Hank McHenry and Johnny Marshall work on a road crew for the power company. In a freak accident Hank is injured and is promoted to foreman of the gang. One night Hank and Johnny meet Fay ...
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Bijou, a saloon singer with a reputation for inciting brouhahas, is one of several deportees from a south Pacific island to arrive at another U.S. protectorate, Boni Komba. She becomes very... See full summary »
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Hank McHenry and Johnny Marshall work on a road crew for the power company. In a freak accident Hank is injured and is promoted to foreman of the gang. One night Hank and Johnny meet Fay Duval in a clip joint, but tensions start to show in the road crew as rivally between Hank and Johnny increases. Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
After Johnny bails Fay out of jail, they are seen walking together down a stairway at the police station. When they arrive at the first landing, as they turn and continue to descend the stairs, the shadow of the microphone boom can be seen on the wall behind them. See more »
Is the movie a comedy with melodramatic overtones or a melodrama with comedic overtones. Sometimes it's hard to tell since exaggeration appears the way director Walsh has decided to pitch the material. The storms, the comedic byplay, Robinson's good-hearted working manall are spread on pretty thickly and much of the time, I'm afraid, to a fault. At times there's almost a frenetic undercurrent as though the audience won't get the point unless it's shoveled on. Contrast Walsh's approach here with his tightly controlled direction of High Sierra (also 1941).
All in all, it's a strange movie. For example, when I think "daughter of the American working class", I don't think of a 40-year old with a German accent, even if she does pop gum in one scene. Just how that queen of continental glamour Marlene Dietrich wound up in a Warner Bros. programmer is puzzling, to say the least, especially when the studio had that supremely soulful blue-collar girl, Ida Lupino, under contract. Too bad that the wooden Dietrich adds to the phoniness of a movie that already has too much.
Of course, there are the thunder and lightning scenes that show what special effects in those days could do with a carefully lit soundstage. The storms are impressive, but they also make you doubt the sanity of anyone clambering around on 1,000 volt power lines. Falling appears to be the least of the hazards. Anyway, the movie's many conflicting parts produce an oddly awkward result, even if the very last shot achieves a kind of baroque poetry. Somehow, I suspect there's an inside story behind the making of this concoction that may be more compelling than the film itself.
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