Yates and Sarah Martin are barely getting by in a Colorado boom town grocery store. Sudden wealth leads to greater prosperity and political power. In Denver Yates buys a mansion and builds ... See full summary »
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Edward G. Robinson,
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Gregory La Cava
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Yates and Sarah Martin are barely getting by in a Colorado boom town grocery store. Sudden wealth leads to greater prosperity and political power. In Denver Yates buys a mansion and builds an opera house. He leaves Sarah for glamorous Lily and, when he makes it to Washington as Senator, marries her. When the gold standard is introduced, he's ruined. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A great, lively American story that happens to be true. The same source material was used, with somewhat more accuracy, in the 1950s American opera "The Ballad of Baby Doe." (The Baby Doe of the title was still alive when the movie was made, hence the need to change all the names and fictionalize some of the details.) Robinson is excellent as a likeable, but foolish and blustering, millionaire miner with political ambitions; MacMahon is flawless as his stern but understanding wife. Their story, of how he made and lost a name and a fortune for himself, is the stuff of fine melodrama. What happens to them says much about the vagaries of capitalism, the arbitrariness of the metals standard, and the pettiness of American moral attitudes, but most of all it's good entertainment. Alfred E. Green's direction is nothing fancy, just capable and fast. And the size of the production is just right. Historical note: The real Baby Doe (Lily in the movie) stuck by her man and held onto the Matchless Mine, as per his instructions. She became a legendary eccentric in Leadville, walking the streets and telling her story to anyone who would listen, before freezing to death in her cabin in 1935.
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