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.
Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.
During the American Civil War, Captain Kerry Bradford escapes from a notorious confederate prison. He and two of his men are sent to Virginia City where Confederate sympathizers are prepared to donate $5 million dollars to the cause of Southern independence. The war is going badly for the Confederacy and money may tip the war in their favor. On the stagecoach to Virginia City, Bradford meets and falls in love with Julia Hayne not realizing that she is one of the conspirators. When he gets to Virginia City, he also runs into Confederate Captain Vance Irby who has been sent to collect and safely deliver the gold. Irby manages to get out of the city but the Union cavalry is in hot pursue. When Bradfoed catches up with them, he not only has to fight Irby but also John Murrell, a bandit who has his own plans for the gold. He alsoWritten by
When the film premiered in Virginia City, NV, in 1940, the townspeople were charged an exorbitant admission fee (for those days) of $1.10 per customer. This was owing to the fact that Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins and others from the cast had been scheduled to make a personal appearance on stage after the film's showing. However, when Flynn and the others failed to appear, enraged audience members stormed out of the theater and took the Warner Brothers entourage (including five busloads of studio personnel) hostage, demanding they get their money back. Eventually the theater's manager agreed to make up the difference by refunding the audience 70 cents apiece, thus reducing admission to its usual 40-cent fee. See more »
In the opening scene Captain Irby inspects a pistol. He opens a loading gate on the right side of the pistol. This indicates a metallic cartridge pistol. Almost all Civil War pistols in use at that time were cap and ball or paper cartridges. Both were loaded in the open end of the cylinder and used percussion caps. See more »
If I ever get my hands on that cow-hided Murrell again, I'll make him squall like a mashed cat.
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Great idea put on screen, good casting, save Bogart as an Mexican-American bandit.
"Virginia City", released in 1940, is a film that could have been rated as a western classic, because of the cast members alone. Against the backdrop of the American Civil War, Errol Flynn, Union Captain, was up against Randolph Scott, Confederate Colonel, with Miriam Hopkins supplying the love interest between the two. Flynn breaks out of a Confederate prison commanded by Scott during the latter days of 1864, a period that saw the South's dwindling resources virtually shrink to nothing. There is a slim chance to smuggle a multi-million gold shipment from Virginia City, Nevada, to the South. Scott is given the assignment, and Flynn, hearing of the plan, is given the job by the Union to prevent the smuggled gold from reaching the Confederacy. There's the overview. The weakness comes in casting Humphrey Bogart as a Mexican-American bandit whose main interest in the gold is to steal it for himself. Bogart's miscasting really distracts from the film, even though it is no fault of his own.
Besides the stars in the film, there's good support cast members from Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, Alan Hale, Sr., John Litel, and Moroni Olsen, all veterans of the Western genre. Add a stirring music score by Max Steiner, plus sweeping vistas of the West, and the struggles of the Confederate sympathizers in their efforts to succeed in their task, and you have a film that could have been great, but one that falls short. It is worth watching, however. 7/10
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