Directed by studio co-founder (and my uncle) Simeon Manka and finished only weeks before his bizarre death on Hollywood Blvd. in 1958 (wearing only a sandwich board advertisement for "Benny's World Of Beef"), "The Dark Angel Of Alder Gulch" was a doomed project from the beginning.
Shot over the course of 17 years on location at Alder Gulch, Montana, the film was originally slated to star John Wayne and be directed by King Vidor in 1941 on the Manka Bros. backlot. How the film fell under Uncle Simeon's control and became his only obsession is still unknown to this day.
The film features rising star Art Finnegan and Morley Van Johnson (in 1941!) but their stars soon faded as the shoot dragged on and on and Uncle Simeon wouldn't allow them to appear in any other projects until his film was finished.
After years of digging through the millions of feet of film shot, Manka Bros. historians have pieced tog ether the definitive version as they imagined Simeon Manka would have wanted it.