In Hoyt City, a statue of founder Ethan Hoyt is dedicated, and 100 year old Hannah Sempler Hoyt (who lives in the last residence among skyscrapers) is at last persuaded to tell her story to a 'girl biographer'. Flashback: in 1848, teenage Hannah meets and flirts with pioneer Ethan; on a sudden impulse, they elope. We follow their struggle to found a city in the wilderness, hampered by the Gold Rush, star-crossed love, peril, and heartbreak. The star "ages" 80 years. —Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Unfortunately, whatever production values this film contains are generally spoiled by the passage of time and fortunate changes in perspective. For those of us watching now are happily forewarned in the narrator's introduction to the film in which it is not only explicit as to the woman character's subordinate position to her "great man" but also at least implicit as to the role of any woman in the life of her "great man." Of the many "flash-back" films where the character re-hashes their past, this is certainly melodramatic in its acting and characterizations. The action does not seem compelling to watch, as if one could fast-forward to get to the punch line, which does not really satisfy - the principal male character's life is summed up in such high regard as to make one wonder if the viewer had just seen the same film! One has to wonder how female audience members felt about the general message (such as it is) of this film when it opened in theatres, although Ms. Stanwyck most likely held her own in her stubbornness by standards of the time.
- Sep 8, 2010
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