You are here:



The movie was about a wagon train with people from Europe who intended to go to California (or west) to plant their olives or grapes. They had to battle Indians and did so by jumping, bouncing, from boulder to boulder. I canít remember the movie title, stars, or year but would like to see it again.

Dear Randall:

   I think that I may have found the answer to your question.The name of the movie that you are looking for is a 1959 movie called "Thunder in the Sun", directed by Randall Rouse and starring Jeff Chandler and Susan Hayward.

   The film shows a family of French Basque immigrants pioneering into the Wild West while carrying their ancestral vines. Hard drinking trail driver Lon Bennett is hired to lead them and he falls for the spirited Gabrielle Dauphin.

    This tale of Basques crossing the U.S. in 1847 with a load of grapevines has stock characters in slightly different guises. Susan Hayward is Gabrielle, a member of the Basque party who inexplicably speaks with a French accent (Basques speak their own unique language, and secondarily either Spanish or French.) She and her husband Andres (Carl Esmond), along with the others, are hoping to start a wine-growing industry on the West coast. Jeff Chandler is Lon Bennett, the lascivious-minded guide of the wagon train who openly chases after Gabrielle. Even after Gabrielle's husband is accidentally killed and she is married off, by custom, to his younger brother, Bennett does not relinquish his ardor. Their problematical relationship continues as several adventures befall the group, including the requisite battle with Native Americans.

  The film is infamous among Basques for its misunderstandings of Basque customs, such as the use of the xistera (a device of the jai alai sport) as a weapon or shouting irrintzi ululations as meaningful communication.[citation needed] Other commentators, though, have noted the well staged action scenes, the absorbing story, and the excellent cinematography

  Here is the compete cast as well:

   Susan Hayward as Gabrielle Dauphin
   Jeff Chandler as Lon Bennett
   Jacques Bergerac as Pepe Dauphin
   Blanche Yurka as Louise Dauphin
   Carl Esmond as Andre Dauphin
   Fortunio Bonanova as Fernando Christophe
   Bertrand Castelli as Edmond Duquette
   Albert Carrier
   Felix Locher as Danielle
   Michele Marly
   Albert Villasainte
   Veda Ann Borg as Marie

 It looks like this movie would be easy to find or see on the computer. I hope you can be reunited with it soon.

 If you have any further inquiries, , do not hesitate to get in touch with me again.

Take care and be blessed,
Bruce Simon  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Bruce Simon


I can answer virtually any question concerning TV westerns since 1950. I also have collected Western movies faithfully since 1984 and own several hundred (prominent ones such as High Noon or How the West was Won) as well as B movies and below (White Comanche and The Sundowners)I own rare TV series such as Yancey Derringer,the 13 episodes of Tate with David Maclean, and select episodes of Judge Roy Bean


I have been a Western aficionado since the age of 8 (so for the last 50 years). I have been a faithful collector of Lone Ranger episodes and memorabilia since the early 1970s. I find myself drawn more to the black and white series because I find color an unnecessary plot distraction and love to study the evolution and settlement of the Old West through the leather bound Time-Life series on the West. The principal factor which attracts me to this period is the consistent triumph of virtue over vice. The forces of evil, no matter how malevolent, are never victorious in any Western. So I am appreciative of the inflexible morality set forth in most Western series

I have belonged to 5 different churches in 35 years where I have held posts of Sunday school teacher, outreach leader, and board member. Since my retirement to Rowlesburg, West Virginia, I have held the post of Town Park Commissioner for 2 years and anticipate a position on our Town Council beginning in July.

I was a free lance book reviewer for the Richmond Times Dispatch for 15 years, I reviewed 129 books during this period. I also reviewed 25 books for Style Weekly, an independent publication.

I have a BA in English Literature and a minor in Linguistics from Virginia Commonwealth University. I graduated in 1976. I also had a half year of Bible College from New Life Outreach in Richmond, Virginia (1984-1985)

Awards and Honors
While employed by the Richmond Public Library for 29 years, I have been honored for outstanding customer service and have received awards for creative programming for Young Adults on 2 occasions.

Past/Present Clients
I am still an expert for the category of mystery fiction on this website.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]