Stand Up And Fight

  • 1939
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Western

There are more fisticuffs in this western than in the average heavyweight title match and audiences loved the action. MGM was attempting to give their "pretty-boy" actor Taylor a more macho image, and his battles here provide the film's best scenes, since there's little else to fill out the time. Taylor is a Maryland plantation owner who has gone bankrupt...read more

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There are more fisticuffs in this western than in the average heavyweight title match and audiences loved the action. MGM was attempting to give their "pretty-boy" actor Taylor a more macho image, and his battles here provide the film's best scenes, since there's little else to fill out

the time. Taylor is a Maryland plantation owner who has gone bankrupt and turned to the bottle for solace. Beery runs a stagecoach line for Rice and is aiding slave traders, albeit unknowingly. The two men clash often and hand each other merciless beatings. Taylor joins forces with the railroad

people, who want to force the stagecoach company out of business and take over their "right of way" for the high iron. In Taylor's first battle, he reacts when he is being cheated at cards in a saloon and bloodies several noses. Next, he has a bout with Beery and practically has his head handed to

him. In the third skirmish, Taylor takes Beery's measure in a driving snowstorm. The villain of the picture is Bickford, however, and Beery kills him after he learns that Bickford is in the slave business. When it looks as though ex-con Beery will be arrested for Bickford's death, Taylor gets him

off the hook by not coming forward. In the end, Beery and Taylor become buddies and Taylor wins Rice's hand. Only four years before this picture's release, Taylor played a walk-on in the Beery-starring WEST POINT OF THE AIR. By 1939 times had changed and Beery, although still top-billed, now had

to share the plaudits with Taylor on an almost equal footing. This enjoyable, rousing western served to put Taylor in the highest ranks at the studio. Broderick Crawford's mother, Helen Broderick, does a small bit as Rice's aunt, the former girl friend of Beery. Van Dyke directs with his customary

alacrity, moving matters along at such a quick pace that you hardly have any time to notice the fact that there's almost no characterization to speak of. The fights are realistic and children may have a problem understanding it's all make-believe.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: There are more fisticuffs in this western than in the average heavyweight title match and audiences loved the action. MGM was attempting to give their "pretty-boy" actor Taylor a more macho image, and his battles here provide the film's best scenes, since… (more)

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