"Wicked" Lily Bishop joins a wagon train to California, led by Michael Fabian and Johnnny Trumbo, but news of the Gold Rush scatters the train. When Johnny and Michael finally arrive, Lily is rich from her saloon and storekeeper (former slaver) Pharaoh Coffin is bleeding the miners dry. But worse troubles are ahead: California is inching toward statehood, and certain people want to make it their private empire. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
This film tries so hard to be a sprawling epic, and it ends up just sprawling. The hero barely registers as a blip on the radar, Barbara Stanwyck turns in a bad impression of a heterosexual heroine, the villain is a cardboard stereotype, and Barry Fitzgerald's character is too saintly to be believable with this thankless script. This western even features a stand-in horse: a photo mounted on cardboard (in one of the first scenes). It never really gets much better than that.
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