Film / Western / Action / Thriller / Comedy
Directed by Mack V. Wright
Cast: John Wayne as John Mason
Duke as Duke – John’s Horse
Sheila Terry as Janet Carter
Harry Woods as Joe
Ryan Erville Alderson as Benedict
Otto Hoffman as Simon
Martha Mattox as Mrs. Herman
Blue Washington as Clarence Washington Brown
Riches That Bring Sudden Death!
John Mason returns to the Sally Ann mine to claim his half share. Janet Cater also returns, although her father lost his half share to Joe Ryan. Ryan and his gang are also there to get the gold. A mysterious Phantom is also present. Mason's plan to expose Ryan as an outlaw and to force him to turn his share over to Janet works. But when distracted by the Phantom , John is made a prisoner by the gang.
John Mason arrives in town with his sidekick, Clarence Washington Brown, on a rainy night to claim his half share in a gold mine left to him by his father. Upon arriving Mason instantly finds himself entangled in a struggle for the rights to the mine. Mason intervenes in a fight between Joe Ryan, the owner of the other half share, and Benedict, the former manager of the mine when it was owned by Bill Carter who found the mine with Mason’s father. The fight was instigated by Benedict who accused Ryan of acquiring Carter’s share of the mine through shady means. Mason befriends Benedict, who invites Mason and Brown to stay with him while they are in town. At Benedict’s house, Mason encounters Janet Carter, who is determined to find out what happened to her father and how his share of the mine landed in the hands of Ryan. Mason agrees to help her, and after a night of bizarre, ghostly events, discovers that indeed Ryan had used shady means to acquire her father’s rights to the mine. However, her father was able to hide his share of the gold before Ryan could get his hands on it. Mason works out a plan to use Brown as bait to try to get Ryan and his gang to rob him, and once he does, to offer to keep quiet about Ryan’s crime if he will hand over his share of the mine. Not to be thwarted so easily, Ryan captures Mason, and with Mason out of the way easily kidnaps Benedict and Janet as well. A mysterious cloaked figure who has been seen in the night attempts to free Benedict and Janet as they are being held in a mine shaft. Ryan is able to capture the figure and once unmasked it turns out to be Janet’s father. While Ryan is busy with Carter, Mason manages to escape and sends his horse, Duke, out to gather up his men. Ryan has been torturing Carter to get the location of the hidden gold out of him. Having collected the hidden gold, Ryan and his gang are preparing to escape into the night when Mason and his men arrive to take them down!
Notes: Haunted Gold is a remake of the 1928 film The Phantom City starring Ken Maynard. Warner brothers re-used several of the shots from The Phantom City, and several long shots in the movie are actually Ken Maynard instead of John Wayne.
Filming Notes, Cinema History, and Technical Achievements:
"Haunted Gold" was the third of six 'B' westerns produced by Warner Bros. Pictures for the 1932 - 1933 season starring John Wayne. Haunted Gold is perhaps the closest John Wayne ever got to making a horror picture. It comes complete with secret passages, a ghostly figure, a graveyard, and a creepy butler.
Cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca
Edited by William Clemens
Written by Adele Buffington
Produced by Sid Rogell, Leon Schlesinger
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures
Primary Filming Location: Iverson Ranch, Chatsworth, California; Lanky Mesa, West Hills, California; Warner Ranch, Calabasas, California; Sonora, California; Yuma, Arizona