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William A. Seiter
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Routine adventure yarn set in Astor fur trading pacific nw.
This very obscure film is a formula action piece - stowaway girl on all male voyage, two men on board in love with her, indians, etc. - you get the picture. It's set in the early 1800s and is the sort of yarn one would typically find Maureen O'Hara in. Universal did its usual flat barely competent job. Carol Bruce plays Julie Morgan (she would later achieve great acclaim as Julie LaVerne in the 1946 Bway revival of SHOW BOAT), a NY singer in love with dashing Canadian trapper, Ovide (John Carroll). Franchot Tone is John Jacob Astor's gentleman organizer of a fur trading expedition via ship to Oregon - Robert Stevens. Ovide romances Julie and lies about his Parisian home, so she stows away on a voyage (she thinks) to Paris to be with him. By the time she is discovered they are at sea and Captain Thorne (Walter Brennan) won't turn back. From then on it's pure formula. Bruce is delightful and beautiful in the role but sadly never found stardom on film, although her Broadway credits are solid. Brennan is excellent as a hard, embittered, go by the book sea captain and gives the only outstanding performance - had he not been Oscar nommed that year in support for SERGEANT YORK he may have had a crack at the award with this performance - it's that good.
Unless you're a fan of one of the stars it is not worth your while to seek this out. It did garner a deserved Oscar nom for a rousing and varied orchestral score. Frank Lloyd had lost his touch by the time he got to this one.
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