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John H. Auer
Someone should pair this with THE HAIRY APE. McLaglen plays his usual super macho braggart self as he arrives in a mill town to work in the steel factory (the recreation of which earned the Art Directors an Oscar nom). His name is "Big" Steve and his rival is Bill Morgan. They try to prove who is top dog by out-machoing each other for the first half of the film. Then Steve tries to horn in on Morgan's girl. A drunken Steve enters a prizefight contest to win money for the widow of a steel worker who died on the job but there's double-crossing afoot and the money already gathered for the widow is stolen. The town turns against Steve, thinking he stole the money or lost it. Suddenly Steve is no longer big man, but small man. Not much time for any epiphany here as the crooks are uncovered and macho Steve defeats culprit Morgan. The film is just a routine melodrama of the thirties, geared obviously for the male audience. The excellent sound and score deserved Oscar noms but did not get them. This is an okay piece of entertainment and worth a look if nothing better is on, but don't go out of your way for it.
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