A surrealistic documentary portrait of the region of Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain where civilisation has barely developed, showing how the local peasants try to survive without even the most basic utilities and skills.
A New York cop (Spencer Tracy) fights with and then falls in love with a waitress (Joan Bennett) but things take a bad turn when her father and sister get involved with a gangster (George Walsh). This is a sometimes interesting pre-code that starts off as a (bad) comedy but then turns into a romance before once again changing into a drama. I do have to question the screenplay for trying so many things as the film seems extremely uneven and in the end I had to see it as a major disappointment considering the talent involved. The biggest problem is the screenplay that is all over the place and this includes a pretty bad start where we have to follow a drunk around for a non-stop gag that just keeps going and going and going. I'm going to take stab and say that this scene with the drunk runs at least ten minutes and then he keeps coming up for the next ten minutes. The joke pretty much has him not paying for meals, asking the cops to arrest a fish for stealing his worm or just being plain annoying. I'm really not sure if Walsh was having a kick with this stuff or what but it should have ended up on the cutting room floor. The stuff dealing with the gangsters is pretty uninteresting as well because they're brought into the story due to Bennett's sister, someone we really don't care about and since it isn't actually happening to Tracy's girl, there's no added drama thrown in. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why the movie was jumping around so much and a lot of the ending just feels tacked on for no good reason other than to have some action. What makes the film worth viewing are the performances by the two leads. The two work very well together as they both come off quite charming and entertaining. The snappy dialogue they get to throw at one another is a plus as is a nice sequence where they talk to one another while their "thoughts" also get told. George Chandler and Henry B. Walthall have small roles as well.
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