Rachel and the Stranger

Rachel and the Stranger is a black-and-white 1948 western film starring Loretta Young, William Holden, and Robert Mitchum. The Norman Foster-directed film was one of the few to address the role of women in the pioneer west, as well as portray early America's indentured servant trade. It was based on the Howard Fast short story "Rachel".

Rachel and the Stranger
Directed byNorman Foster
Produced byRichard H. Berger
Jack J. Gross
Written byHoward Fast (story)
Waldo Salt
StarringLoretta Young
William Holden
Robert Mitchum
Music byRoy Webb
CinematographyMaury Gertsman
Edited byLes Millbrook
Harry Marker
Distributed byRKO
Release date
  • September 18, 1948 (1948-09-18) (Premiere-New York City)[1]
  • October 2, 1948 (1948-10-02) (U.S.)[1]
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$2.4 million (US rentals)[2]

While the film had a low budget, it was RKO's most successful film that year, making $395,000.

Plot

In colonial America, David Harvey (William Holden), a recent widower living in the wilderness, decides that his young boy Davey (Gary Gray) needs a woman around to help raise him. He goes to the nearest settlement and consults Parson Jackson (Tom Tully). David gets talked into buying the contract of an indentured servant named Rachel (Loretta Young) and marrying her.

Their marriage, however, is in name alone. Rachel serves more as a servant than a wife and Davey resents what he sees as an attempt to replace his dead mother Susan. Jim Fairways (Robert Mitchum), a family friend (and former suitor of Susan's), visits and falls in love with Rachel. When he offers to buy her, David must fight to keep her and discovers his love in the process.

Cast

Production

Filming took place in Eugene, Oregon.[3]

Reception

The film recorded a profit of $395,000.[4][5]

After Mitchum was arrested for possessing marijuana, RKO rushed to release the film to take advantage of the news of Mitchum's arrest.[6]

References

  1. "Rachel and the Stranger: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  2. "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46
  3. "Filmed in Oregon 1908-2015" (PDF). Oregon Film Council. Oregon State Library. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  4. Richard Jewell & Vernon Harbin, The RKO Story. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1982. p. 231
  5. Richard B. Jewell, Slow Fade to Black: The Decline of RKO Radio Pictures, Uni of California, 2016
  6. Rachel and the Stranger at the American Film Institute Catalog
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