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During the Alaska gold rush, prospector George sends partner Sam to Seattle to bring his fiancée but when it turns out that she married another man, Sam returns with a pretty substitute, the hostess of the Henhouse dance hall.
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Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros.
'Guns' Donovan prefers carousing with his pals Doc Dedham and 'Boats' Gilhooley, until Dedham's high-society daughter Amelia shows up in their South Seas paradise. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
When John Ford offered Lee Marvin the role of Gilhooley, he told the actor it didn't matter what the story was as it would be a good excuse for the cast and crew to have a free holiday in Hawaii. See more »
When Amelia first starts skiing, she loses her bathing cap. After falling in the water, the cap is back on her head. See more »
My conceptions about the South Pacific were formed when I saw this movie at the Elm Theatre in Brooklyn growing up. It has an honored place in my collection.
First off that music does get you. Every John Ford film is marked by a great use of music, in his westerns the use of traditional western themes pace the action. Here in Donovan's Reef the music under the credits sets the mood for the story set on this South Seas Paradise.
Secondly this was the last film that John Ford made with John Wayne. I believe this is the most successful actor/director relationship in the history of film by just about any standard you want to use, box office, quality of work, etc. The partnership went out on a high note.
John Wayne's westerns are usually a self contained world that operates on the principles of his universe. This film does also, but here it is more believable. This mixed group of people really do know the secret of living and let living. And the outside world occasionally does intrude and violently as the World War II background of the principal characters demonstrates.
This is also a film about believing stereotypes. John Wayne, Lee Marvin and the rest of the island believe Elizabeth Allen will be a racist. She's hurt by the abandonment of her father (Jack Warden) but she does come to accept her half-siblings. The film is anti-racist, but it also teaches a great moral lesson in not making your mind up about people prematurely.
The comedy as in all Ford films is heavy handed, but I still crack up at Wayne and Marvin and their escapades.
This is what the definition of escapist entertainment is.
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