The Painted Desert

Watch The Painted Desert

  • Passed
  • 1931
  • 1 hr 19 min
  • 5.2  (801)

The Painted Desert is a classic Western film from 1931 directed by Howard Higgin, starring William Boyd, Helen Twelvetrees, and William Farnum. It takes place in the dusty, barren territories of the American West, rich in gold and a chance for a better life for ambitious men. Boyd plays Jeff, a young prospector and miner, who strikes it rich with his partner Cash (played by Clark Gable in one of his earliest roles). While Cash is content with their newfound wealth, Jeff is restless and longs for more. Jeff meets an alluring woman named Mary (Twelvetrees) and falls in love with her at first sight. However, Mary is already engaged to Larkin (Farnum), a wealthy businessman and mine owner who has been exploiting Jeff's mining finds without his knowledge.

Larkin attempts to buy Jeff's mine from him, but Jeff refuses, setting off a chain of violent events that threaten to destroy the lives of everyone involved. The story intertwines the themes of love, greed, and revenge in a gripping narrative that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats.

The cinematography of The Painted Desert is stunning, capturing the arid and unforgiving landscapes of the West with accuracy and beauty. The film showcases several thrilling action sequences, including a shootout in a desert canyon and a thrilling horseback chase, all expertly staged and directed by Higgin.

The performances in the film are top-notch, particularly by Boyd and Twelvetrees, who share a palpable chemistry on screen. Boyd delivers a nuanced and layered performance as Jeff, capturing the character's quiet determination and inner turmoil. Twelvetrees shines as Mary, portraying a complex and vulnerable woman caught between her loyalty to her fiancé and her growing feelings for Jeff.

Farnum gives a memorable portrayal of Larkin, playing the wealthy businessman with a cold, ruthless edge. Gable makes a brief appearance as Cash, bringing his signature charm and swagger to the role.

The Painted Desert features a rousing musical score by Max Steiner, who would later become one of Hollywood's most celebrated composers. The film's soundtrack perfectly captures the mood and atmosphere of the story, adding to the film's emotional impact.

Overall, The Painted Desert is a classic Western film that should not be missed by fans of the genre. Its thrilling storyline, stunning visuals, and impressive performances make it a timeless masterpiece of cinema.

The Painted Desert is a 1931 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 19 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.2.

The Painted Desert
Where to Watch The Painted Desert
The Painted Desert is available to watch free on Plex, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Vudu Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, FlixFling, The Roku Channel and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Painted Desert for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 19 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.2  (801)