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Three Faces West (1940)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 452 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 13 critic

Viennese surgeon Dr. Braun and his daughter Leni come to a small town in North Dakota as refugees from Hitler. When the winds of the Dust Bowl threaten the town, John Phillips leads the ... See full summary »

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(original screenplay), (original screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Three Faces West (1940)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Sigrid Gurie ...
Leni 'Lenchen' Braun
...
Dr. Karl Braun
Spencer Charters ...
Dr. 'Nunk' Atterbury
Helen MacKellar ...
Mrs. Welles
Roland Varno ...
Dr. Eric Von Scherer
Sonny Bupp ...
Billy Welles
Wade Boteler ...
Mr. Harris, Department of Agriculture Official
Trevor Bardette ...
Clem Higgins
Russell Simpson ...
Minister
Charles Waldron ...
Dr. William Thorpe
Wendell Niles ...
Man-on-the-Street Radio Announcer
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Storyline

Viennese surgeon Dr. Braun and his daughter Leni come to a small town in North Dakota as refugees from Hitler. When the winds of the Dust Bowl threaten the town, John Phillips leads the townsfolk in moving to greener pastures in Oregon. He falls for Leni, but she is betrothed to the man who helped her and her father escape from the Third Reich. She must make a decision between the two men. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What barrier mars the path of their destiny...the fulfillment of their right to happiness? (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 July 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Caminho do Ocidente  »

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA "High Fidelity" Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Douglas Evans, shown as the master of ceremonies for the radio show "We The People," was a radio announcer in real life. He worked for KFI (Los Angeles) in the 1930s. See more »

Goofs

At c.6 minutes Dr Braun and his daughter suddenly switch seats on the train. See more »

Quotes

Farmer: There ain't no college professor gonna teach me how to farm my land.
John Phillips: How much land you got left that hasn't blown away? Look, men, let's quit arguing and kidding ourselves. We're all in the same boat. And we're all gonna sink unless we stick together. Every one of us has been served with a "dispossess notice," not by Uncle Sam or a bank or some mortgage company, but by a little ol' gal we've been kicking in the teeth, Mother Nature.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very New Dealish for the Duke
15 October 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Viennese surgeon Charles Coburn and daughter Sigrid Gurie arrive in America and are placed in a rural area of Oklahoma. They stay in a large old house with John Wayne and Spencer Charters. Pretty soon, despite Gurie's homesickness, they are involved in the social and political life in the area.

This is the famous Oklahoma dust bowl era when drought and poor cultivation practices brought about a drying up of once fertile farm land. Wayne and the other farmers do their best to save the land, but in the end except a government offer to homestead new farm land created by a dam built in Oregon, I presume on the Columbia River or one of its tributaries.

Gurie of course falls big time for the Duke. But she hears that Roland Varno who saved them from the Nazis and who she thought dead is still alive. Wayne of course leads a modern day wagon train to Oregon with automobiles instead of Conestoga wagons. He's got his own problems with Trevor Bardette, another farmer who's constantly trying to undermine his leadership.

23 years later John Wayne made McLintock which is more a serious statement of his conservative political and economic philosophy than one realizes. In Three Faces West we have him accepting a government program's help, albeit a self help type program. The film though is couched in terms good enough to satisfy any free marketeer.

One thing I could not understand. Roland Varno purportedly risked his life to save Gurie and Coburn from the Nazis. But when both of them meet up with Varno in San Francisco, he's now a big time Nazi supporter and wants to take them back to Vienna to aid in his new cause. They are taken aback and walk right out on him.

I'm somewhat taken aback myself. For the life of me I don't understand Varno's about face. The script gives us no explanation. It's a big hole in the plot.

Three Faces West also labors under the handicap of coming out in the same year as The Grapes of Wrath. A much better film about the dust bowl and its economic effects.


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