Wallace Beery stars in this handsomely mounted MGM programmer, playing the gruff, old rowdy that he had made a specialty of for much of the last ten years of his career. The story, which somehow seems to involve Russian spies during the American Civil War, is most interesting for Ray June's handsome and darkly back-lit cinematography that shows off co-star Dolores Del Rio's beauty and John Howard's good looks. He favors simple compositions in this effort, which was cheaper to shoot -- although MGM boasted that it had no B units, this programmer is a classy B and no mistake about it. Beery was still a star, but....
Director Leslie Fenton started as an actor, went through the MGM shorts department, directing several of the CRIME DOES NOT PAY series, and then rose to features. He bounced around a bit and his movie career ended a decade later at Paramount. John Howard was best known for playing Bulldog Drummond in the 1930s and while a competent actor, never quite rose to be a star and Del Rio returned to Mexico after this to be a major star there, as she had been in 1920s Hollywood. The collaborators here have produced a pleasant, lightweight programmer that will please their fans.
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