Cast of 1955's "Timberjack" Parade Through Downtown Missoula
April 07, 2021
"UNTAMED! ...wild and primitive as the great north woods!"
Those are the words screamed in print at the top of the poster for 1955's Timberjack, a Western film set and filmed in Montana. Below is a picture of a parade in downtown Missoula as the cast drove through downtown, past some legendary Missoula landmarks.
The slick cowboy sitting on the bumper of the lead car is unidentified - perhaps Sterling Hayden, star of the picture. The rest of the cast included Adolph Menjou, Vera Ralston, Hoagy Carmicheal, and Chill Wills (movie stars just don't have names like they used to, do they?).
Filmed in Glacier National Park, the Missoula area, and Polson, Timberjack was based on a book by Montana novelist Dan Cushman, although his novel took place in the wilds of Canada. The plot involved a lumberjack who returns to his hometown to find his father murdered and has to battle it out over a logging railroad spur and the timber rights in the area.
The movie had its world premiere in Missoula on February 4th, 1955, before opening in the rest of the nation on February 18th. Leading up to the Missoula premiere, some of the cast and crew returned to Montana for publicity - including this parade.
Missoula has not hosted a film premiere since, but here's hoping it will soon.