The Baron of Arizona. 1950. USA. Written and directed by Samuel Fuller. With Vincent Price, Ellen Drew, Vladimir Sokoloff. 35mm. 97 min.
Fuller’s second film—a sterling example of what the filmmaker liked to call “a good yarn”—tells the improbable tale of a land office clerk who spends years of his life laying the groundwork for a fraudulent claim to the entire territory of Arizona. Price stars as real-life James Addison Reavis, who attempted to swindle the United States government out of the Arizona territory. Reavis became a master forger to alter religious records, and even tombstones, in order to give credence to his false claims. A true con man, Reavis, as played by Vincent Price, is a powerful foe to anyone who may cross him. Restored by MoMA.