I watched parts of this film being made about 30 years ago. My dad is not visible but drives some of the old cars in it. The exteriors were nearly all shot in north-central WV, within about 15 miles of my house. But the film was never distributed here and it was not until about a month ago that I finally got to see the finished product.
Film is a standard revenge actioner and could have been done as a spaghetti western or a costumer, had those genres been in vogue at the time. I've only seen the video version released as "1931: Once Upon a Time in New York" (but it all takes place in WV!). The dubbing is hideous and the 1.33:1 image cut down from 'scope shows why this is nearly always a bad thing to do.
In particular, it's possible that the full image might even show a more youthful 12-stringer on the sidewalk! (I was atmosphere in a couple of shots but you probably wouldn't recognize me without the guitar.) So maybe cropping isn't such a bad thing after all ...
However, it was a real treat for me to see pictures of places that are no longer there, particularly in downtown Farmington, WV. The railroad station, the Gango store block, the drug store and Carter Henderson buildings, the liquor store -- nearly all of which are parking lots now! The structures left from the filming days have been so altered that no one would ever attempt to film a 1931 sequence on the streets today. Of course, if they did, my dad, at 82, could still handle the Model T driving chores.
I really can't recommend the picture for its dramatic values, in this badly-dubbed and severely cropped video version, but it's worth a 5/10 rating to me just to take that little journey to the past.
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