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Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
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Warners' publicity releases, intended for newspapers,on this film state that Paul Muni worked closely with James Hilton on the adaptation of Hilton's book for this film. Given that most ... See full summary »
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William K. Howard
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Once the story reaches the year 1929, all the women wear 1933 fashions, an unfortunate anachronism, since styles had changed dramatically in those four years, and everything we see them wearing in what is supposed to be 1929 is completely out of tune with the actual styles of that period. See more »
A good sweeping epic about the settlement of the midwest, with fine performances.
This epic might have been called "How the Midwest Was Won," as it follows four generations of the Nordholm family from about 1850 to 1929. Paul Muni, who never gives a bad performance, is excellent as the central character, the son of Aline MacMahon (who in real life was actually 3 years younger than Muni) and who born just as she settled somewhere in a remote part of the Dakotas. How remote? When Lieut. Col. George Armstrong Custer comes in their house with some of his men and happily announces that the war (between the states) is over, MacMahon replies "What war?" As you might expect, four generations involves a lot of people, so it takes some concentration to sort them out (a cast list may help) but it's worth the effort. I enjoyed seeing a young Mickey Rooney, Jean Muir in her first film (where she plays Muni's original love interest and later her own granddaughter) and the various historical characters that pop up. It's not a great film, but one easily enjoyed.
If you are interested in credits, you may notice that Guy Kibbee is credited as "Claflin" in the opening credits, but his name is consistently spelled "Clafflin" within the film. And Muir was credited as "Selma II," but what that means is never explained.
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