Ramrod (film)

Ramrod is a 1947 American Western film directed by Andre DeToth. This cowboy drama from Hungarian director DeToth was the first of several films based on the stories of Western author Luke Short. DeToth's first Western is often compared to films noir movies released around the same time. The film stars Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake, who was then married to director DeToth.

Movie poster for Ramrod (1947)
Directed byAndre DeToth
Produced byHarry Sherman
Written byLuke Short (story)
Jack Moffitt
C. Graham Baker
Cecile Kramer
StarringJoel McCrea
Veronica Lake
Music byAdolph Deutsch
CinematographyRussell Harlan
Sherman Pictures
Enterprise Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • May 2, 1947 (1947-05-02)
Running time
95 min.
Budget$ 2 million[1] or $1.5 million[2]
Box office$2 million[2]


Connie Dickason is the strong-willed daughter of a ranch owner, who is under the control of powerful local cattleman Frank Ivey, a man her father once wanted Connie to marry. Connie instead takes up with a sheep rancher who is run out of town by Ivey. She inherits the man's land.

The conniving and manipulative Connie persuades ranch hand Dave Nash to be her "ramrod," or ranch foreman. He recruits an old pal, Bill Schell, who bends the law to his own purposes now and then but is fiercely loyal to Dave, to come help him run the ranch and fend off the ruthless Ivey.

Rose Leland is in love with Dave and he feels great affection toward her. Connie seduces both Dave and Bill to do her bidding, however. She even persuades Bill to stampede her own cattle, without Dave's knowledge, just so Ivey will appear guilty to the law. Sheriff Jim Crew goes to arrest Ivey and is shot down in cold blood. Dave is ambushed by a couple of Ivey's men. He kills one of them, Red Cates, but is badly wounded. Bill hides him, but Connie carelessly exposes their hideout. Bill volunteers to distract Ivey and his men while Dave turns to Rose for shelter. Ivey hunts down Bill in the mountains and shoots him in the back.

Dave has had enough. He confronts Ivey in the street, armed with only a shotgun, but beats him to the draw. Connie is delighted. At last, she has her land and her man. Dave, though, wants nothing more to do with her, returning to Rose's arms.


Production and reception

It was the first film from the independent production company Enterprise and was Lake's first movie as a star outside Paramount. Shooting took place in Zion National Park and Grafton, Utah.[3][4]:288

The film received a positive review from The New York Times, which said in summary "the director, scenarists and cast, many of whom are no strangers to this sort of emoting, have pitched in with vim to make this horse opera a pleasant variation on a venerable theme."[5] According to Variety the film earned $2 million, with a negative cost of $1.5 million. This made it one of the more successful films from the short-lived Enterprise Productions.[2]


  1. Schallert, Edwin (March 5, 1946). "Sherman Will Produce 'Ramrod' With McCrea". Los Angeles Times. p. A3.
  2. "Ent's Loan". Variety. July 14, 1948. p. 12. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  3. "McCrea and Veronica Lake To Star in Western Film", Hollywood Letter by Frank Daugherty Special to The Christian Science Monitor, July 12, 1946: 5.
  4. D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: A history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
  5. "Movie Review: Ramrod". nytimes.com. June 30, 1947.
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