The Fighting Kentuckian (1949)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Romance, War  |  15 September 1949 (USA)
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Following Napoleon's Waterloo defeat and the exile of his officers and their families from France, the U.S.Congress, in 1817, granted four townships in the Alabama territory to the exiles. ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Dorn ...
Willie Paine
Ann Logan
Blake Randolph
Hugo Haas ...
Gen. Paul De Marchand
George Hayden
Odette Myrtil ...
Madame De Marchand
Beau Merritt
Sister Hattie
Jack Pennick ...
Capt. Dan Carroll
Mickey Simpson ...
Fred Graham ...
Carter Ward
Mabelle Koenig ...


Following Napoleon's Waterloo defeat and the exile of his officers and their families from France, the U.S.Congress, in 1817, granted four townships in the Alabama territory to the exiles. Led by Colonel Georges Geraud and General Paul DeMarchand, the struggling settlers have made a thriving community, called Demopolis, by the summer of 1819. On a shopping trip to Mobile, Fleurette DeMarchand, the General's daughter, meets John Breen, a Kentucky rifleman, who detours his regiment through Demopolis to court her. But Fleurette, despite her wish to marry for love, must bow to the needs of her fellow exiles, who are at the mercy of the rich and wealthy Blake Randolph, and who wants her as his bride. But John Breen has no intention of allowing that to happen, resigns from his regiment, and takes up the fight against Randolph and his hirelings. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


ROUGHER, TOUGHER, MORE ROMANTIC THAT EVER! (original and reissue posters)


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 September 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Strange Caravan  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although Oliver Hardy was a good friend of John Wayne's, he initially balked at acting in this movie, for fear that it would make people think that he and Stan Laurel had broken up as a team. When Laurel insisted that Hardy take the role, he acquiesced. See more »


Willie talks of Kentucky and says "Ma is baking bread and you can smell it all through the house." He is referencing an early-to-mid 20th Century stereotype. At that time of the movie the typical house in Kentucky would have had only one or two rooms with an exterior kitchen under a lean-to. As almost all work was done outside the house, the smell in the house would not have been noticed. See more »


John Breen: [to the mortally wounded Blake Randolph] Hello, hero.
See more »


Featured in The John Wayne Anthology (1991) See more »


Eight Hundred Miles to Go
Music Arranged by George Antheil
New Lyrics by George Waggner
See more »

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User Reviews

Duke in Coonskin Cap, saves Ralston, with Ollie!
6 September 2006 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

John Wayne's second effort as star/producer (after "Angel and the Badman", in 1947), "The Fighting Kentuckian" is a VERY enjoyable tale, set in 1818 Alabama, of coonskin-capped Wayne, part of the Kentucky militia, falling for French immigrant Vera Ralston (in her second film with Duke), and discovering a plot to swindle the French community (composed of ex-officers of Napoleon, and their families) out of their land, by aristocrat John Howard and ruthless river boss Grant Withers.

What truly makes this film 'special' for me is Wayne's sidekick, portrayed by the legendary Oliver Hardy, of 'Laurel and Hardy' fame. Hardy, while a friend of Wayne, had only worked 'solo' once in a feature film in over twenty years (1939's "Zenobia"), and it took a LOT of coaxing (and Stan Laurel's 'blessing'), to get him to accept the role...and what a pleasure he is, to watch! Wayne and Hardy have a rich, warm chemistry, and the rotund comedian, with his infectious smile and Georgia drawl, makes even minor scenes (like swapping recipes with Ralston's mother) a joy.

With a first-rate supporting cast including Philip Dorn, Hugo Haas, Wayne 'regulars' Paul Fix, Jack Pennick, and Hank Worden, and Marie Windsor (who looks eerily like John Howard, in my opinion!), "The Fighting Kentuckian" is, despite the 'pans' you'll see in some of the reviews posted, one of my favorite John Wayne films...He was never more charming than you'll find him, here!

17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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