You know the phrase, "Don't make 'em like that anymore..." Here's another example...and why I'm glad they don't!
Expected much more, given a hint in the documentary on Errol Flynn (the big star of this "big" western.) Both Flynn and legendary Warner Bros. director Michael Curtiz made many better pictures than this that, despite changes in attitude, technicals and movie story-telling are, if not still "great" at least offer passable 21st century entertainment. Not this one.
You might want to borrow this for two reasons, but not story, the cliches, stock characters and one of the longest, silliest saloon brawls in movie history (and that's saying something.) Also, long shots noticeably out-of-focus. I could blame available original material, but think it's a transfer fault.
1. "Spot the mistakes." Two sequences, especially. First, there's a stagecoach in the background of medium shots, then, same scene, in long-shots, stage coach...vanishes! Same problem in another key scene. A close up brackets two medium shots. First medium shot: not body on the ground. Second medium shot: body suddenly appears! Unforgivably sloppy, even back in 1939. Lazy stuff, too. Buffalo tip over one wagon. We see it go down twice, from slightly different framing. It's an old trick (watch explosions in war movies) but pretty obvious, and silly corner-cutting here.
2. A bit of 21st century First Nations/Native American sensitivity. Flynn turns in a bunch of buffalo hunters who've left carcasses to rot, and hoped to sell the hides. Flynn will ensure the robes are given the natives. Hey, wait a minute! Wasn't Flynn and his sidekicks shooting buffalo for the railway workers? Well, yeah, but tribes said okay, as they got the hides, and besides, the animals were shot for food; ergo, no waste.
Amazing stuff they could have just avoided altogether without damaging the narrative, but somebody thought this was important...,waayyy back in 1939!
Said adios half-way through.
Did you know that Dodge City was once one of the most dangerous western towns? The story is all here with the great Errol Flynn ready to straighten out the lawlessness of the towns worst crooks. Great for the entire family!
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