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The Fighting Kentuckian (1949)

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Willie Paine
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Ann Logan
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Blake Randolph
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Gen. Paul De Marchand
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George Hayden
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Madame De Marchand
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Beau Merritt
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Sister Hattie
Jack Pennick ...
Capt. Dan Carroll
Mickey Simpson ...
Jacques
...
Carter Ward
Mabelle Koenig ...
Marie
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Storyline

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 September 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Strange Caravan  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne later blamed the poor critical response to the movie on co-star Vera Ralston. He said, "Yates [Republic Pictures studio chief Herbert J. Yates] made me use Vera Hruba [Republic star Vera Ralston, who was also Yates' mistress] . . . I've always been mad at Yates about this, because we lost the chance to have one damn fine movie." See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the final battle, Fleurette runs out to give a weapon to John Breen. She brings neither a shot pouch or powder horn. Breen is also carrying neither of these items. However, he is somehow able to reload and fire the musket a number of times thereafter. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Willie Paine: I'll see to the horses.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Let Me Down, Oh Hangman
(uncredited)
Traditional
Music Arranged by George Antheil
New Lyrics by George Waggner
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User Reviews

 
The Alabama French
15 April 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In The Fighting Kentuckian John Wayne steps back a couple of generations on the American Frontier from where he usually has his movie roles to play a frontier soldier. He's one of the Kentucky riflemen who saw action in the Indian wars and the Battle of New Orleans with Andrew Jackson. His company is going home to Kentucky to be de-mobilized. But in a town in Alabama called Demopolis, Wayne gets a bit sidetracked by the lovely Vera Hruba Ralston.

Ralston is the daughter of Hugo Haas who plays one of Napoleon's former generals who is now leading a party of French exile settlers who have settled on land granted to them in Demopolis. The problem is that the French settlers are being set up for a big con game by a quartet of villains, Marie Windsor, Paul Fix, John Howard, and Grant Withers. Because of Wayne's growing involvement with Ralston he and sidekick Oliver Hardy get drawn into the problems of the settlers.

That's right I did say Oliver Hardy. While partner Stan Laurel was having health problems Hardy did this film with John Wayne and another, Riding High, with Bing Crosby. It's a different Ollie we see in The Fighting Kentuckian, not the know it all forever getting hoisted on his own petard by his bumbling partner Laurel. For most of the film he's a traditional sidekick to Wayne in the Gabby Hayes tradition. However there is one scene where Ollie gets to use the Duke as a substitute Stan Laurel. Wayne and Hardy sneak into a party given by Haas as musicians, fiddlers to be precise. Hardy actually plays, but Wayne is going to fake it. That is until the piece they're playing calls for a solo. As each musician does his bit, the expressions on Wayne's face are pure Stan Laurel. Ollie who was never the creative one in their partnership had to have coached Wayne on this. He does all the traditional Stan Laurel shtick, but cry. It's very funny, totally not what you would expect from John Wayne. It's the highlight of the film for me.

On the negative side the film is a bit overplotted. The quartet of villains mentioned above are all not quite working in tandem. Each one has his own agenda and it makes the film a bit hard to follow.

Still I believe the Duke's fans will enjoy a somewhat different John Wayne and Laurel and Hardy fans would appreciate Wayne's attempts at a salute to Stan. I think Ollie worked better with the Duke than he did with Harry Langdon in Zenobia.


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