Review: ‘The Spoilers’

The Spoilers in its present form is still a teeming, raw saga of Alaska in its 1898 gold rush days. It tells of Randolph Scott, as the crooked gold commissioner, an equally unscrupulous judge (Samuel S. Hinds) and their 'legal' confiscation of the miners' claims. John Wayne plays a prospector who, through the crooked court, loses the mine he jointly owns with Harry Carey. Marlene Dietrich is the operator of a gin and gambling emporium. Dovetailed to this is the tempestuous romance between Wayne and Dietrich, with Scott as the bad third.

The Spoilers in its present form is still a teeming, raw saga of Alaska in its 1898 gold rush days. It tells of Randolph Scott, as the crooked gold commissioner, an equally unscrupulous judge (Samuel S. Hinds) and their ‘legal’ confiscation of the miners’ claims. John Wayne plays a prospector who, through the crooked court, loses the mine he jointly owns with Harry Carey. Marlene Dietrich is the operator of a gin and gambling emporium. Dovetailed to this is the tempestuous romance between Wayne and Dietrich, with Scott as the bad third.

Of course, the big scene is the fight originally made one of the classic brawls of filmdom by Tom Santschi and William Farnum. The slugging match in the final reel between Wayne and Scott is something that apparently could be staged profitably at Madison Square Garden.

Performances are all uniformly good, with the stellar trio, of course, showing up best because of their prominent parts. Dietrich is excellent in a role suggesting it was designed for her. Scott and Wayne are typical of the great outdoors men for which the parts call.

The Spoilers

Production

Universal. Director Ray Enright; Producer Frank Lloyd; Screenplay Lawrence Hazard, Tom Reed; Camera Milton Krasner; Editor Clarence Kolster; Music Hans J. Salter

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1942. Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Marlene Dietrich Randolph Scott John Wayne Richard Barthelmess William Farnum Harry Carey
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