Hannes Schmidhauser (John A. Sutter)Wolfram Berger (Frank Buchser)Werner Bachofen (John A. Sutter (young man))Gabriela Steinmann (Anna Sutter-Dübeld)Claudio Eha (General John C. Fremont)Werner Bruner (General Horatio C. Bigson)Werner Brechbühl (Alfons Sutter)Myrtha Kuni (Elise Sutter)Ulrich Nebiker (Emil Sutter)Walter Salzmann (August Sutter - as a man)Peter Scheller (Friend)Ruth Zweifel (Friend)Elisabeth Salzmann (Friend)Dominik Keller (Gravedigger)Hans Kühne (Gravedigger)John Frederick Jones (Porter)Eugene Rubenzer (Butler)Jason Vance (August Sutter - as a young man)
In June of 1866, while in Washington to pursue reparations from Congress for property losses during the Gold Rush, Swiss-born John Sutter sits for a portrait that still hangs in Solothurn. As Frank Buchser paints, Sutter relates his life story: his childhood, apprenticeship, early marriage, business failures, and departure to America, alone, in the late 1830s. He establishes his business empire in what becomes Sacramento, losing out again when gold is discovered at a mill he's building, his lands to be trampled by the world rushing in. Nearly 20 years later, reunited with his wife and living in New York, dignified and without regrets, he futilely lobbies Congress.