River's End (1930)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Romance, Western


River's End (1930) Poster

Sgt. Conniston and his alcoholic guide O'Toole are on the trail of an escaped murderer named Keith. When they catch up with him in the farthest reaches of Northern Canada, Keith turns out ... See full summary »


5.5/10
109

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9 January 2012 | marcslope
6
| Pretty impressive for an early talkie
You can enjoy Charles Bickford in a rare (dual) leading role and watch Michael Curtiz learning to master talkies in this rugged melodrama, an improbability about a Mountie who gets his man and lives, though not for long, to regret it. Unusual for this period, it has refreshingly ambiguous morality -- the Mountie, outwardly such a mensch, turns out to have an interesting secret, and the bad guy turns out to be not bad at all. Add to that an appealing supporting cast, with vivacious, pretty Evalyn Knapp (she looks a little like Joan Blondell around the same time) and the excellent Junior Coughlan, a comparatively subtle kid actor who doesn't overdo cute, like Freddie Bartholomew, or grate the ears, like Jackie Cooper. Some of the art direction is forcedly unreal, almost Expressionist, and the ending's abrupt and unconvincing. But the snowy exteriors are vivid and believable, and Bickford's good enough to leave you wondering why he didn't attain leading-man status for a longer period.

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