13 November 1999 | guil12
DeMille's Tribute to the Royal Mounties
Cecil B. DeMille, once again, brings a Technicolor epic to the screen. This time it concerns the Royal Canadian Mounties (Red Coats) a Texas Ranger, in search of a criminal dealing with the Indians in frontier Canada, during the eighteen-eighties, by selling them guns, and the half-breeds that are being controlled by the Mounties.
Along the way the Texas Ranger(Gary Cooper)falls for a pretty Army nurse (Madelaine Carroll) who is also courted by a Mountie Officer (Preston Foster). The nurse's brother, also a Mountie (Robert Preston) is under the spell of a beautiful half-breed (Paulette Goddard) who's father is the criminal (George Bancroft) that is being sought.
As in DeMille plots, the hero saves the day, but not without a sacrifice of some of the supporting players. Won't tell you who. See the picture.
Coop and Carroll do a wonderful job, taking some pretty silly lines, even for the forties, and making them work. Both look their best at the peaks of their careers. Preston and Foster (Robert and Preston, that is) do admirable jobs. Robert Preston looking very young with a full head of blonde curly hair. Playing the tempestuous half-breed, Paulette Goddard got a big break in her career with this role. It is said she wanted the part so bad, she donned herself in dark skin make-up, put on an Indian get-up with feathers and walked into DeMille's office saying, "You teenk you wan beeg director, hah? Me, Louvette, show you!" She got the part and played it to the hilt with her dark skin and beautiful blue eyes, beating out Marlene Dietrich and Rita Hayworth also up for the role. Goddard went on to play in two more DeMille pictures, REAP THE WILD WIND and UNCONQUERED, this time performing leading roles.
There is an excellent supporting cast of character actors, namely; Lynne Overman, Akim Tamiroff, Walter Hampden, Lon Chaney, Jr, Robert Ryan and Rod Cameron who went on to star in Republic Pictures westerns.
POLICE is not yet on video, although most other DeMille films are, but it can be seen once in a while on AMC Classic Movies on TV.
Great DeMille entertainment.