17 August 2019 | GManfred
****** Hackneyed Hyperbole
That may sound like a harsh judgment, especially since I thought the film was likable and had some appeal. It's just that the theme has been done thousands of times in thousands of movies; good guys vs bad guys, forces of evil working against a naive subject, government to the rescue, etc.. But I think when you're watching the situation for the first time the movie goes down easier. Now it's 80 years later and you can almost write the script for yourself, complete with odd coincidences and facilitated circumstances that are harder in real life.
That said, there are good acting turns here for Bruce Cabot and Ward Bond, who may have had his only starring role, and a host of movie supporting actors, including John Hamilton, who gets to preachify against subversive groups "wherever they may be found". The KKK threat may have subsided but it was more of a current topic to audiences in 1936. And it's only 65 minutes long, just enough for easy viewing. Shown at Capitolfest, Rome, NY, 8/19.
****** 6/10 - Website no longer prints my star rating.