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The swashbuckling adventures of the hero of the Revolutionary War. His contributions weren't always appreciated by the new U.S. government. After the way Congress show their displeasure by sending him to the Russia of Catherine the Great. Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
Not entirely accurate but at times rousing nautical adventure purporting to tell the story of the early American naval hero.
Stack is okay in the lead but some of his early career zest would have benefited the character. What we get instead is a rigid and mostly humorless stick figure in the lead. Some reverence for Jones is that man's due but a bit more animation in Stack's performance would have made him more accessible.
What helps deflect from his wooden performance is an incredibly colorful and sumptuous production with several maritime battles thrown in for good measure that's a treat to the eyes. Aside from that there are some very well cast performers in key roles. MacDonald Carey makes a fine Patrick Henry and Bette Davis, dolled up in a sky high wig, ermine and pearls, has a lot of fun in her tiny cameo as Catherine the Great. The real standout though is Charles Coburn as Benjamin Franklin. So right is he for the role, not just in appearance but getting the balance of the pattern of Franklin's personality right, a mix of seriousness and the twinkle in his eye and sense of fun that old Ben was renown for that it makes you regret that he never had a chance to more fully portray Franklin in a biography.
As a true document of John Paul Jones life it may miss the mark but it's still a decent entertainment.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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