Arizona (1940)

Approved   |    |  Western

Arizona (1940) Poster

During the 1860s Tucson, a pioneer woman struggles to succeed in the freight and cattle business while at risk at the hands of corrupt and violent local businessmen and rampaging Indians.

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  • William Holden and Jean Arthur in Arizona (1940)
  • Jean Arthur and Porter Hall in Arizona (1940)
  • William Holden and Jean Arthur in Arizona (1940)
  • Arizona (1940)
  • William Holden in Arizona (1940)
  • William Holden and Jean Arthur in Arizona (1940)

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User Reviews

30 July 2007 | bkoganbing
| A High Toned Skunk
In Arizona Jean Arthur repeats her Calamity Jane character from the earlier DeMille classic, The Plainsman. She's a tough pioneer woman, one of the founders of early Tucson.

Her dream man comes by way of a wagon train in William Holden who was making his first western with this film. Originally the part was offered to Gary Cooper who turned it down. I suspect that Cooper clearly saw that Arthur had more screen time. Holden who was under dual contract to Paramount and Columbia had no choice in the matter.

But by far the best one in this film is Warren William who is the suave villain of the piece. In The Big Country, Burl Ives describes Charles Bickford as a 'high toned skunk'. That phrase so very aptly describes what Warren William is all about here.

Previous to his arrival, the local bad guy was Porter Hall. But William with guile and cunning bullies Hall into a partnership who in turn sets him up with the local Apaches. Nobody can quite prove what's going on, but Holden says William has the odor of polecat about him.

There's a nice battle scene with the Apaches before the final showdown with Holden and William. Their final battle is a combination of the shootouts from both Stagecoach and High Noon.

Paul Harvey has a nice part as the Scottish merchant who is Arthur's business partner and Edgar Buchanan does one of his patented reprobate judge parts that he would do over and over in his career.

And we even get to hear William Holden sing I Dream of Jeannie. Nothing special and it's no accident he had no career in musicals.

Arizona is still a nice film tribute to our western pioneer spirit and it's one of Warren William's best screen characters.

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