Review: ‘The Virginian’

This Paramount production takes the old play dirt of ancient plains pictures, shuffles it around a bit, and makes of the Owen Wister and Kirk La Shelle story 92 minutes of drama and comedy.

This Paramount production takes the old play dirt of ancient plains pictures, shuffles it around a bit, and makes of the Owen Wister and Kirk La Shelle story 92 minutes of drama and comedy.

There’s an anti-climax toward the middle, one of the most harrowing and vivid sequences ever before the lenses. It is when the silent and lanky Virginian (Gary Cooper) is forced to give the signal which sends his pal, Steve (Richard Arlen), along with three other cattle rustlers, galloping to their death in nooses.

Trampas (Walter Huston), the menace, is saved from the hanging to bait along the story for the vengeance climax.

The school mam, played by the pretty Mary Brian, doesn’t fly at the neck of the tall backwoodsman. She teases him, letting him use the old gag of rescuing her from a frightened cow and then promptly bawling him out. This provides Cooper with a chance for a bit of byplay and wise-cracking with Arlen as a sincere but out-for-easy-dough Steve.

The Virginian

Production

Paramount. Director Victor Fleming; Screenplay Howard Estabrook

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1929. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Gary Cooper Walter Huston Mary Brian Chester Conklin Eugene Pallette E.H. Calvert
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