Let Freedom Ring (1939)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Musical, Romance


Let Freedom Ring (1939) Poster

Railroad owner Jim Knox uses everything to get the land he needs for his new railroad cheaply. Everybody hopes, that Steve Logan ends his regime, but he allies with Jim Knox. Nobody knows, ... See full summary »


6.4/10
163

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14 June 2001 | rsoonsa
8
| Polemic provides a source of good music.
Scenarist Ben Hecht's tract to ethnic toleration does not lack the production values and quality of acting necessary for its artistic success. Within the format of a Hollywood-style Western, it is an easy task for Hecht to insert his typical hyperbole in the form of some truly crimson prose directed against big business represented by expanding railroad interests. Edward Arnold gives a solid performance as Jim Knox, a railway plutocrat who is determined to manipulate and exploit a polyglot force of European immigrant workers, led by their rough and ready Irish foreman, played to the hilt by Victor MacLaglen in this post-War Between the States musical melodrama. How to oppose Knox' land grabbing is the plight of a small coterie of settlers led by Tom Logan and his recently Harvard-graduated son Steve, portrayed by Lionel Barrymore and baritone Nelson Eddy. Reliable Jack Conway directs with proletarian emphasis, featuring closeups of seamed and craggy-faced railroad laborers, whose basic needs are apparently implemented whenever the sturdy Eddy bursts into song. Eddy employs the method of a clandestine newspaper to undermine the plans of the villainous capitalist Knox, working hand-in-hand with a sidekick, acted very nicely by the extraordinary ad lib performer, Charles Butterworth, whose nonpareil timing is a delight in his every scene. This is the first appearance of the seasoned Eddy without an equal singing partner, and he proves more than capable of carrying the show, although he is joined briefly during one number by his romantic interest, the talented and beautiful Virginia Bruce. Without question a disputation against capitalist profiteering, LET FREEDOM RING is even more a rousing entertainment, knitted with wonderful music, a top-flight cast, and neatly crafted direction.

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