Carson City (film)

Carson City is a 1952 American Western film directed by Andre DeToth and starring Randolph Scott, Lucille Norman, and Raymond Massey.[2]

Carson City
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndre DeToth
Produced byBryan Foy
David Weisbart
Screenplay bySloan Nibley
Winston Miller
Story bySloan Nibley
StarringRandolph Scott
Lucille Norman
Raymond Massey
Music byDavid Buttolph
CinematographyJohn W. Boyle
Edited byRobert L. Swanson
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • June 13, 1952 (1952-06-13) (USA)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.7 million (USA rentals)[1]

Based on a story by Sloan Nibley, the film is about a railroad construction engineer whose plans to build a railroad line between Nevada's Carson City and Virginia City are met with hostility by the locals, who feel the trains will attract outlaws. Filmed on location at Iverson Ranch, Bell Ranch, and Bronson Canyon in Griffith Park,[3] Carson City was Warner Bros.' first film shot in WarnerColor.


Mine owner William Sharon (Larry Keating) keeps having his gold shipments held up by a gang of bandits. Sharon hires banker Charles Crocker (Thurston Hall), who happens to have connections in the Central Pacific Railroad, to build a spur line from Virginia City to Carson City, so that the gold can be shipped by rail.

Silent Jeff Kincaid (Randolph Scott) is the railroad engineer. However, there is opposition to the railroad, chiefly from another mine owner, Big Jack Davis (Raymond Massey). He doesn’t own a working mine; he finds it easier to rob from the other owners. Davis is the brains behind the gang holding up Sharon’s shipments. The technique is to hold up the stagecoach and then provide food and champagne for the passengers, who then don’t care that the gold is robbed.

Kincaid vows to rid Carson City of the bandits, but they frame him on a murder charge. In the climax, Kincaid has to contend with a suspicious landslide which kills some of his workers, trapping others, and a gold bullion heist.



Filming locations

  • Iverson Ranch, 1 Iverson Lane, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Bell Ranch, Santa Susana, California, USA
  • Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California, USA[3]


Though it is never mentioned by name, the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, which ran from Reno to Carson City, may have served as the inspiration for this story. One branch of the real-world railroad ran from Carson City to Virginia City. The railroad as a whole was built to serve the silver mines of Nevada, primarily Virginia City's Comstock Lode. The section that ran from Carson City to Virginia City was restored and reopened in 2009, as a heritage railroad.


  1. "Top Box-Office Hits of 1952", Variety, January 7, 1953.
  2. "Carson City profile". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  3. "Locations for Carson City". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  4. "Full cast and crew for Carson City". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
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