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Three Faces West (1940)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 450 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
Edit

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

Two of the movie's main characters are introduced via a radio program called "We The People." This was a real radio show that ran on the CBS blue network (originating on WABC, New York) from circa 1937 to circa 1949. The sponsor was Calumet Baking Powder. The show was created by Phillips H. Lord (of "Gangbusters" fame) to give "a half hour to the people of this country so we can hear their experiences." The radio program shown in this movie is essentially the same as in real life: real people spoke at the microphone telling their own stories. See more »

Goofs

Doctor Braun's "Austrian" accent briefly reverts to a distinct Irish brogue at around 29 minutes. 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

 
Great performances, especially by John Wayne, in a good story

In a subdued and understated role, John Wayne is excellent.

Other commenters have placed the action in North Dakota and in Oklahoma, but I never heard a home stated. In fact, I thought the script specifically avoided mentioning one. (Maybe like the Simpsons' Springfield?)

The situation and the timing would seem to indicate Oklahoma, but in truth it really doesn't matter, and the film can be seen as somewhat of an allegory, as representative of the dilemma many poor farmers faced during the Dust Bowl and Depression days.

Regardless, it is worth saying again that John Wayne gave one of his best performances, that his character was a different one from what he so often played and he demonstrated that he was by gosh an actor!

The chief bad guy also stood out, and should have, being played as it was by the great Trevor Bardette.

The subplot, the almost thwarted love story, was poignant and timely, and there was a wonderful line spoken by the Wayne character: "We get all tangled up in other people's feelings and duties and obligations," a fact that gets so many people, and even nations, into trouble.

"Three Faces West" is a very good movie, with great direction, some superior camera angles, and possibly some great stock footage, as well as great acting, from Wayne to the atmosphere players.

All of that with an intelligent script makes it well worth watching.


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