Intrepid frontiersman Chris Holden foils the political and personal ambitions of renegade Martin Garth in the Ohio Valley following the French and Indian War.Intrepid frontiersman Chris Holden foils the political and personal ambitions of renegade Martin Garth in the Ohio Valley following the French and Indian War.Intrepid frontiersman Chris Holden foils the political and personal ambitions of renegade Martin Garth in the Ohio Valley following the French and Indian War.
The fun of this film is to watch it unfold in all it's glorious Three (3) Strip Technicolor and follow the adventures of Paulette Goddard with Gary Cooper as they move from one (1) set piece to another. For thats what this film is as series of set pieces. Or as what some critics of DeMille felt, he did not make motion pictures but moving paintings, though very entertaining ones.
"The Perils of Paulette" is what the critics referred to this picture upon its original release. I think very few actresses were put upon more then she was in this movie. She was bound (chains, rope or leather), almost whipped, almost burned at the stake, almost drowned going over a waterfall, almost raped, etc. If this had been a pre-code film I am sure we would have seen something like the excesses in 'THE SIGN OF THE CROSS'! It would have been interesting to see what ended up on the cutting room floor that could not make it past the censors. Supposedly during filming she blew up and walked off the set until DeMille could bring things down to an acting (or pain tolerance) level, referring to DeMille as a SADIST! DeMille liked troopers such as Barbara Stanwyck and did not forget this. When Paulette wanted the role of 'Delilah' DeMille told her to take two (2) drop dead pills and effectively ended her career. When the 'UNCONQUERED' was finished CB issued gold medallions to those he felt were real troopers. Boris Karloff got one (1) and the drummer boy (for not flinching when a ball of fire bounces off his drum), not Paulette.
When you watch a Cecil B. DeMille film the important thing is not to take it seriously and just enjoy the ride. There are alway some neat things that you can pick up. Though he plays fast and loose with history (most directors do to this day; Michael Moore, Oliver Stone) he gets a lot of details right. The firearms, swords, uniforms even the shape of the British star fort are all right on. There is also excellent attention to detail on the day to day life of this period of history. He did build his films from the ground up and if did not convey historical accuracy gave a good imitation. Sort of a 1940's version of virtual reality. It looks great but is not all there.
- Feb 15, 2006