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Charles 'Pittsburgh' Markham rides roughshod over his friends, his lovers, and his ideals in his trek toward financial success in the Pittsburgh steel industry, only to find himself deserted and lonely at the top. When his crash comes, he finds that fate has dealt him a second chance. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although the bulk of the picture takes place in the 1920s, clothes and hair styles are strictly up-to-the-minute 1942, when the picture was made. Early in the film, when the participants are supposedly racing to a mine disaster in the Pittsburgh area circa 1920, stock footage of a chase through downtown Los Angeles circa 1942 is used. See more »
My DVD is part of the Marlene Dietrich collection and this film is set against the backdrop of the coal and coking industry, the typical American story about starting with nothing and ending a tycoon.
But, of course, for business partners John Wayne - who bulldozes his way through and over anybody and everything and Randolph Scott, who is socially conscience the way to the top is interspersed with the, as always, beguiling Marlene Dietrich.
The production values are good, directed by Lewis Sellar and there's some smart dialogue - 'he's so crooked, he could hide behind a corkscrew' and to Dietrich 'a Christmas tree is dead until it's all lit up' but the story fairly rattles along that each piece and chapter are dealt as briefly and bluntly as Wayne's character (he's called Pittsburgh, or 'Pitt', as well as the story set in the city of the same name) and it's frankly hard to keep up.
This bamboozles any prospective romances to blossom and there's an awful lot of technical talk about unflattering by-products from coal - slag, sulphur, clinker - making this a movie that's not for those looking for a lot of Dietrich or romance. She is good, when she is seen, but Pittsburgh is more a sparring duet between Randolph Scott and John Wayne.
So 6/10; not a bad film but not a particularly good one, either.
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