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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not to be confused with the famous TV series 62-71, that starred James Drury and Doug McClure. Owen Wister's epic romance of the west, first published in 1902 has certainly had the full treatment on screen. Five films altogether, the first being by that Hollywood heavyweight Cecil B DeMille in 1914, and the last as recently as 2000, starring Bill Pullman and Diane Lane in the lead roles. This film was the fourth attempt and the format was beginning to get a bit stale even by then. It is almost the film equivalent of an old fashioned daguerreotype of the old west. The language used seems strangely hackneyed even for audiences of 1946 to accept. The old "When you say that smile", and "If you aint outta town by sundown I'm gonna shoot you down", to which I would have added "you dirty dog", seem tired by over use. In fairness to the director Stuart Gilmore, he does try to remain faithful to Wister's book, which means using a lot of the polite, dated language so much beloved of the romantic Edwardian novelists of the period. It can therefore seem quite quaint, but totally unrealistic to modern audieces.

In the film a a pretty young schoolteacher, played by Barbara Britton, arrives on a train from the East in the very western town of Medicine Bow. On arrival she is met by two amorous cowboys, Joel McCrea in the title role and Sonny Tufts as his best friend, who both vie for her affections. Whilst the old fashioned romancing runs its course there are big problems with rustlers led by Trampas, played by a sinisterly black clad Brian Donlevy. It is that kind of film! There is of course to be an inevitable showdown between ranchers and rustlers. McCrea cuts just as imposing a figure as Gary Cooper did in the 1929 version, which is quite an achievement! Donlevy, who actually played quite a few cowboy roles, struggles manfully in his role as the bad guy, not helped by an outfit that reminded me of Dirk Bogarde in that weird and wacky film "The Singer not the Song"(61). Enough said about that! Britton is very annoying at times as the prim schoolmam, who was in dire need of the same sort of treatment that John Wayne dished out to Maureen O'Hara in "McClintock"(63), which was a jolly good spank on the bottom. Perhaps a solution seen as none too politically correct these days! This may however have had the desired effect in stopping her self righteous procrastinations. Unfortunately the support cast was weak with no notables amongst them to liven up proceedings. On the plus side, the colour photography is still vibrant, and there is a genuinely moving hanging scene. Whilst it is not what I would call bad film, it is yet another film that cannot be described as anything other than routine. For the true western geek like me, there is still just about enough fodder to chomp on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Molly Woods makes her way to Medicine Bow to become the new schoolmarm, after meeting two cowboys (and great friends) called Steve and The Virginian it becomes evident that both men are quite smitten with Molly. After a series of events surrounding Molly, Steve takes up with the no good Trampas and his group of rustlers, thus bringing the honest Virginian into conflict with his friend and the quick on the draw Trampas.

This story courtesy of writer Owen Wister has been done a number of times, adapted into film form in 1921, 1923 and of course here in this version, it was also made into a television series in 1962. Having not seen any of the other versions I have no frame of reference, but I would wager my last pound sterling that this is not the best adaptation because it fails to live up to its early promise. Joel McCrea takes up lead duties as The Virginian and as decent as an actor as he was in such films like Sullivan's Travels, The Palm Beach Story and the majestic Ride The High Country, here he looks bored and struggling to feed off what little energy is in the picture. Sonny Tufts as Steve is badly cast, while Barbara Britton as Molly may well make me wish that all my lady teachers at school had looked like her (if they had of been I would have gone more often!), but she comes across as a fish out of water.

The one bright spot is Brian Donlevy as the baddie Trampas, resplendent in black (of course), he does a nice line in convincing as a bad guy of worth (something he was excellent at in his career), but even he is not given enough screen time to not only flesh the part out, but to also probably bring out the best of McCrea. The shoot out at the finale is weak and it really cements the deal that this was a badly wasted chance to make a Western of some worth. Maybe it's just one of those pieces of literature that can't fully translate to the screen? Maybe the simply plotted story just isn't up to much anyway? Either way this is a misfire and not one to revisit outside of the always watchable Donlevy. 4/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It's a fair bet that people in 1946 were complaining just as much today about too many remakes and how they didn't make 'em like they used to when confronted with remakes as dull and lifeless as The Virginian. This fourth-time-out-of-the-stable take on Owen Wister's influential novel just trudges through the motions, with even Joel McCrea unable to bring anything to the title role and Sonny Tufts giving an object lesson in bad acting as his simpleton best friend gone bad while Brian Donlevy's black-clad Trampas seems a little short for bad guy duty. Even the immortal "When you say that, smile" moment is thrown away here. Pretty dire.

Universal's DVD boasts an excellent color transfer but no extras.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2010
This is a nice, enjoyable western, even though the story is not very original. And the classic "High noon" seems to be losely based on the story of this film, including a shoot-out on the wedding day. Even the great music during the openening titles sometimes makes you think of the years later created "Do not forsake me".

Joel MacCrea is great, as always, and the supporting cast is well chosen too. The quality of the image and sound is great. For once Universal seemes to have done their best to put a classic movie in the best possible quality on DVD. But like most Universal-DVD's, this one doesn't have any extra's. But that's ok with me.
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on 17 August 2013
I recently went to Richmond, Virginia to stay with friends and took this film with me.
My friends husband is a Virginian so it was an ideal gift.
These cowboy films are great...we watched them when we were young children.
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on 18 December 2012
OK version of the classic novel which has been filmed several times. Joel Mcrea is the hero, Brian Donlevy the villain and Sonny Tufts the good guy gone bad.
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on 30 September 2013
excellent service fast delivery

I bought these to replace my mums old videos

very pleased with the service
thank you
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on 16 May 2015
an excellelent western film
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