When the miners of Roaring Camp become Godfathers to a motherless baby, they name the boy Luck and promise to set aside money for him from their diggings. But when they strike it rich the ...
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When the miners of Roaring Camp become Godfathers to a motherless baby, they name the boy Luck and promise to set aside money for him from their diggings. But when they strike it rich the money is gambled away instead. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
This film received its initial USA telecast Monday 12 January 1942 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). After WWII, television viewers in New York City got their next look at it Monday 26 June 1950 on the Night Owl Theatre o WPIX (Channel 11), and in Los Angeles Monday 28 August 1950 on KECA (Channel 7). See more »
This was the final film made by Irvin Willat (1890-1976), a very highly regarded director in his day, who has slipped into an undeserved obscurity, simply because just about all of his big pictures are currently unavailable, including such huge box office and critical successes like "False Faces" with Lon Chaney, "Behind the Door" with Hobart Bosworth and Wallace Beery, "All the Brothers Were Valiant" with Lon Chaney and Billie Dove, "North of 36" with Jack Holt, Ernest Torrence, Lois Wilson and Noah Beery. Indeed "North of 36" was such a huge box office and critical success, it was soon followed by Zane Grey's "Wanderer of the Wasteland" which again brought together Jack Holt, Ernest Torrence, Lois Wilson and Noah Beery, under Willat's direction! Based on a super-popular 1909 novel that had already been filmed with great success in 1923, "The Isle of Lost Ships" (1929) was Willat's most expensive picture. It would normally have made a fortune at U.S. ticket windows, but the stock market crash turned the movie's title into a liability rather than an asset. In fact, the movie lost so much cash, it forced First National Pictures to sell out to Warner Bros.
Getting back to "The Luck of Roaring Camp", as we might expect, the Bret Harte story is directed in grand style on a fair-sized budget even though there are no really top-level stars involved. Nevertheless, Joan Woodbury turns in a fine performance as the dancer who befriends our lucky hero (Owen Davis, Jr.). Joan is well supported by some of my favorite character players including Charles King (in a reasonably sympathetic role for once), Byron Foulger, Bob Kortman, Charles Brokaw and Ferris Taylor. Available on a very good Alpha DVD.
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