Three Faces West
Picture: C+†††† Sound: C†††† Extras: D†††† Film: C+
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.
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
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.
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