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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hudson's Bay (1941)

In the mid 1600s, a French Canadian fur trapper (Paul Muni) convinces King Charles II (Vincent Price) of England to back an expedition to not only gather thousands of fur pelts with the full cooperation of the Indian populace but to colonize Hudson's Bay. Based on the life of Pierre Esprit Radisson (yes, the very same who has a chain of hotels named after him in the U.S.), whose idea was it that the formation of the Hudson Bay company would make for an interesting film? Well, it doesn't so, of course, the film is highly fictionalized with incidents that never happened to hold one's interest (to no avail). Adjectives don't exist that could fully describe the awfulness of Muni's hammy, eye rolling performance with his awful Pepe Le Pew French accent. To say painful is an understatement and Laird Cregar as his trapping partner isn't far behind. Which leaves us with John Sutton and a horribly wasted Gene Tierney to provide the pallid romantic interest. Directed by Irving Pichel (THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME). With Nigel Bruce, Virginia Field, Morton Lowry and Ian Wolfe.

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