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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Three Faces West

Three Faces West


Picture: C+†††† Sound: C†††† Extras: D†††† Film: C+



Two refugees form the Nazis come to America and get help to settle here from a U.S. citizen (John Wayne) going there way in Three Faces West (1940), a John Wayne vehicle that seems like it will be anti-Nazi propaganda at first, then turns into a formula Wayne film where his populist American know-how makes the more intellectual and innocent European fleers the butt of endless situational jokes.


The result is a wacky mix of ideas that actually ignores the Nazi menace for a proactive stance that screams isolationism, a pretty arrogant stance (and humor-laced no less) considering what was already known to be happening in Europe.This also came one year after John Fordís original Stagecoach, which established the Western as a genre once and for all.This film is more concerned with past formulas that are silly today and must have struck those in the know as odd then.


The full frame image is from an older analog transfer of the original film, so it has softness and detail troubles, but the condition of the print and Video Black here help make up for a bit of that somewhat and it is a bit sharper than Westward Ho.That is another Wayne/Lionís Gate/Republic title released at the same time.The best feature of this film is the impressive early camera work of legendary cinematographer John Alton, the inarguable reason to see this above all else.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono shows its age and is automatically set to go to Pro Logic on home theater systems to put the mono sound into the center channel.I am not a fan of this approach, but the sound is smaller than it needs to be no matter how you play it back.Victor Youngís score is nominal.There are no extras.


Now, the film is a bone of contention for those who do not like Wayne and is either a fan favorite for diehard fans or just another chapter ion Wayneís long career with limited significance.Now, with the DVD, you can judge for yourself.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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