width=”295″ height=”400″ />I don’t know if you guys can tell but recently I have been doing a lot of recommendations for some really old classics. A couple of examples being, A Yank In The R.A.F. (1941), The Outlaw (1943), and The Crawling Eye (1958). Now you maybe wondering why I am doing a lot of recommending of such old movies as of recent. Well simply put, besides the fact that I am a fan of history. I do believe that in a lot of cases, that these old classics are in some way the inspiration for movies that will come later.
A great example of this is in Journey To The Seventh Planet (1962). A team of Astronauts are sent from the Earth to explore and investigate a strange radiation signature on the planet Uranus… Well I am pretty sure that the weapons that these Astronauts used in Journey To The Seventh Planet, were the inspiration for the weapons that are used in the Ghostbusters movie series.
Now with all of this in mind. The above mentioned is just one of the reasons I found Belle Of the Yukon (1944) to be rather fascinating…
Written by: James Edward Grant (The Great John L.), based on the story created by: Houston Branch (Girls Of The Big House). Directed by: William A. Seiter (It’s A Pleasure) Starring: Randolph Scott (China Sky), Gypsy Rose Lee (Babes In Baghdad), Dinah Shore (Till the Clouds Roll By), Bob Burns (The Windjammer). Charles Winninger (State Fair), William Marshall (Winged Victory), Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams (Sing Me A Song Of Texas), Robert Armstrong (Blood On The Sun) and Florence Bates (Tahiti Nights).
This movie tells the story of a con artist who must do one last con to ensure that he can finally go free!
What I mean by this is that in a small Alaskan town Gentleman Jack (Scott) a former criminal who is wanted by the law in Seattle Washington, decides to go straight and become a respectable man. Gentleman Jack decides to change his name to Honest John, and opens up a club in town, employed by other former crooks that are looking to go straight, the name of this club being ‘Honest John’s Emporium.’ He is even planning on when the time is right to find the love of his life that he had left behind!
Of course she comes to him, also having gone legit, under the name of ‘Belle De Valle’ (Lee) her former partner in crime who has also gone legit, by the name of Viola Chase (Bates) along with a group of other women who are all coming in as the latest group of entertainers to work their way through Honest Johns…
Now everything seems to be going alright… That is until one night when a drunken Pop (Winninger) discovers that the club’s piano player, by the name of Steve Atterbury (Marshall) has had a letter arrive for him that proclaims that his wife and children love and miss him… The only problem with this is that it makes Steve out to be a looser as, Steve is making moves on getting together with Pop’s daughter Lettie…
So Pop sends a runner off to get a letter to Seattle informing them of where Steve is. Now this is a problem because if a law man from Seattle does end up showing up, he will ultimately end up discovering Gentleman Jack living the quiet life in this small Yukon town!
So Honest John along with the help of his friends Sam Slade (Burns) and Marshall Mervin Maitland (Williams), pay off a deck hand on the local transport ship to get Steve to Gnome before any real problems occur for Honest John and his group of ex-criminals!
Of course this doesn’t stop Steve, who ultimately ends up getting free of the transport and making his way back to Honest Johns!
Now with the law from Seattle, Honest John, along with the rest of his ex-criminal friends, will have to stage the con of a life time, before the authorities from Seattle show up, and Honest John has to dawn the mantle of Gentleman Jack, and make a run for it!
Here is what I believe does make this an Awesome B Movie:
1. This movie was nominated for two Academy awards, during the early days of the awards ceremony!
2. I loved the story line in this movie, in how an ex-con artist has to do one more con, so that he can go straight once and for all!
3. I also found the performances by Gypsy Rose Lee and Dinah Shore to be both entertaining and in some cases heart warming.
4. I also found very entertaining the performance that Randolph Scott did in this movie, I mean this guy can act! Rather he is trying to flip a trick, or trying to calm a crying Dinah Shore, he just always looks like he is just happy as a clam!
5. The last thing that I did want to say that I liked about this movie is the music… It maybe quaint considering that the music is almost 70 years old, but it is easy on the heart to listen to, and I like that.
With that said folks, if your looking for a fun amusing Musical/Western to enjoy, then I recommend trying your hand at this one, it is fun!