Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


JUBILEE TRAIL (1954). Director: Joseph Kane.

A dance hall gal who calls herself Florinda (Vera Ralston) and a "nice" gal named Garnet (Joan Leslie), recently married, develop an unexpected friendship that lasts from 1845 New Orleans to California in the days just before and after it became a state and on the verge of the Gold Rush. The main story of this meandering "epic" from Republic pictures has to do with Garnet's brother-in-law trying to kidnap her young son after her husband's death, and the chaos that results. Along the way there are Indians on the warpath and assorted romantic complications. Richard Webb, Forrest Tucker, Buddy Bear, Barton MacLane and Jim Davis are also in the cast. Pat O'Brien has a notable turn as "Texas," a kind-hearted drunk with a secret. Leslie is okay as Garnet; Vera Ralston is oddly appealing as Florinda. Jubilee Trail isn't awful but it isn't memorable, either.

Verdict: A trail you may not want to wander along. **1/2.

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