(director: Stuart Gilmore; screenwriters: Howard Estabrook, Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Edward Paramore, from novel and play by Owen Wister; cinematographer: Harry Hallenberger ; editor: Everett Douglas; music: Daniele Amfitheatrof; cast: Joel McCrea (The Virginian), Brian Donlevy (Trampas), Sonny Tufts (Steve Andrews), Barbara Britton (Molly Wood), Fay Bainter (Mrs. Taylor), Henry O’Neill (Mr. Taylor), William Frawley (Honey Wiggen), Tom Tully (Nebraska), James Burke (Andy), Bill Edwards (Samuel Bennett), Marc Lawrence (Pete), Willard Robeson (Judge Henry), Vincent Barnet (Baldy), Paul Guilfoyle (Shorty), Martin Garralaga (Spanish Ed; Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Paul Jones; Paramount Pictures; 1946)

“The banal plotline was not impressive.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A routine lush Technicolor remake of the Victor Fleming over-praised 1929 classic Western, that starred Gary Cooper. Stuart Gilmore (“Captive Woman”/”Target”) flatly directs his first film. It’s based on Owen Wister’s 1902 novel and his 1904 Broadway play. It’s adapted to film by writers Howard Estabrook, Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, and Edward Paramore.

The banal plotline was not impressive.

Joel McCrea is the stoic Wyoming rancher foreman known as the Virginian. Molly Wood (Barbara Britton) is the pretty young lady who in 1865 leaves Vermont to take a teaching job in Bear Creek, in Medicine Bow, Wyoming. Sonny Tufts plays Steve Andrews, the Virginian’s best friend returning home after drifting for three years. Steve’s heading to New York but decides to stay and compete with his friend for the hand of Molly. Brian Donlevy is the snarling cattle rustler Trampas, who dresses in black. Trampas lures Steve into his gang with promises of big money for rustling. When the Virginian catches Steve rustling for the second time, he and his posse hang him and two other gang members. But while chasing after Trampas, the Virginian’s ambushed and nursed back to health by Molly. On his wedding day, Trampas returns and at sundown they have a gun duel.

REVIEWED ON 3/21/2017       GRADE: B-