Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy.
When Charlie Mason is promoted from irresponsible reporter to hard-nosed city editor, it costs him his girlfriend, ace reporter Rusty Fleming. After he hears she's engaged to another, he quits and tries to win her back.
Langdon Towne and Hunk Marriner join Major Rogers' Rangers as they wipe out an Indian village. They set out for Fort Wentworth, but when they arrive they find no soldiers and none of the supplies they expected.
The story starts just before the Civil War, showing Fisk, Boyd, and Luke conning Southern townsfolk into buying bars of soap that, might, have a $10 gold piece inside. Found out, they're chased out of town and escape across the Mason-Dixon Line just as the war starts. Fisk hatches a plan for him and Boyd to return to the South and buy cotton then smuggle it to the North where Luke is to sell it to the Northern textile mills. By the end of the war they have made millions, only to find out that Luke had been re-investing their money into Confederate Bonds. This fact-based movie shows Jim Fisk as one of the greatest con-men and entrepreneur's in history. It concludes with his involvement in "Black Friday", the Financial Panic of 1869, with fellow financier Jay Gould (who's not represented in the movie) and their attempt to corner the U.S. gold market. There's a love triangle between Fisk, Boyd and Mansfield, which is also based on historical accounts.Written by
Both Fisk and his partner Ned Stokes (called Nick Boyd in the movie) were married but competed for the affections of showgirl Josie Mansfield. In real life she was a world-wise dark-haired, full-figured woman who bore little resemblance to the innocent, apple-cheeked blonde sincerity of Francis Farmer. Stokes and Mansfield blackmailed Fisk, and Stokes shot Fisk to death in 1872. Although the dying Fisk named Stokes as his murderer, he only served four years of a six year term for manslaughter. See more »
After the photographer's first attempt to take the picture is ruined by being over-exposed, he fails to change the plate before taking the second one. See more »
"Only little people call it stealing. Big people call it borrowing."
Hokey but enjoyable RKO biopic of Jim Fisk, 19th century financier and crook. As with most historical biopics, this is more fiction than fact (especially the end). Actually, I'll say this is even more loose with the truth than the average historical biopic from the time. The story tells how Fisk (Edward Arnold) rises to financial success on a series of crooked deals with his two cronies (Cary Grant, Jack Oakie). Eventually he has a falling out with one of them (Grant) over a girl (Frances Farmer).
Edward Arnold is always worth watching and this is no exception. Cary Grant fans will likely be disappointed at his supporting role, which is more suited to a Patric Knowles type. Still, there are moments where Cary shines above the material. Such as the scene with the bratty actress where he tells her she's ugly. Jack Oakie and Donald Meek are fun comic relief. Of note for having one of the better roles of Frances Farmer's career. She's very good here and, if you don't know about her, you might wonder why she didn't go on to bigger & better things. Well, you should look up her story. It's very interesting and tragic. Overall, it's an entertaining movie. Goes on a little longer than it needs to and the romance stuff is blah. But solid performances and healthy doses of humor help. Worth a look if you're a fan of old Hollywood biopics.
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