3 June 2006 | Handlinghandel
Maybe Not So Gentle But Well Loved
Marjorie Main is the title character. This is a Western, basically. But with Main as the lead, it doesn't really feel like one. We already know her as the proprietor of the dude ranch in "The Women" -- hardly a Western -- and (though it came later) as Ma Kettle.
I liked Westerns when I was a child but don't care for them now. Many still do. I think this movie would please the two camps about equally.
It's psychologically quite odd, if watered-down: Main's two sons adore her. And one of them is named Violet. OK.
James Craig is an outsider in town and a central figure in the plot. He was a handsome an underrated actor of this period. I sometimes wonder why certain careers, such as his, didn't take off.
Donna Reed, too, is an outsider. She was very appealing in movies of the 1940s. This one is no exception.
Who knows if it was intentional but the movie is, looking at it now, a little campy. We have the son named Violet. And Main's dog is named Belle. True, she is a daughter of the Confederacy. But it's kind of a grand name for a rancher to give her mongrel dog.