California Conquest

Watch California Conquest

"California's fight for freedom!"
  • Passed
  • 1952
  • 1 hr 18 min
  • 5.2  (281)

California Conquest is a 1952 Western film directed by Lew Landers and starring Cornel Wilde, Teresa Wright, and Alfonso Bedoya. The movie is set in mid-19th century California during the Mexican-American War. It tells the story of a love triangle between Don Hernán Figueroa (played by Cornel Wilde), the son of a wealthy Mexican landowner, Lilia Orchard (played by Teresa Wright), the daughter of an American farmer, and Lt. Jedediah Wingate (played by William Bishop), a U.S. Army officer.

The film opens with the Mexican army under Gen. Santa Anna (played by Frank Puglia) invading California, which at the time was part of Mexico. Don Hernán's father (played by Leo Carrillo) leaves his son in charge of the family estate while he joins the army to fight the Americans. Don Hernán meets Lilia Orchard, who has recently moved to California from the East with her family. They fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by their different nationalities and the war that is raging around them.

Meanwhile, Lt. Wingate is stationed in California with his troops, tasked with capturing the territory from Mexico. He also meets Lilia and is attracted to her, but she is hesitant to return his affections. As the war intensifies, Don Hernán is torn between his loyalty to Mexico and his love for Lilia, while Lt. Wingate becomes increasingly frustrated by the guerilla tactics used by the Mexican army.

The film's plot is centered around the various battles and skirmishes that take place between the American and Mexican armies, as well as on the romantic tension between the three main characters. The conflict between Don Hernán and Lt. Wingate is particularly interesting, as it represents the larger conflict between the two nations and their different ideologies.

Throughout the film, there are several dramatic and action-packed scenes, including a siege on Don Hernán's estate by the American army and an exciting horseback chase through the mountains. The movie's pacing is relatively slow, but there is enough action and tension to keep the viewer engaged.

The performances of the lead actors are solid, with Cornel Wilde bringing a lot of depth to his portrayal of Don Hernán, a conflicted man torn between his duty and his heart. Teresa Wright is equally impressive as Lilia, bringing a sense of warmth and vulnerability to the character. Alfonso Bedoya also delivers a standout performance as Jecor, Don Hernán's loyal servant and friend.

The film's direction and cinematography are both effective, with director Lew Landers capturing the beauty of the California landscape and the brutality of the war with equal skill. The movie's score, composed by Lucien Cailliet, is also quite memorable, adding to the film's overall mood and atmosphere.

Overall, California Conquest is a well-made and entertaining Western that will appeal to fans of the genre. While it may not be a classic, it is a solid film that is worth watching for its engaging characters, exciting action scenes, and well-crafted plot.

California Conquest is a 1952 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 18 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.2.

California Conquest
Where to Watch California Conquest
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 18 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.2  (281)