Overlong and boring, TYCOON features Wayne as an engineer hired to build a railroad in the Andes Mountains for Hardwicke, a wealthy American with mining interests in the area. Friction arises between the two when they disagree over where the tracks should run: Wayne wants to build a bridge; Hardwicke wants Wayne to tunnel through a mountain, a shorter but...read more
Overlong and boring, TYCOON features Wayne as an engineer hired to build a railroad in the Andes Mountains for Hardwicke, a wealthy American with mining interests in the area. Friction arises between the two when they disagree over where the tracks should run: Wayne wants to build a
bridge; Hardwicke wants Wayne to tunnel through a mountain, a shorter but more dangerous way to complete the railroad. Ultimately, Wayne gives in. After a night of heavy drinking, Wayne spies Day and follows her to church. Later, he hires musicians to serenade Day, and, no longer able resist his
attentions, she invites him home, where Wayne unhappily learns Day is Hardwicke's daughter. Hardwicke orders Wayne never to see Day again. But the two meet in secret with the help of Anderson, Day's duenna, and Day's cousin Quinn. Wayne and Day go for a ride in his Jeep but end up getting lost and
running out of gas near some ancient Inca ruins. After spending the night there, Wayne decides to try a little romance. He starts to kiss Day, but is thwarted by the unexpected intrusion of Hardwicke, who has been searching for his missing daughter. The lovers marry despite Hardwicke's
disapproval; however, Wayne, who is involved with the problems of constructing the tunnel, has little time for his bride. Hardwicke adds to Wayne's troubles by deliberately withholding much-needed construction materials. After the tunnel collapses on a friend, Wayne, angry at himself for
compromising with Hardwicke, blows up what's left of the tunnel and proceeds to finish with his original plans. Promising to complete the line on schedule within the original budget, Wayne cuts back on safety measures, causing most of the crew to leave and Day to return to her father. A new crew
is hired but a torrential rain threatens them. After the new men leave, Wayne tries to finish the work himself despite the danger. In the nick of time, an old crew returns to help Wayne in completing the job. After testing the bridge, Wayne and Hardwicke realize that their personal differences can
be overcome. Hardwicke finally approves of Day's marriage and finds romance himself, marrying Anderson. Though Wayne gives a valiant try, he simply can't rise above the weaknesses of this film. The story is unbelievable, padded with superficial characters and ridiculous plot twists. And the ending
requires the suspension of disbelief normally required for films like THE WIZARD OF OZ. Day is barely competent as the love interest, slogging through her part without giving it much life. At the time, she was married to baseball great Leo Durocher, a man known for his explosive temper. Durocher,
who grew jealous whenever Wayne played a love scene opposite Day, became a regular fixture around the set, firing angry stares in the Duke's direction. This, along with the ballplayer's nasty remarks, forced Wayne to take some severe action. He demanded a closed set, the only time in his career
Wayne made such a request. This unusual move by the normally genial Wayne was approved and the love scenes were filmed without further interruption by the jealous Durocher. Director Wallace and writers Chase and Twist tried to give TYCOON an epic feel, but despite their efforts the film remains an
overblown melodrama. The studio sank $3,209,000 into this turkey and ended up losing $1,035,000.
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