6.5/10
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24 user 12 critic

The Fighting Kentuckian (1949)

In 1818 Alabama, French settlers are pitted against greedy land-grabber Blake Randolph but Kentucky militiaman John Breen, who's smitten with French gal Fleurette De Marchand, comes to the settlers' aid.

Director:

George Waggner

Writer:

George Waggner
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... John Breen
Vera Ralston ... Fleurette De Marchand
Philip Dorn ... Col. Georges Geraud
Oliver Hardy ... Willie Paine
Marie Windsor ... Ann Logan
John Howard ... Blake Randolph
Hugo Haas ... Gen. Paul De Marchand
Grant Withers ... George Hayden
Odette Myrtil ... Madame De Marchand
Paul Fix ... Beau Merritt
Mae Marsh ... Sister Hattie
Jack Pennick Jack Pennick ... Capt. Dan Carroll
Mickey Simpson Mickey Simpson ... Jacques
Fred Graham ... Carter Ward
Mabelle Koenig Mabelle Koenig ... Marie
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Storyline

Following Napoleon's Waterloo defeat and the exile of his officers and their families from France, the U.S.Congress, in 1817, granted four townships in the Alabama territory to the exiles. Led by Colonel Georges Geraud and General Paul DeMarchand, the struggling settlers have made a thriving community, called Demopolis, by the summer of 1819. On a shopping trip to Mobile, Fleurette DeMarchand, the General's daughter, meets John Breen, a Kentucky rifleman, who detours his regiment through Demopolis to court her. But Fleurette, despite her wish to marry for love, must bow to the needs of her fellow exiles, who are at the mercy of the rich and wealthy Blake Randolph, and who wants her as his bride. But John Breen has no intention of allowing that to happen, resigns from his regiment, and takes up the fight against Randolph and his hirelings. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ROUGHER, TOUGHER, MORE ROMANTIC THAN EVER! (original and reissue posters)


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Strange Caravan See more »

Filming Locations:

Agoura, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,550,000, 31 December 1949
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

John Wayne Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne later blamed the poor critical response to the movie on co-star Vera Ralston. He said, "Yates [Republic Pictures studio chief Herbert J. Yates] made me use Vera Hruba [Republic star Vera Ralston, who was also Yates' mistress] . . . I've always been mad at Yates about this, because we lost the chance to have one damn fine movie." See more »

Goofs

During the party with music in the Mansion near the end of the film, it is obvious when watching all the violins being played that John Wayne and Oliver Hardy do not know how to play the violins; they aren't even close to pretending to play the instrument. See more »

Quotes

Beau Merritt: [holding up a glass] Have a shot?
John Breen: [holding up his wounded arm] Just had one.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »


Soundtracks

Let Me Down, Oh Hangman
(uncredited)
Traditional
Music Arranged by George Antheil
New Lyrics by George Waggner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Duke in Coonskin Cap, saves Ralston, with Ollie!
6 September 2006 | by cariartSee all my reviews

John Wayne's second effort as star/producer (after "Angel and the Badman", in 1947), "The Fighting Kentuckian" is a VERY enjoyable tale, set in 1818 Alabama, of coonskin-capped Wayne, part of the Kentucky militia, falling for French immigrant Vera Ralston (in her second film with Duke), and discovering a plot to swindle the French community (composed of ex-officers of Napoleon, and their families) out of their land, by aristocrat John Howard and ruthless river boss Grant Withers.

What truly makes this film 'special' for me is Wayne's sidekick, portrayed by the legendary Oliver Hardy, of 'Laurel and Hardy' fame. Hardy, while a friend of Wayne, had only worked 'solo' once in a feature film in over twenty years (1939's "Zenobia"), and it took a LOT of coaxing (and Stan Laurel's 'blessing'), to get him to accept the role...and what a pleasure he is, to watch! Wayne and Hardy have a rich, warm chemistry, and the rotund comedian, with his infectious smile and Georgia drawl, makes even minor scenes (like swapping recipes with Ralston's mother) a joy.

With a first-rate supporting cast including Philip Dorn, Hugo Haas, Wayne 'regulars' Paul Fix, Jack Pennick, and Hank Worden, and Marie Windsor (who looks eerily like John Howard, in my opinion!), "The Fighting Kentuckian" is, despite the 'pans' you'll see in some of the reviews posted, one of my favorite John Wayne films...He was never more charming than you'll find him, here!


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