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Rachel and the Stranger was a black-and-white 1948 western film starring Loretta Young, William Holden, and Robert Mitchum. The Norman Foster-helmed film was one of the few to address the role of women in the pioneer west, as well as portray early Americamarker's indentured servant trade. It was based on the Howard Fast short story "Rachel".

Despite its low budget, the film became RKO's most successful film that year, making over $350,000.


In colonial America, David Harvey (William Holden), a recent widower living in the wilderness, decides that his young boy Davey (Gary Gray) needs a woman around to help raise him. He goes to the nearest settlement and consults Parson Jackson (Tom Tully). David gets talked into buying the contract of an indentured servant named Rachel (Loretta Young) and marrying her.

Their marriage, however, is in name alone. Rachel serves more as a servant than a wife and Davey resents what he sees as an attempt to replace his dead mother Susan. Jim Fairways (Robert Mitchum), a family friend (and former suitor of Susan's), visits and falls in love with Rachel. When he offers to buy her, David must fight to keep her and discovers his love in the process.


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