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The Fighting Kentuckian (1949)

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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 ... 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 »
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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

At approximately seventeen minutes, as the troop is marching, John Wayne motions to Oliver Hardy to get into step with the rest. Ollie does a little two-step and hop and all is well. This echoes Stanley's repeated efforts to march in step in L&O's film "Bonnie Scotland." See more »

Goofs

At the end of the battle scene when Willy is sitting on the ground, his bugle is squashed flat. In the end scene a few minutes later when the Kentuckian's are marching away, he can be seen with an undamaged bugle slung from his right shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Troopers: [Troop sings] Only five hundred miles more to go/ Only five hundred miles more to go/ And if we can just get lucky/ we will make it to Kentucky/ Only five hundred miles more to go.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in The John Wayne Anthology (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Eight Hundred Miles to Go
(uncredited)
Traditional
Music Arranged by George Antheil
New Lyrics by George Waggner
See more »

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User Reviews

Grapes and olives don't fare well in Alabama
19 March 2007 | by horn-5See all my reviews

In 1817, following a land-grant Act of Congress, written to aide Napoleon-supporters in the War of 1812, 340 French families settled on four townships in Alabama. They arrived in Mobile, Alabama on the ship "McDonough" and made their headquarters in a small community named "White Bluff." A year later, with the community developed into a thriving village by their labors, they renamed it "Demopolis," an ancient Greek name meaning "City of the People." These Napoleonic exiles chose not to give it a French name that would recall their native land.

These cultured colonists, from the drawing rooms and military heritage of the old French aristocracy, were likely the least-prepared of any of the immigrant groups who settled the American wilderness, and soon found themselves pioneering the rugged interior of Alabama with illiterate traders, squatters and Indians for their neighbors. They called themselves "The Association of French Emigrants for the Cullivation of the Vine and Olive", but their attempt at olive and grape culture was a complete failure. The Indians taught them how to grow corn and beans, but when they discovered that through a surveying error they inadvertently had built their city outside the chartered boundaries, they drifted away, either returning to France or settling in Mobile or New Orleans. But Napoleon was no great hand when it came to reading maps and recognizing boundaries, either.

Director/writer George Waggner took the surveying mistake and converted it to a land-grab scheme, threw in a motley group of rugged Kentucky militiamen, returning from the Battle of New Orleans, used the most diverse cast in any of the American-frontier films from Republic...and then tossed in ten pounds of plot into a five-pound container. Most of which worked. Aside from the thematic song, a traditional called "Kentucky Marching Song", in which he wrote new lyrics to go with George Anthiel's arrangement. Neither of which, apparently, spent much time on the writing or the arranging.


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