Sunday, January 5, 2014

Yes, Virginia

I don't usually blog about vacation movies, but Virginia City (1940) is just too much to skip. My bro-in-law was going on about this Western with Humphrey Bogart as a Mexican bandito with a zip mustache. Incredulous, we did a web search to find out whether he was as crazy as that sounds. We turned up Virginia City and put it at the top of their queue.

VC really stars Randolph Scott as a Confederate warden and Errol Flynn as one of his Union prisoners. One of Scott's old flames, Miriam Hopkins, recruits him on a secret mission to get several million dollars of gold from the mines of Virginia City NV to the South to support the war effort. In the meantime, Flynn has broken out of the POW camp with his comic sidekicks Alan Hale (Sr) and Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams as Marblehead. He got wind of the plot while in camp and heads out after Scott.

On his way, he meets up with Miriam Hopkins, and also Mexican bandit, sure-enough Humphrey Bogart with an accent midway between Brooklyn and Leo Carillo's Pancho. The bandits are dispatched easily enough, but Hopkins and Flynn are starting to fall in love.

I'll skip over the rest and get right to the end --SPOILER!-- Scott and Flynn join forces in batle against the bandits, Anglo vs. Mex. Flynn keeps the gold from the Confederacy, but vows that it will be used to re-construct the (white) South.

Actually, this movie wasn't as pro-Confederacy as I expected, and there was only one lazy Negro stereotype at the start of this movie. So I should be carpetbagger sentiments about these copperheads to myself. Scott was his usual strong self, and Flynn looked like he was having a great time. Miriam Hopkins is surprisingly plain looking, but gets to dig her teeth into the role toward the end. Still, needed more Bogart.

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