Search This Blog

Friday, October 25, 2013

Barbary Coast (1935)

During the California gold rush of the 1850s, a woman (Miriam Hopkins) arrives from New York to San Francisco to get married. But her intended bridegroom has been killed so she accepts an invitation from a bully and thug (Edward G. Robinson) who runs the notorious Barbary Coast to operate the roulette table in his saloon. Directed by Howard Hawks (who doesn't seem much interested in it), the film is a moderately pleasant diversion, nothing more. I doubt even the most ardent of the Hawks auteurs could make anything more of it than the tolerable entertainment it is. There's a juicy turn by Robinson, who makes for a splendidly oily ruffian but the emphasis is on the sappy romance between Hopkins and Joel McCrea as a poetry reading adventurer. Fortunately, both Hopkins and McCrea are agreeable enough to make it adequate. Ray June's camera work got an Oscar nomination and Alfred Newman did the music but it's damaged by the annoying and constant incorporation of Stephen Foster's Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair in the underscore. Based on the novel by Herbert Asbury. With Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, Harry Carey, Donald Meek and Frank Craven.

No comments:

Post a Comment