|Index||3 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In order to make a third version of Jack London's novel, Abysmal Brute,
we'd have to have a different gimmick. The electronic media and the
internet would make it impossible to pull off what London's
protagonists are doing.
In the places where the working people gather, John Wayne in Conflict travels to mining camps, logging camps, ranches etc., and moves in and ingratiates himself and makes known his pugilistic prowess. Along come professional prize fighter Ward Bond and a match is arranged. What happens is Wayne goes in the tank and Bond and his handlers clean up in bet money.
But when the act is ready to be pulled on this particular logging camp the love of a small runaway orphan kid, Tommy Bupp, and the romantic attachment and journalistic investigation of reporter Jean Rogers make Wayne see the error of his ways. I think you can figure out where this is going.
I would never have thought it, but John Wayne and Reginald Denny playing the same role, it's true. Denny played Wayne's part in the 1923 silent version under London's original novel title.
Conflict is one of six films that John Wayne made for Universal in 1936 and 1937 that were non-westerns as an effort to expand his range. Some were better than others, but they didn't succeed in breaking him out as a major star. That would have to wait until Stagecoach.
The production values are considerably above the stuff the Duke was doing at the time for Lone Star Pictures. Still it's a B film we're looking at.
Of the Universals at this time, one is lost, Adventure's End. Of the group remaining I like The Sea Spoilers the best. None are generally available and I wish they were.
If they ever do come on the market, get Sea Spoilers before you get this one however. Conflict isn't great, but not horrible. The Duke plays a kind of hero/heel that Tyrone Power patented over at 20th Century Fox.
Average quality but nonetheless interesting Jack London western in
which John Wayne and Ward Bond have their first serious on-screen slug
match. The story centers on a boxing match and on an orphan boy who
Wayne unofficially adopts, the lad thus graduating from eating the tail
of the chicken to the drumstick. I never forgot that aspect.
I ought not reveal more of the story, cuz there ain't much more; as the movie clocks in at 65 minutes. In the pre- TV and pre- VCR era the combination of having John Wayne as the star and the short running time made for an ideal half of a double feature and prolonged the movie's life through several re-issues over several decades.
Incredibly, this movie has sold repeatedly in bootleg copies on the internet for prices in excess of $100. Interesting to see the movie listed for $9.95 suddenly bid up above $100, sometimes over $150. (I was never a seller.) This happened more than 20 times.
"Conflict" is a formulaic '30's programmer with very little to
recommend it. Let's see. You can see a young John Wayne getting
experience and time in front of a camera. Jean Rogers is pretty. And
there is some very nice background music by Charles Previn.
Well, that's about it. Not much else going on here. Direction was dreadful and the Screenplay was simple-minded, and it all makes you think of Kid's matinees of the 40's - I loved those shows but we also got some cartoons and funny shorts to go with it.
In this one, Duke is a lumberjack/set-up man for a crooked boxing con game working the Northwest with the"Champ" being none other than a youthful Ward Bond. But then Duke adopts an orphan boy, meets Jean Rogers, gets pangs of conscience, and guess what? You guessed correctly, so now you can buy or watch a better DVD, one more worthy of your time and expenditure.
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