The only reason to watch this is that it features John Wayne early on in in his acting career. Hardly his first movie, it was only six years into his career and three years since he got his first movie credit. Wayne is hardly recognisable: much thinner than most of us remember him, and didn't have the trademark confidence and swagger yet. The voice is unmistakable, however.
Fittingly for a John Wayne movie, Haunted Gold is a western. However it is a far cry from the epic westerns he would later star in. Fairly basic, sometimes silly, plot. Flows well though - doesn't get bogged down at any time.
Wayne gives a solid performance in the lead role, and is well supported by Sheila Terry. Interestingly, his horse - Duke (of course) - gets second billing!
Most of the other performances are so bad they're comical.
The other embarrassing thing is the script for Wayne's African- American sidekick, Clarence (played by Blue Washington). The writer and director go out of their way to stereotype his character and make him appear simple. Many of his jokes are meant to make you laugh at him, rather than with him. Sad, and an indicator of much less enlightened times.
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