director)
Lawrence Hazard and Tom Reed (screen play)
Charles K. Feldman (executive producer)
Frank Lloyd (producer)
Lee S. Marcus (associate producer)
Hans J. Salter (original music)
Milton R. Krasner (cinematography)
Clarence Kolster (film editor)
Jack Otterson (art direction)
Russell A. Gausman (set decoration)
Edward R. Robinson (set decoration)
Vera West (gowns)
Vernon Keays (assistant director)
John B. Goodman (associate art director)
Bernard B. Brown (sound director)
Robert Pritchard (sound technician)
John P. Fulton (special photographic effects)
Eddie Parker (stunts)
Gil Perkins (stunts)
Allen Pomeroy (stunts)
Henry Wills (stunts)
Charles Previn (musical director)
Gene Lewis (dialogue director)
Sid Davis (stand-in: John Wayne)
based on the novel "The Spoilers" by Rex Beach

2.389 Meter 87 Minutes

12 January - Late February 1942, Universal Studios
Outside Filming: Lake Arrowhead

8 May 1942

Acadamy Award Nominations:
Best Art Direction (1942): AA-Best Art Direction
Best Set Decoration (1942): AA-Best Set Decoration - Russell A. Gausman, Edward R. Robinson