A loving heart cannot stay broken in Susannah of the Mounties by writers Robert Ellis and Helen Logan; producer Kenneth Macgowan; and directors Walter Lang and William A. Seiter. Arthur C. Miller, Robert Bischoff, and Louis Silvers handle cinematography, editing, and music. Filming showcases California’s Movietone City.
The 79-minute film adapts Jessie Muriel Goggin Denison’s (1886 - 1954) 1936-published novel. Its distributor was 20th Century-Fox. Its USA-release date was June 23, 1939.
The movie begins with Blackfeet opposing Canadian Pacific Railway building from Red River to the western foothills, 1882-1884. Northwest mounted police follow an arrow-pierced settler’s hat and smoke. They retrieve Susannah Sheldon (Shirley Temple) -- traumatized by witnessing her grandfather’s massacre -- from under a wagon train barrel.
Patrol commander/Inspector Angus Montague (Randolph Scott) assures Susannah that courage ends fear. Monty gives Susannah Patrick O’Hannegan’s (J. Farrell MacDonald) bedroom. Pat sleeps on the couch.
Susannah helps brush Monty’s uniform for reporting to Superintendent Andrew Standing (Moroni Olsen). Monty meets Andrew’s daughter Vicky (Margaret Lockwood), recently arrived from Toronto two days previously. Harlan Chambers (Lester Matthews) offers competition for Vicky’s affections.
Blackfeet injure 4 men and steal 20 horses from Harlan’s Iron Horse railroad camp. A powwow is held. Chief Big Eagle (Maurice Moscovitch) leaves son Little Chief (Martin Good Rider) as hostage to finding the renegades within 5 days. He lets Little Chief have a teepee and Susannah a pony. Little Chief offers Susannah the peace pipe over not:
Calling her papoose;
Walking in front.
Susannah cleans Monty’s boots with Pat’s toupee. She had dancing lessons from her fiddler grandfather. She has Monty put a book on his head. She instructs Monty while singing “I’ll Teach You to Waltz”. Vicky’s Wednesday evening dance is interrupted by:
Little Chief and Susannah go riding before becoming blood siblings. They hear Wolf Pelt (Victor Jory) selling Bully Boy, Lady Jane, and Steamboat. Harlan recognizes the horses as his own. He threatens Wolf Pelt.
Wolf Pelt incites Blackfeet to war. He leads raids to:
Big Eagle releases Inspector Randall (Leyland Hodgson). But Monty will die if railroad-building continues.
Susannah accesses the camp. Warriors confine her in Monty’s prison teepee. She escapes as Blackfeet begin burning Monty at the stake.
The movie ends with:
Big Eagle’s lance of truth/untruth falling against Wolf Pelt;
Big Eagle having Wolf Pelt taken away;
Little Chief, Monty and Susannah smoking Big Eagle’s peace pipe.