The Spoilers

  • 1955
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Western

The third sound version (and first in color) of Rex Beach's well-worn novel replaces Marlene Dietrich with Anne Baxter, John Wayne with Jeff Chandler, and Randolph Scott with Rory Calhoun. Needless to say, it misses the old cast's charisma and spark, though it still manages to entertain. Like the 1942 version, this one prominently features the female lead,...read more

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The third sound version (and first in color) of Rex Beach's well-worn novel replaces Marlene Dietrich with Anne Baxter, John Wayne with Jeff Chandler, and Randolph Scott with Rory Calhoun. Needless to say, it misses the old cast's charisma and spark, though it still manages to entertain.

Like the 1942 version, this one prominently features the female lead, Baxter, as a wealthy saloon owner in an Alaskan boom town who falls in love with Chandler, the co-owner of the region's most profitable gold mine. Chandler, however, falls victim to a scheme engineered by Calhoun, who pretends

to be an upstanding gold commissioner. In cahoots with Calhoun is a corrupt judge, Reid, and his attractive niece, Britton, with whom Chandler falls in love. A helpless pawn in Calhoun's game, Chandler is jailed on a murder charge, but he manages to break out when he learns the extent of the

corruption. Together with his partner, McIntire, Chandler reopens his mine and confronts Calhoun. This all leads up to the patented "Spoilers fistfight," featured in all five film versions of the tale (including two silents). Following the precedent set in 1914 by William Farnum and Tom Santschi,

Chandler and Calhoun go after each other in a long, drawn-out battle. Fists fly, furniture splinters, boots kick, glass shatters, and, in a new twist, the battle is waged in the mud-smothered streets of Nome. Considering the amount of mileage the studios got out of the Beach novel from 1914 to

1955, one would think that a sixth reworking would have followed right along.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The third sound version (and first in color) of Rex Beach's well-worn novel replaces Marlene Dietrich with Anne Baxter, John Wayne with Jeff Chandler, and Randolph Scott with Rory Calhoun. Needless to say, it misses the old cast's charisma and spark, thoug… (more)

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