Virginia City

  • 1940
  • 2 HR 01 MIN
  • NR

This follow-up to 1939's DODGE CITY (though by no means a sequel) features Flynn as a Union officer who manages to escape from the Confederate prison where he has been held captive. Flynn wants to stop a $5 million gold shipment, sent from the North by Southern sympathizers who want to help the Confederacy's battered economy. Scott takes a westbound stagecoach,...read more

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This follow-up to 1939's DODGE CITY (though by no means a sequel) features Flynn as a Union officer who manages to escape from the Confederate prison where he has been held captive. Flynn wants to stop a $5 million gold shipment, sent from the North by Southern sympathizers who want to

help the Confederacy's battered economy. Scott takes a westbound stagecoach, where he meets Hopkins. The coach is held up by Bogart, a half-breed outlaw with a pencil mustache (something rarely seen in the movies on Bogie's famous top lip). Arriving in Virgina City, Nevada, Flynn learns that

Scott, who formerly ran the prison he escaped from, is going to send the gold by wagon train to Richmond, Virginia. Flynn falls for Hopkins, not realizing that she is really a Southern spy. With her help, Scott manages to recapture Flynn. Scott then meets with Bogart and arranges for the outlaw

and his band to attack Union troops so the wagon train can leave town unnoticed. The plan is a success, but later the caravan is inspected by some Union troops located in the desert. The Confederates fire at the bluecoats, and Flynn manages to escape. He then gets to Dumbrille, telling the general

about the attack. Dumbrille and his cavalry men ride in, but end up taking the wrong route, victims of a trick. When Flynn is able to catch up to the wagon train, he sees Bogart and his men trying to get their hands on the gold. Flynn helps fight off the bandits, but his nemesis, Scott, is killed.

Flynn then buries the loot, and Dumbrille finally rides in with his men, fending off the outlaws and killing Bogart. Because Flynn refuses to reveal where he has buried the gold, he is court-martialed by his superiors and sentenced to die. Hopkins, who has fallen in love with Flynn, goes to

Washington, D.C., and begs President Lincoln (Kilian, who is seen only in shadow) to spare Flynn's life.

The film, based partially on a true Civil War incident, is not particularly memorable, though Flynn and Scott do give it some fine moments. The action sequences have some real flash to them, and once again, Yakima Canutt proves why he was considered the best stuntman in the movie business. At one

point, just as in STAGECOACH, Canutt jumps between horses on a fast-moving wagon, coming within inches of the powerful hooves and wagon wheels before pulling himself back up. It's an amazing feat and well worth the price of admission. That the film actually was completed was something of a miracle

in itself. Flynn cared little for Curtiz as a director and tried to get him removed from the film. Curtiz felt the same way about Flynn, and cared little for Hopkins as well. To add fuel to this personality fire, Bogart reportedly didn't get on well with Scott or Flynn. The film began without a

finished script, which had angered Flynn. Curtiz then accused Flynn of bearing the subtlety of a Nazi stormtrooper on the set. After sending a telegram to Hal B. Wallis, expressing his anger with the partial script, Flynn received a reply which read: "Dear Heinrich Himmler Flynn: Will show you

copy just as soon as ready. Thanks old fellow, keep up the good work. Regards. Hal." Flynn's misery was compounded by the constant rains that besieged the Flagstaff, Arizona, locations. The rain caused the actor to suffer from painful headaches, sending him to bed. Despite the troubles, VIRGINIA

CITY turned out to be an entertaining picture. It was later put on a double bill with DODGE CITY in some markets. Although Tony Martin sang the title theme, it was deleted from the picture just before its national release. It was issued, however, on RCA Victor records.

MIXED-ISH - In "mixed-ish," Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the '80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow's parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they're perceived as neither black nor white. This family's experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one's own identity when the rest of the world can't decide where you belong. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)
MYKAL-MICHELLE HARRIS, ARICA HIMMEL, ETHAN WILLIAM CHILDRESS

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