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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Mary Rutledge arrives from the east, finds her fiance dead, and goes to work at the roulette wheel of Louis Charnalis' Bella Donna, a rowdy gambling house in San Francisco in the 1850s. She... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
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Edward G. Robinson,
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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 <email@example.com>
About 40 minutes into the film, when Yates and Lily are first getting close to each other in her new digs, and Lily is sitting on the back of a sofa, in the closing two-shot of the scene the shadow of the boom microphone is clearly visible moving up and down on the wall behind them. See more »
Rousing story of rags to riches based on fact. Robinson pulls out all the stops as a lowly Colorado merchant who maneuvers his way into fame and fortune. He may not be physically big, but there's enough personality there to light up a stadium. Between ace production values, rapid-fire pacing, and Robinson pizazz, it's like being carried along by a roaring steam engine. It's entertaining to accompany Yates (Robinson) on his rise to wealth and national prominence, especially since he never loses his down-home ways. Interestingly, the movie's based on real life story of silver king HAW Tabor, who remains a Colorado legend to this day (I'm from there). Oddly, there're no scenes of mountains or Colorado, but credit the production for more than compensating.
Good to see Aline MacMahon get a sympathetic role as Yates' first wife and helpmate. Usually consigned to spinsterish or sinister roles, she's young here and almost pretty. Bebe Daniels, however, gets the glamor part as Yates' mistress then second wife. The movie amounts to something of a morality tale. Of course, the higher Yates climbs on the economic-social ladder the farther he has to fall. Trouble is he thinks millions from silver mining will overcome any obstacle. In short, money takes care of everything. But then, he's forgotten about the vagaries of the market, which can be an undoing. My one complaint is a rather spotty screenplay. Beneath the rapid pacing, important transitions are generally skipped over (e.g. the divorce), while there's little tracking of characters aside of Yates. Nonetheless, the results are generally impressive and definitely deserve a look-see, especially for Robinson's bravura performance.
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