- 1h 1min
Doug is an American mining engineer. Pres. Valdez of Paragonia (Aitken) wants him to reopen the country's mines. Doug is not interested ... until he sees the President's beautiful daughter, ... Read allDoug is an American mining engineer. Pres. Valdez of Paragonia (Aitken) wants him to reopen the country's mines. Doug is not interested ... until he sees the President's beautiful daughter, Juana (Rubens). Valdez returns to Paragonia, but is deposed by Generals Sanchez and Garcia... Read allDoug is an American mining engineer. Pres. Valdez of Paragonia (Aitken) wants him to reopen the country's mines. Doug is not interested ... until he sees the President's beautiful daughter, Juana (Rubens). Valdez returns to Paragonia, but is deposed by Generals Sanchez and Garcia and locked in San Mateo Prison. The Americano arrives. His company's local office has bee... Read all
He plays Blaze Derringer, a young American mining engineer, on whom his boss calls to go to Paragonia, where a political dispute has developed about the mines, on which the economy of the small republic obviously depends: the scheming and dangerous Minister of War opposes their re-opening under the supervision and with the capital of US companies; and so the Prime Minister himself goes to see the company's boss in New York, and he puts all his hopes into the capable young engineer - but Blaze, when his boss shows him on the map where Paragonia is, only shakes his head and explains: 'Too far from Brooklyn!'
Fortunately, the President's pretty young daughter Juana has also come along with the Prime Minister, and she waits outside the office - and as soon as our young hero sets eyes on her, he changes his mind, of course... And so he heads for the 'idyllic' Caribbean island - but very soon he finds out that the conditions aren't at all idyllic at the moment: while the Prime Minister was away, the mean General has arrested the President, Juana's father, and is now trying to drive all US businessmen out of the country by force - and Juana herself has also become a prisoner in her own house; which gives Dashing Doug a wonderful opportunity to save a damsel in distress AND at the same time restore peace and order in 'Paragonia'!
So here we can witness with what innocent eyes US Americans saw the political conditions in other countries before they entered WWI - yes, it DOES take a little bit of effort by today's movie fans to place themselves back into time, as far as 1916; but once you get into the spirit, it's REALLY worth to 'live' those days, before the War, before Prohibition, before Censorship... And as for 'Whitey', the African American who's the only one from the company who's stayed in Paragonia, and with whom Doug of course becomes friends immediately ('We Americans have got to stick together', he says - a very early example where race in a Hollywood movie was of NO importance at all!); yes, he's played by a white man appearing in black-face - but that wasn't regarded as anything offensive by the black population either: anyway, didn't Swedes play Chinese later on, for example, and Austrians Japanese? And another fact is that Native American Charles Stevens, one of Doug's best friends in real life, plays quite a vital role here: that of distinguished 'General Gargaras', whom Juana is to marry by force after orders from the mean Minister of War...
So this isn't only an unusual film in MANY ways, but it also provides GREAT entertainment throughout, with a clever plot, first-class directing and photography - and of course, marvelous performances by all involved! And it finds a perfect balance between political drama and romantic comedy; a RARE jewel indeed...
- Sep 20, 2014