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Young Matt Masters, an Ozark Mountains moonshiner, hates the father he has never seen, who apparently deserted Matt's mother and left her to die. His obsession contributes to the hatred rampant in the mountains. However, the arrival of a stranger, Daniel Howitt, begins to positively affect the mountain people, who learn to shed their hatred under his gentle influence. Still, Matt does not quite trust Howitt..... Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is an overlooked John Wayne movie ,as well as an overlooked Hathaway's -who in his long career produced more great or good movies than wretched ones :"Peter Ibbetson" is one of the most beautiful romantic movies I know,"lives of a Bengal lancer is adventures movie quintessence and "Niagara" remains one of Marylin Monroe's best films ,to name but three.
John Wayne is cast against type in "the shepherd" ;he is not really the he-man but a frail human being ,born under a bad sign , with a curse hanging over him .The characters and the atmosphere are not unlike those of "the trail of the lonesome pine" which Hathaway made five years earlier ,with the same wonderful color.
Some scenes are admirable:when Wayne 's old man enters the room of the old home,he feels a presence in the room : the furniture, the things ,everything reminds him of the woman he's never stopped loving (he is as romantic as Peter Ibbetson!).Another memorable scene shows the old man and his son fishing in the river :watch closely and you'll hear a ravaged tale ;the gentler side of the movie hides real fury (and Hathaway does not indulge himself a flashback of the stormy fateful night).
Actually,John Wayne 's character is not so much bitter as wistful and it's one of the actors' best performances;but it's all the cast that should be praised .Add it to your Hathaway list.
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