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John G. Blystone
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 falls in love with miner Carmichael and takes his gold dust at the wheel. She goes after him, Louis goes after her with intent to harm Carmichael. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Somewhat run-of-the-mill period piece combining characters and story points probably seen to better effect elsewhere. I could accept E. G. Robinson in his role as a swaggering casino owner in his puffy shirt and earring (and severe sidechops), and he leavens his evildoing with a little bit of pathos in his yearning for a woman who will love him for himself. Poor sap hasn't learned that having people shot in the back is a poor way to impress a woman. Miriam Hopkins does a fine job, mostly, but she sometimes uses her eyebrows to punctuate her dialog a little too much. Hawks should have told her to tone down the brow action a little. The opening sequence as the ship pulls into a fog-enshrouded San Francisco Bay is beautifully shot.
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