6.8/10
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Virginia City (1940)

Approved | | Action, Drama, History | 23 March 1940 (USA)
Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy.

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(original screen play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mr. Upjohn
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Marshall
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Maj. Drewery (as Douglas Dumbrille)
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Cameron
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Armistead
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Cobby
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Union Soldier
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Gaylord
Victor Kilian ...
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Storyline

During the American Civil War, Captain Kerry Bradford escapes from a notorious confederate prison. He and two of his men are sent to Virginia City where Confederate sympathizers are prepared to donate $5 million dollars to the cause of Southern independence. The war is going badly for the Confederacy and money may tip the war in their favor. On the stagecoach to Virginia City, Bradford meets and falls in love with Julia Hayne not realizing that she is one of the conspirators. When he gets to Virginia City, he also runs into Confederate Captain Vance Irby who has been sent to collect and safely deliver the gold. Irby manages to get out of the city but the Union cavalry is in hot pursue. When Bradfoed catches up with them, he not only has to fight Irby but also John Murrell, a bandit who has his own plans for the gold. He also Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Go West!...to Virginia City...for excitement, for adventure, for primitive romance!!!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Goldschmuggel nach Virginia  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film premiered in Virginia City, Nevada, in 1940, the townspeople were charged an exorbitant admission fee (for those days) of $1.10 per customer. This was owing to the fact that Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, and others from the cast had been scheduled to make a personal appearance on stage after movie's showing. However, when Flynn and the others failed to appear, enraged audience members stormed out of the theatre and took the Warner Brothers entourage (including 5 busloads of studio personnel) hostage, demanding they get their money back. Eventually, the theatre's manager agreed to make up the difference by refunding the audience 70 cents apiece, thus reducing admission to its usual 40-cent fee. (Source: Nott, Robert. "The Films of Randolph Scott." Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Co., p. 85). See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene Captain Irby inspects a pistol. He opens a loading gate on the right side of the pistol. This indicates a metallic cartridge pistol. Almost all Civil War pistols in use at that time were cap and ball or paper cartridges. Both were loaded in the open end of the cylinder and used percussion caps. See more »

Quotes

Kerry Bradford: [to Murrell] Don't reach for that. Put 'em up! I thought that little Deringer of yours looked a little too well used for a sample, Mr. Murrell. In any case, I didn't like your face. As a matter of fact, I still don't.
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Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Errol Flynn (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
(1860) (uncredited)
aka "Dixie"
Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Excerpts incorporated into the score
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User Reviews

 
Plot-heavy Flynn western with badly cast Hopkins and Bogart...
20 August 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

As if to signal that the plot of VIRGINIA CITY would be borrowing many elements from previous Warner westerns, this one begins with stock footage from other studio westerns before settling down to tell a story that goes off in several different directions but remains in desperate need of a cohesive plot.

The first plot involves the greed for gold that has a Mexican bandit (HUMPHREY BOGART) interfering with the plans of ERROL FLYNN and RANDOLPH SCOTT involving the shipment of gold from Virginia City to aid the losing Southern cause during the Civil War. The second, is a lame romantic trio wherein Flynn and Scott are vying for the affections of a dance hall girl who is really a Southern spy (MIRIAM HOPKINS). The third plot concerns subsidiary characters, including a little boy (DICKIE JONES) who is aiding the rebels and meets an untimely death--just like the little boy in DODGE CITY, Flynn's bigger and better western.

So many remarks here comment on Max Steiner's score, but most of it includes snippets of Southern folk tunes for the Confededracy and/or Northern tunes for the Union music and very little of the score is original background material. Only the main theme heard over the credits is the single original composition for the whole film. The score, in other words, has tough competition from the lusty music he wrote for DODGE CITY, a far more complex and memorable score.

But the film's main drawback, aside from a very busy plot that takes two hours to unravel, is the miscasting of Miss Hopkins as singer and dancer at a saloon wherein the stage looks suspiciously like the same one used for Ann Sheridan's saloon gal in DODGE CITY. Hopkins can barely carry a tune and is clearly a bit over-aged for this kind of role. The other unfortunate miscasting is Humphrey Bogart as a Mexican bandit giving accented orders to his henchmen in an accent that barely conceals his Brooklynesque speech. Bogie looks extremely uncomfortable in the role.

Flynn is fine, managing to disguise the fact that there is absolutely no chemistry between him and Hopkins, who eyes him with cold disdain for the climactic close-up of the two holding hands. What were they thinking? The usual Warner stable of contract players delivers their lines on cue with panache but it's really no use. It's all been done before and doesn't even have the benefit of Technicolor to make good use of those striking outdoor location sites.

Only die-hard fans of Flynn and Scott will worship this one.


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