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A fun film

If you examine John Wayne’s career, you’ll find that with the exception of The Big Trail, he was relegated to extra work in the late ’20s, and then after a number of low-budget affairs in the early ’30s, made it big in B westerns, along with stints at Universal and Republic, until 1939, with his appearance in Stage Coach for John Ford.

Then, one after the next, came Allegheny Uprising for William Seiter, Dark Command for Raoul Walsh, and Seven Sinners for Tay Garnett.

The Universal production, gave him second billing to Marlene Dietrich, who per Bosley Crowther’s report from the New York Times: “Her Bijou Blanche in “Seven Sinners” is a delightfully subtle spoof of all the Sadie Thompsons and Singapore Sals that have ever stirred the hot blood of cool customers south and east of Manila Bay. If Miss Dietrich and her comedies were both just a little broader, Mae West would be in the shade.”

The new Blu-ray from Kino is just fine. It’s not a restoration. Just a very nice image harvest of a secondary element. A bit on the contrasty side, but that enriches the image with beautiful blacks. Grain comes to the fore a bit, but I prefer that to the alternative. Very light wear is occasionally seen. Rudolph Mate was behind the camera.

A fun film, and an interesting take on the genre.

It seems that for a short period (they made three films together) Dietrich and Wayne were the Rogers and Astaire of Universal, with a bit more action, and less dancing.

Image – 3.5

Audio – 4.25

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Recommended

RAH

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Published by

Robert Harris

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jim_falconer

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I picked up Shepherd Of The Hills as soon as it became available. I’ll get this one eventually, but will probably wait for a Kino sale. It’s a fun film, but a little out of character, from the normal “tough guy” roles that Duke was known for portraying. I do enjoy the supporting cast quite a bit. From Albert Deckers drunken doctor, to Broderick Crawford’s body guard...and more.
 

Robert Crawford

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I picked up Shepherd Of The Hills as soon as it became available. I’ll get this one eventually, but will probably wait for a Kino sale. It’s a fun film, but a little out of character, from the normal “tough guy” roles that Duke was known for portraying. I do enjoy the supporting cast quite a bit. From Albert Deckers drunken doctor, to Broderick Crawford’s body guard...and more.
I don't know, he seem to be pretty tough in one of the best bar fights captured on film. Furthermore, though he made a ton of "B" movies, this "A" movie was one of his first after "Stagecoach" so I don't think his iconic screen persona was well established yet. With that said, this was definitely Marlene's movie, but, she was entertaining in this movie along with that great supporting cast beyond the Duke.
 

jim_falconer

Supporting Actor
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Nov 11, 2004
Messages
946
Finally got around to watching this. Kino did an okay job on the transfer. While the outdoor scenes sparkle, the indoor studio shots do not come off as good.

As John Wayne films go...certainly a lesser entry. Really not much of a story. Kinda like "Destry" redone in south pacific islands...but much inferior to that masterpiece.

I will say the commentary track was outstanding. The two guys were fun, informative, and entertaining.