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Sunday, June 1, 2008

THE SPOILERS (1942)

The best known version of the oft-filmed Gold Rush story has an unusually tempting cast (John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, Randolph Scott, with silent greats Richard Barthelmess, Harry Carey & William Farnum, who had Wayne’s part in 1914), but plays like a fairly conventional Western as megger Ray Enright can’t be bothered to moderate his pacing. Not even a tune for Marlene. The big fight at the climax is plenty elaborate, but not quite up to an earlier blow with Wayne taken aback (and how!) by a slap from Dietrich. Extra points for her crazy pillow hairdo and for the sight of Wayne & compadres in blackface.

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