Ruggedly handsome and immensely gifted as a singer and actor, Preston Foster won himself the lead role in several Hollywood classics in the 30s and 40s. It was Fosterís memorable role as ĎKiller Mearsí in The Last Mile that catapulted him to fame and earned him key roles. American Empire was yet another classic, which helped, boost Fosterís image and label him as a versatile actor capable of playing a wide variety of roles. Originally made by Paramount, American Empire was sold to United Artists for release and preserved on DVD by a2zcds.com.
THE PLOT: Restless, eager for adventure and harboring an insatiable desire for wealth, Paxton Bryce (Preston Foster) convinces his long-time friend and business partner Dan Taylor (Richard Dix) to give up their ferrying business and venture into cattle rearing. By a rare coincidence their paths cross with that of cattle thief Dominique Beauchard (Leo Carrillo) , who provides them (rather unwillingly) with a startup stock of cattle. The ranch grows in leaps and bounds, but not fast enough for Paxton. Paxtonís greed and stubborn refusal to cooperate with his neighbors costs him his son, his wife Abbey (Frances Gifford) and his long time friend Dan. Will he ever learn lifeís lessons?
Running Time: 80 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: NR
Well-known for his highly successful low-budget westerns including the "Hopalong Cassidy" series, Harry Pop Sherman recounts the emergence of cattle ranches in this offbeat western. This captivating saga of two boatmen-turned ranchers, who fought rustlers, the weather, their own ignorance about cattle-rearing and finally each other in an attempt to build a business empire, deals with human emotions, passion and greed as never before.
Set amidst Texasí sprawling countryside, the narrative follows the fortunes of Dan Taylor and Paxton Bryce as they build up a cattle empire with a few heads of cattle they pinch from the unscrupulous Dominique Beauchard. While Dan and his sister Abby - who is also Paxtonís wife - settle down to life of patient anticipation and hard work, the restless Paxton Bryce cannot wait to grow rich. Director William C. McGann handles Paxtonís gradual metamorphosis into a hard hearted and greedy person insightfully and thereís very little chance that anybody would miss the point the narrative makes.
This thrilling western has everything that it takes to draw audiences to movie houses - a fabulous plot, fast-paced action, great cast, memorable performances, humor and more! Witness this action packed cinematic adventure which recounts, fabulously, what greed can do to a man.
"This is a wonderful example of how a manís uncontrolled passions and greed can destroy him completely. Director McGann has handled the narrative beautifully, inspiring his cast to give memorable performances. Although I had never viewed a Preston Foster movie before, I have just added his name to my all-time favorite lists of actors. Thanks a2zcds for preserving this amazing offbeat, yet enthralling Western on DVDs."
Carol Walker (Austin Texas)
"My father-in-law is a diehard cynic and rather difficult to please, but when I presented him with this movie DVD he was over the top. I donít blame him. It is a great movie and unlike any other Western I have seen. Oh, it has its share of fistfights and shooting and thrilling horse chases, but this one carries an invaluable lesson for one and all. Donít miss it!"
Betty Lopez (Richmond, Virginia)
CAST & CREW:
J. Robert Bren -
Dick Dickson - producer (uncredited)
Ben Grauman Kohn -
Robert Barrat - Crowder, Small Rancher (as Robert H. Barrat)
Jack La Rue - Pierre, Beauchard Henchman
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams - Sailaway (as Guinn Williams)
Gladys Atwater -
Cliff Edwards - Runty
Merrill Rodin - Paxton Bryce Jr. (as Merrill Guy Rodin)
Chris-Pin Martin - Augustin, Beauchard Henchman (as Chris Pin Martin)
Richard Webb - Crane (small rancher)
William Farnum - Louisiana Judge
Etta McDaniel - Willa May, Bryce's Maid
Wally Wales - Malone (as Hal Taliaferro)
Tom London - Rider with Crowder's posse (uncredited)
Gladys Atwater - Writing Credits
Russell Harlan - Cinematography
Carroll Lewis- Editor
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