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Silver River
Theatrical poster
Directed by Raoul Walsh
Produced by Owen Crump
Written by Stephen Longstreet (novel)
Harriet Frank, Jr.
Starring Errol Flynn
Ann Sheridan
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Sidney Hickox
Editing by Alan Crosland Jr.
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) May 18, 1948
Running time 110 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Silver River is a 1948 western film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Errol Flynn and Ann Sheridan. The film is based on a Stephen Longstreet novel.[1]


Set during the American Civil War, soldier Mike McComb is discarded from the army when he ignores his orders to prevend the Confederates from stealing the one million dollars he is guarding by burning the money. After being publicly humiliated by the townspeople, he and his friend 'Pistol' Porter confiscate gambling equipment and set out to Silver City, Nevada to open a saloon and gambling hall. On his way to St. Joseph, Mike meets Georgia Moore, a beautiful but serious woman that runs the Silver River mine with her husband Stanley and is currently hiring all the available wagons.

As the result of a gamble, Mike is able to take over a few of the wagons, much to Georgia's anger. Although he allows her to travel with him, she is unamused with Mike's playful behavior and soon abandons him. Once in Silver City, Mike, in a short time, builds the most successful saloon of the area. He hires John Plato Beck as his lawyer, an alcoholic but good-hearted man. Meanwhile, Georgia is worried when she finds out Stanley has bought back his wagons from Mike in exchange for 6,000 shares in the mine. This is only worsened when it turns out that Stanley does not have the money to finish his smelter and has to go to Mike for finances. Mike agrees to finance him, in exchange for a third interest in the mine. Furthermore, Mike announces to open a town bank, in which the townspeople can accept to pay vouchers in lieu of cash.

Despite having become one of the most rich and successful men in area, his bank empire even receiving a visit from the President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, Mike is unable to charm Georgia. Encouraged by the President, Mike plans on extending his empire up to and including Black Rock Range. Although he is aware of the dangerous Shoshone Indians in that area, he assigns Stanley to realize his plans. When Plato makes him feel guilty, Mike warns Georgia about the danger her husband is in, but it turns out that they are too late: Stanley has been killed by the Indians.

After the funeral, Georgia shortly visits San Francisco and is romanced by Mike upon her return. During a formal dinner party, Plato throws a tantrum while drunk and breaks up the party with accusations against Mike. The townspeople start to lose their faith in Mike and withdraw their money from his bank. To worsen the matters, the other owners try to corner the silver market. Georgia begs Mike to reopen the mines, and when he refuses, she leaves him. Shortly later, Mike is forced to file bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Plato has gone into politics and is killed by his competition Sweeney. Mike convinces the towsnpeople to avenge Plato's death. However, when Sweeney is about to be killed, Mike stops them and takes over the charge. He promises to make Silver City a better place, and as a result, he is reunited with Georgia.


  • Errol Flynn as Michael J. 'Mike' McComb
  • Ann Sheridan as Georgia Moore
  • Thomas Mitchell as John Plato Beck
  • Bruce Bennett as Stanley Moore
  • Tom D'Andrea as 'Pistol' Porter
  • Barton MacLane as 'Banjo' Sweeney
  • Monte Blue as 'Buck' Chevigee
  • Jonathan Hale as Major Spencer
  • Al Bridge as Slade
  • Arthur Space as Major Ross
  • Robert J. Anderson as Boy


Raoul Walsh agreed to take on direction, determined to keep the film's star Errol Flynn on a "short leash".[2] Flynn had gained an infamous reputation in Hollywood for his behavior and drinking habits.[2] Jack Warner was unamused with Flynn and during the production of Silver River, he wrote the following memo:

"If Flynn is late, if liquor is being used so that from the middle of the afternoon on it is impossible for the director to make any more scenes with Flynn, if liquor is brought on the set or into the studio we must hold Flynn legally and financially responsible for any delay in making the picture. We may go so far as to abrogate the entire contract and sue him for damages...We will never again make pictures where Flynn or any other artist becomes incoherent due to liquor or whatever it may be...This has happened repeatedly during the last pictures we have made in which Flynn has appeared and we cannot permit it any longer."[2]

It was reported that Ann Sheridan was constantly drunk on set as well and the two reportedly teamed up to intentionally drive Walsh crazy.[2]


External links[]

ca:Silver River fr:La Rivière d'argent ru:Серебряная река (фильм)