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4.0 out of 5 stars
The Fighting Kentuckian (John Wayne) [DVD]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 15 October 2014
For collectors of offbeat films, or simply for lovers of lesser known Wayne movies, this is something of a peach.
It stars John Wayne and Oliver Hardy. Wait! Who? You heard me. What's more, they have quite a double-act going, with Ollie proving he wasn't only the funniest comedian in the world (in my humble opinion) but was more than capable of turning in a totally credible semi-straight performance, as he does here.
It's set in Alabama in 1812, has a fairly labyrinthine plot, some pretty sensuous romantic interludes, and boasts a female lead much derided in her day, Czech skating star Vera Ralston, who in fact acquits herself well enough, seeming to enjoy her scenes with Wayne, who was still, at a young-looking 42, a beautiful man, as well as becoming one of the movies' most natural actors.
I can't outline the plot, since I'm not entirely sure of it! It involves French refugees who were loyal to Napoleon, criminal land-grabbers, and a troop of Kentucky riflemen of whom the Duke and Ollie are two foremost members.
Ralston is Florette, daughter of the French General, while the enjoyably merry Marie Windsor has a featured role - and a fine old time - as a duplicitous femme fatale, western style.
George Waggner (responsible for The Wolf Man) wrote and directed, the latter rather well, and Bruce Surtees excels behind the camera. The final scenes of battle are beautifully shot and genuinely exciting.
Duke is at his most charming, and Ollie - well, I love the man, and to see him and Wayne so obviously enjoying playing together is a joy in itself. At the end, when Ollie (in a nod to his day-job with Stan) delicately picks a speck of dust from Duke's hat, I nearly stood up in my chair and cheered!
Not a great film by a long way, but unlike anything else I've ever seen, for both good and not so good reasons.

An odd, slightly mad yarn, well worth a watch.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2009
We are replacing all our John Wayne videos with dvd's. This one is a great film and so much better on dvd. I also bought She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and The Quiet Man - both are brilliant. With the dvd's you don't get the black stripes at the top and bottom of the screen, the picture fills the whole screen. Recommended to anyone who loves the John Wayne cowboy films.
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on 30 July 2015
It Was always going to be Good. cowboy legend John Wayne and comic legend Oliver Hardy starring together in The same film. This is a nice little release of This classic film The blu ray Transfer is really good and shows good and crisp. No extra's with the Disc but with this kind of movie you Don't really need any and The price won't put a dent in your wallet. A priceless release But I bet you can't watch it without expecting to see Stan Laurel pop up in it somewhere. classic sunday afternoon viewing Go for it.
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on 14 April 2009
I am a Massive Laurel and Hardy Fan and got this to see Oliver Hardy in one of the only 3 films her appeared in after he was teamed with (zenobia and riding high the other 2) the first on dvd. A Great film and includes Trailer. Picture fills screen, Black and White, Great Quality would recommend.

Arrived within 3 days.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Okay film buffs... so name the three films in which John Wayne forsook his beloved Stetson to wear a Davy Crockett style coonskin cap? If you know the answer then you are one almighty saddo it must be said, and as they say "It takes one to know one". They were "Allegheny Uprising" (39), "The Fighting Kentuckian (49) and of course as a larger than life Davy Crockett himself in the epic "The Alamo" (60). Set in Alabama in 1818 "The Fighting Kentuckian" stars Wayne as John Breen a rifleman with the second Kentucky Regiment, who falls in love with a French girl who is the daughter of a general who has brought a number of exiles with him from France following the fall of Napoleon. Breen discovers a plot to dispossess the French of the lands they intend to settle. We head to a clash between the settlers and the plotters in which Wayne is caught in the middle. Will love triumph in the face of such adversity?

The film is certainly a very curious one. The lead actress Vera Ralston who acted as Vera Hruba Ralston with Wayne in "Dakota" (45), went Hruba less for this one. Originally Ralston was a Czech figure skater who represented her country in the 1936 Olympics, where she supposedly snubbed Hitler. She later emigrated to the USA where she could lay claim to have developed into one of the worst actresses in history, and there are quite a few contenders. She became a lover of, and later married Republic studio head Herbert J Yates. Now, what can she have seen in a man 40 years older than her? Yates assisted Vera's career mightily and she rose like a meteor into leading lady parts. Unfortunately the meteor never got hot. In fact in didn't even get luke warm, as evidenced by her painfully robotic acting in this film. It is not helped by her strong accent or a rather bizarre script, but even so it is clear she should have stuck to figure skating. Then we have a Stan Laurel-less Oliver Hardy who is another soldier alongside Wayne. Now Ollie was getting on a bit, and was even larger than he was in his prime, so credulity is well and truly stretched here. Ollie does some of his old comedy routines, but this time in a coon skin cap. Wayne himself who also produced the film holds it all together with his immense screen presence.

The film is curious for some strange and funny scenes. Twice we are treated to Wayne deliberating with himself in interior monologues which fail miserably. Then we have a heavy being unusually candid with The Duke in what is a very odd exposition of the art of screen writing. He says "You're a hero in the heroic tradition. You must wait for me to make the first move.....the very thing that makes you a hero is the thing that makes you vulnerable." Such deep analysis is rather disturbing. On the plus side we have one of the funnier scenes in any John Wayne film, where he and Ollie gate crash a party posing as fiddlers. Forced to play in front of an audience, all the fiddlers have to perform a virtuoso individual performance. Now Ollie's character can play a bit, but Wayne's can't play a note, and that is when it gets funny.

The film was directed anonymously by George Waggner. Wayne is supported by a host of familiar faces. Paul Fix appears as a heavy, Jack Pennick as the officer in charge of the lusty Kentuckians, and even Hank Worden makes an all too brief appearance. There is also plenty of work for the Hollywood posse and its hard worked horses, one of whom had the unwanted distinction of carrying Oliver Hardy on its back. Sadly no one is able to lift the film out of mediocrity. But overall it contains enough interesting moments to justify the three stars that I am awarding it.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2004
A previous amazon reviewer states that Stan Laurel isn't very good in this film.He obviously hasn't seen much of L+H as he can't tell them apart!It is in fact Oliver Norvel Hardy who provides the comic accompaniment to the Duke.This film is very entertaining fare for the hardcore Wayne fans.
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on 13 February 2015
A Great gift for my Husband for Christmas.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2010
I love this film it has everything in it singing, comedy, fighting & romance I really enjoyed this film & couldn't wait to watch it as soon as I got it thru the door
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I saw this film in the afternoon and loved it, it was easy going and had Oliver Hardy in it to boot. Well worth the purchase, especially if you see it cheap. John Wayne was a great actor and did many films, this is not a classic but I enjoyed it and got it cheap.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2014
This DVD is suited to the more senior viewer who likes movies from the good old days.

John Wayne plays a good part.
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