Classic Westerns

The Young Land (1959)

Director: Ted Tetzlaff
Actors: Ken Curtis, Dan O'Herlihy, Dennis Hopper, Yvonne Craig, Patrick Wayne
Runtime: 89 min.

In 1848, shortly after the end of the Mexican-American War in California, an American gunslinger (Dennis Hopper) kills a Mexican man. When the gunslinger goes on trial for murder, the local Mexican population eagerly awaits the verdict to see what kind of justice their new government has in store for them.

Trivia: The Young Land theme song was nominated for a Best Original Song Academy Award and was one of the 22 nominations received by composer Dmitri Tiompkin. Dan O'Herlihy (the judge) received a Best Actor Academy Award for Robinson Crusoe (1954). Patrick Wayne (Sheriff Jim Ellison) appears here in his first leading role. He's the second son of John Wayne and was a successful actor in his own right, making over 40 movies. Yvonne Craig (Elena de la Madrid) is best known for playing Bat Girl in the 1960s Batman TV show. The career of Hollywood legend Dennis Hopper (Hatfield Carnes) took off after he directed and starred in 1969's Easy Rider. Ken Curtis (Lee Hearn) is best known for playing Festus in the classic western TV series Gunsmoke.