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A judge who had taken part in the gold rush of 1849 hires an acting troupe to recreate the experience in this rather fanciful silent Western. The make-believe turns serious when a real gold-mine is discovered nearby and a local girl (Donna Drew) is kidnapped by a nasty gambler (Jean Hersholt). Filmed near San Diego, California, the '49 - '17 is notable for having been directed by a woman, Universal scenario-writer Ruth Ann Baldwin. Miss Baldwin directed or co-directed a handful of feature films, several of which, including this one, featured her husband Leo O. Pierson in important roles. Baldwin returned to screen writing in 1919.


Joseph W. Girard
as Judge Brant
Donna Drew
as Lady Ann Bobbett
Leo Pierson
as Tom Robbins
George C. Pearce
as Pa Bobbett
Mattie Witting
as Ma Bobbett
Jean Hersholt
as Gentleman Jim Rayner
Harry Rattenbury
as Col. Hungerford
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