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A feud, the origins of which can barely be remembered, has been boiling for decades between two sheltered mountain families, the Tollivers and the Falins. With plans to build a railroad through both families' land and mine coal deposits beneath it, enterprising outsider Jack Hale (Fred MacMurray) inadvertently becomes entangled in the region's politics. He soon captures the attention of the beautiful June Tolliver (Sylvia Sidney) and quickly becomes involved in a love triangle with her and her cousin Dave (Henry Fonda) Written by
Based on a celebrated novel, this Western focuses on a love triangle against the backdrop of feuding families. This has the historic distinction of being the first Technicolor film shot outdoors. It looks great. Unfortunately, the script is weak and preachy and the acting is uneven. Hathaway would go on to make some fine films but here the pacing is lethargic and, despite the good cast, much of the acting is over-the-top. Sidney and Bondi are especially guilty of over emoting. Fonda's is a one-note performance. MacMurray does OK. McFarland is cute as Sidney's little brother. Fonda and Sidney would fare better the following year in Fritz Lang's "You Only Live Once."
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