The Outcasts of Poker Flat (1937 film)

The Outcasts of Poker Flat is a 1937 American Western film directed by Christy Cabanne and written by John Twist and Harry Segall. The film stars Preston Foster, Jean Muir, Van Heflin, Virginia Weidler and Margaret Irving. The film was released on April 16, 1937, by RKO Pictures.[1][2][3]

The Outcasts of Poker Flat
Theatrical release poster
Directed byChristy Cabanne
Produced byRobert Sisk
Screenplay byJohn Twist
Harry Segall
Based onThe Outcasts of Poker Flat
by Bret Harte
StarringPreston Foster
Jean Muir
Van Heflin
Virginia Weidler
Margaret Irving
Music byRoy Webb
CinematographyRobert De Grasse
Edited byTed Cheesman
Distributed byRKO Pictures
Release date
  • April 16, 1937 (1937-04-16)
Running time
67 minutes
CountryUnited States

The screenplay is based on the short story The Outcasts of Poker Flat by Bret Harte, which has been brought to film at least five times, including in 1919 The Outcasts of Poker Flat with Harry Carey and in 1952 The Outcasts of Poker Flat with Dale Robertson.


A gunfighter and gambler, John Oakhurst ends up caring for a baby girl whose mother dies in childbirth. He decides to call her "Luck" and looks to new schoolmarm Helen Colby and the Rev. Sam Woods to set a good example for the girl.

Luck grows up and Poker Flat grows into a boom town. One day while John and the reverend are quarreling about the bad element John and his partner The Duchess permit in their gambling house, Luck ends up playing cards with Sonoma, a vicious outlaw. A furious John explodes at Helen, feeling she was supposed to be keeping an eye on Luck at the time. Helen decides to leave town, but Luck convinces her that John loves her.

Determined to change into a better man, John refuses to be goaded into a showdown by Sonoma, at least until The Duchess taunts him, whereupon he shoots dead Sonoma and another man. A vigilante group orders John and The Duchess out of town and Helen goes along. Their horses are stolen and, in the mountains in winter, The Duchess freezes to death. Helen nearly dies, but just as Luck rides up to rescue her, they find that John, feeling guilt for what he's done, has taken his own life.



  1. "The Outcasts of Poker Flat (1937) – Overview". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  2. "Movie Review – The Outcasts of Poker Flat". The Screen. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  3. "The Outcasts Of Poker Flat Trailer, Reviews and Schedule for The Outcasts Of Poker Flat". TV Retrieved 10 September 2014.
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