The Girl Of The Golden West

  • 1938
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Musical

The considerable talents of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald are not enough to overcome the slow-moving direction and ho-hum screenplay that weigh down this fourth film based on David Belasco's play of the same name. (Previous versions were released in 1915, 1923, and 1930, and Giacomo Puccini based an opera on the story.) MacDonald plays Mary Robbins,...read more

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The considerable talents of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald are not enough to overcome the slow-moving direction and ho-hum screenplay that weigh down this fourth film based on David Belasco's play of the same name. (Previous versions were released in 1915, 1923, and 1930, and Giacomo

Puccini based an opera on the story.) MacDonald plays Mary Robbins, the owner of a rough-and-tumble saloon in a mining town out West, and Eddy takes the role of a bandit named Ramerez, who masquerades as a cavalry lieutenant to win her love. When the wounded Ramerez is pursued by town sheriff Jack

Rance (Walter Pidgeon), who also happens to be in love with Mary, she bargains with the lawman for the desperado's freedom, finally winning it by cutting cards. Don't bet, however, that this is the last confrontation involving the trio, as the film moves toward another highly charged meeting. Shot

in sepia tone, GIRL OF THE GOLDEN WEST is something of a curiosity that will have TV viewers fiddling with their dials if it's broadcast in the original hues. Its best number is the elaborate Albertina Rasch staging of "Mariachi," a rare piece of excitement in an otherwise dreary movie. The only

real laughs the film has to offer are provided by Buddy Ebsen (an excellent song-and-dance man before his "Beverly Hillbillies" and "Barnaby Jones" TV celebrity, slated to play the Tin Man in THE WIZARD OF OZ before his skin rebelled against the silver makeup) in his rendition of "The West Ain't

Wild Anymore." In a small role as the governor, the irrepressible Monty Woolley manages to make the most out of the least, while director Robert A. Leonard takes a serviceable score by Sigmund Romberg and Gus Kahn and makes very little out of it indeed. Other musical numbers (music by Romberg and

lyrics by Kahn unless otherwise noted): "Sun-up to Sundown" (Jeanne Ellis, Chorus), "Camptown Races," "Shadows on the Moon" (Ellis), "Soldiers of Fortune" (Noah Beery, Bill Cody), "Soldiers of Fortune" reprise (Cody, Eddy, male chorus), "Shadows on the Moon" reprise (Eddy, MacDonald), "The Wind in

the Trees" (Eddy), "Liebestraum" (MacDonald, music by Franz Liszt, English lyrics by Kahn), "Ave Maria" (MacDonald, boys' choir, music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Charles Gounod), "Senorita" (Eddy, Chorus), "Who Are We to Say?" (Eddy), "Who Are We to Say?" reprise (MacDonald).

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The considerable talents of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald are not enough to overcome the slow-moving direction and ho-hum screenplay that weigh down this fourth film based on David Belasco's play of the same name. (Previous versions were released in 1… (more)

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