GenreAction, Adventure, Drama ScreenplayFrank Fenton LanguageEnglish
WriterFred Freiberger, Frank Fenton Release dateJuly 9, 1954 (1954-07-09) CastGary Cooper (Hooker), Susan Hayward (Leah Fuller), Richard Widmark (Fiske), Hugh Marlowe (John Fuller), Cameron Mitchell (Luke Daly), Rita Moreno (Cantina Singer) Similar moviesThe Desperado Trail, Last of the Renegades, War Horse, Treasure of Silver Lake, Hondo, Ulzana's Raid
Garden of evil 1954 into the fire
Garden of Evil (1954) is a Western film about three somewhat disreputable 19th-century soldiers of fortune, played by Gary Cooper, Richard Widmark, and Cameron Mitchell, who are hired by a woman, portrayed by Susan Hayward, to rescue her husband. The movie was directed by Henry Hathaway.
En route to California to prospect for gold, Hooker (Gary Cooper), Fiske (Richard Widmark), and Luke Daly (Cameron Mitchell) stop over in a tiny Mexican village. The three men and Vicente Madariaga (Victor Manuel Mendoza) are hired by a desperate Leah Fuller (Susan Hayward) to rescue her husband John (Hugh Marlowe), who is trapped in a gold mine in hostile Indian territory.
During the harrowing journey, the party's already frayed nerves are aggravated when the men become attracted to the woman. The group then arrives at the mine site—called the "Garden of Evil" because the Indians regard it as the domain of evil spirits. They find an injured, but living John Fuller.
As they leave, they are pursued by Apaches. Eventually, only Hooker, Fiske and Leah are left alive. At a choke point in the cliff-hugging road, the two men draw cards to see who will stay behind to hold off pursuing Indians while the other two ride to safety. Fiske "wins" and succeeds in killing or driving off the enemy. After seeing that Leah is safe, Hooker returns to talk with a dying Fiske, who urges him to settle down with Leah.
Gary Cooper as Hooker
Susan Hayward as Leah Fuller
Richard Widmark as Fiske
Hugh Marlowe as John Fuller
Cameron Mitchell as Luke Daly
Rita Moreno as Cantina singer
The working title for the film was Volcano, it was changed because "there is an Italian pic of same title now playing U.S. art houses", a 1953 film directed by William Dieterle and starring Rossano Brazzi and Anna Magnani.
Robert L. Jacks was originally set to produce, but he left Twentieth Century-Fox to join Panoramic Productions and was replaced by Charles Brackett.
Outdoor sequences were shot on location in Mexico: at "the colonial town" of Tepotzotlán, in the jungle areas near Acapulco, Parícutin volcano, and the village of Guanajuato. Interior scenes were also shot at the Churubusco Studios in Mexico City.