6.4/10
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8 user 3 critic

Let Freedom Ring (1939)

Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 24 February 1939 (USA)
Railroad owner Jim Knox uses everything to get the land he needs for his new railroad cheaply. Everybody hopes, that Steve Logan ends his regime, but he allies with Jim Knox. Nobody knows, ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(original story), (screen play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Maggie Adams
...
Chris Mulligan
...
Thomas Logan
...
Jim Knox
...
David Bronson
...
The Mackerel
...
Rutledge
...
Underwood
Dick Rich ...
'Bumper' Jackson
...
Gagan
...
'Pop' Wilkie (as George F. Hayes)
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Ned Wilkie
Sarah Padden ...
'Ma' Logan
Eddie Dunn ...
'Curly'
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Storyline

Railroad owner Jim Knox uses everything to get the land he needs for his new railroad cheaply. Everybody hopes, that Steve Logan ends his regime, but he allies with Jim Knox. Nobody knows, that he's actually a government agent. But when Jim finds out, he tries to kill Steve. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Thrill-Blasting Drama of Men and Women at the Turn of a New Era with a cast as big as the Majestic land they Glorify !

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 February 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Song of the West  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The setting is 1868, but Steve sings the 1904 song "Ten Thousand Cattle Straying" and the 1912 song "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling". See more »

Quotes

Maggie Adams: You've got lots of money, haven't you?
Jim Knox: Ooooh, I keep it in barrels.
Maggie Adams: Then why do you go around robbing poor people, stealing their land and burning them out? If you're such a rich man, why are you a thief?
Jim Knox: Where I come from people don't call me a thief, they call me a 'financier'.
Maggie Adams: And what country do you come from?
Jim Knox: It's not a country, it's a street. Wall Street.
Maggie Adams: Well that street isn't big enough to run this country Mr Knox. You own the sheriff and the courts and you've got all the money in the ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Noise (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Been Working on the Railroad
(uncredited)
Traditional
In the score during the first scene
Later sung by railroad builders
Contains a section of "Funiculi, Funicula" (1880)
Music by Luigi Denza
Words by Peppino Turco
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Poor Ben Hecht
4 April 2006 | by (BC) – See all my reviews

He may have written this script in the hopes that it would have been given a more serious treatment by MGM. Instead his rail against internal industrial fascism on the eve of America's entry into WW2 to fight external fascists was turned into a starring vehicle for Nelson Eddy of all people. Hecht must have gone on an extended bender when he heard his story was going to be punctuated by several of Eddy's baritone interludes.

Does it all gel? No. It's a bit of shizophrenic curiosity piece to say the least. But Hecht's message resonates now as it did then, and the picture does provide many pleasing moments and is actually quite entertaining to sit through.

Eddy is likable and is even believable as a two fisted hero. His scenes with Victor McLaglen, actually beating the hell out of McLaglen in the last act, are a hoot. McLaglen is always a fun ham to watch and here he's playing his usual larger than life Irishman, though more like his turn in the Quiet Man than his lovable appearances as the Sergeant in John Ford's Cavalry trilogy. McLaglen was branded (no doubt unfairly) with the reputation of being a crypto-fascist around the time this came out. This role probably had a lot to do with it.

As far as villains go, Edward Arnold played the most menacing corporate/political wolves captured on film in that era. Here he's at it again, playing Dick Cheney to good effect a couple of years before Dick Cheney was even hatched. He also appeared in a very similar role in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington the very same year as this release.

This film is uneven, at times unbelievable, and very corny. It lands short of being good but it's still fun, thought provoking (what with the current political climate), and worth seeing.


4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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