The Shepherd of the Hills

Synopsis: Young Matt Masters, an Ozark Mountains moonshiner, hates the father he has never seen, who apparently deserted Matt's mother and left her to die. His obsession contributes to the hatred rampant in the mountains. However, the arrival of a stranger, Daniel Howitt, begins to positively affect the mountain people, who learn to shed their hatred under his gentle influence. Still, Matt does not quite trust Howitt.....
Director(s): Henry Hathaway
Production: Paramount Pictures
98 min

Kinda free with your powder, ain't ya?

Not when I'm aimin' at a moonshiner

with four jugs slung over his shoulder.

Accordin' to the law, a man's

got a right to tote his liquor...

wherever it fits him best,

inside or out.

And he ain't a moonshiner

till he sells it and gets caught at it.

The way you talk up for these

superstitious mountain people,

you'd think that every third 'shiner

is your nephew.

Well, I've been up here long enough for

the government to know just where I stand.

And you better be careful potshottin'

at these nephews whose uncle I ain't.

Hey, Charlie, come here!

Take a look at this!

I told you I got him.

Cow. Cow?

Yeah. Lamentin' cow.

Full udder and nobody to milk her.

Lamentin', huh?


Get these hid away from here.

Let Wash do it.

Do what you're told. Jim Lane's

standin' watch for us at Holler Ridge.

Let him find his own cover.

Get these things hid away.

Douse that fire. Watch that smoke.

Are you deef?

Revenuers! Dump that mash

and scatter till I call ya.

Who lives there?

Jim Lane and his daughter, Sammy.

Come in.


Hello, Sammy.

You're lookin' fine.

How's everything with you, Jim?

Well, Andy, I can't complain.

You're here just in time. We got a powerful

lot of johnnycake and squirrel stew.

There's only one more plate, unless

they wanna eat stew out of their hands.

No, thanks, Sammy.

We got business to attend to.

Well, are you satisfied?

So long, Jim.

Bye, Sammy.


They hit me without no warnin'.

Easy. Easy, young'un.

Don't hurt out loud, Pappy.

Here. Careful.

The murderin' hounds. I was right

down at the fork of the creek.

Young Matt givin' you sorghum beer

for spottin' revenuers...

while he's totin' his corn whiskey

down into town!

Someday I'll... Don't aggravate

yourself. It's me is shot.

'Tain't like it was Young Matt's fault.


It's you that's shot, just like you said.

Not him!

Come in.

What do you want?

My name's Daniel Howitt. I...

Don't you touch him!

This looks bad.

It's stopped bein' bad and turned worse.

I can take care of him.

That bullet's still with him.

I said I can take care of him.

I got salve. I got cobwebs...

This is no time to argue!

Boil some water

and get some clean rags.

When do you aim to take him?

Take him?

You're just wellin' him

to take him to jail, ain't you?

I've been tryin' to tell ya.

I'm Daniel Howitt.

I came here to get some information,

to get acquainted.


Well, I'd like to buy a piece

of land, settle down here. Why?

I... gonies! The man was

right clever with me,

and you act like he was a fine-hair.

Folks like him don't come to land

what's been corned out.

Land with seed ticks and chinch bugs

and whoopin' cough and...

Why'd you come?

I didn't ask you how he got shot.

No, you didn't, for a fact.

Evenin', brother.

Hello, Sammy.

Keep joggin', Young Matt.

Don't get off that horse!

Don't get your dander up.

I just come to see is your pa home.

He is, and we don't need

you and your kind askin' after him.

I guess then I'll have

to invite myself in.

Get on up the hill, Rowdy.

Tell Aunt Mollie

I want stack cakes...

and roast yearlin'coon

with plenty of gravy!

And tell her we ain't aimin' to stand

for no more sickness and misery!

My, ain't the birds a... hollerin'

pretty. You and your devilment!

Aunt Mollie and Old Matt and their poison

ways, makin' people scared of livin'!

There's bluebirds nestin'

all over the mountain.

Liquor totin' and gettin' drunk

and raisin'Jupiter to suit yourselves!

Your eyes are cussin' pretty tonight.

Makin' the hants do your biddin'!

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Grover Jones

Grover Jones (November 15, 1893 – September 24, 1940) was an American screenwriter - often teamed with William Slavens McNutt - and film director. He wrote more than 104 films between 1920 and his death. He also was a film journal publisher and prolific short story writer. Jones was born in Rosedale, Indiana, grew up in West Terre Haute, Indiana, and died in Hollywood, California. He was the father of American polo pioneer Sue Sally Hale. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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