In the early years of the 20th century, Matt Masters takes his rambling Wild West Show to Europe. His decision is prompted by his desire to find Lili Alfredo, who disappeared fourteen years... See full summary »
In British colonial America, Captain Swanson's adherence to the rules results in Trader Callendar's selling to the Indians under cover of a government permit. Jim Smith won't sit still for ... See full summary »
Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them. After a series of ... See full summary »
Rio Grande takes place after the Civil War when the Union turned their attention towards the Apaches. Union officer Kirby Yorke is in charge of an outpost on the Rio Grande in which he is ... See full summary »
U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee investigators Jim McLain and Mal Baxter attempt to break up a ring of Communist Party troublemakers in Hawaii (ignoring somewhat, as do their superiors in the Congress, that membership in the Communist Party was, at the time, legal in the U.S.) Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It's interesting and difficult to assess films with extremist viewpoints that were made at times when their viewpoints were considered perfectly acceptable. BIRTH OF A NATION is one such flick, with its heroic Ku Klux Klansmen saving the day.
BIG JIM MCCLAIN is another film of this ilk. It was made in a time when a small but unfortunately powerful political and media cabal successfully convinced the public that Commie Spies were infiltrating everywhere. To stop them, all we needed to do was rip up the Constitution and set up a secret police to arrest these evil foreigners and their native-born Fellow Travellers. That we had just spent five years stopping a similar system in Germany never entered into most folks' minds.
But I digress....
Wayne and Arness star as agents of the secret police.... err, investigators for the House Un-American Activities Commission ferreting out a group of obviously intellectual and well-traveled Commies and Commie Dupes who use the Constitution to prevent their prosecution. That's pretty much sums up the film. The film is a sad recitation of various bugaboos held by the conservatives. The Commies are highly intelligent, well-educated, and philosophical, and possess a wide view of the relationship between nations and an even better understanding of the rights inherent in the Constitution. The Good Guys are common folk without any intellectual pretense, possess a strong nationalistic bias, and dislike the Constitution because it prevents their actions.
Hmm, sounds like the Bush Adminstration....
The film is ripe for revival. The same script performed now could be a riotous dark comedy. Maybe throw in a few catchy song and dance numbers.
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