Wednesday, 10 July 2013

No.110 : The Spoilers

The Spoilers at the IMDb

 This review of  ‘The Spoilers’ may contain spoilers. It was his childhood sled. There told you.

The spoilers in question aren’t movie reviewers with a heightened sense of their own worth but people who spoil things for other people - in this case gold miners.

It’s frontier time in Nome Alaska and the sluts at the local saloon are showing an ankle for two bits - well it is 1955. Whoremaster Anne Baxter has a new dress in every scene so there’s clearly cash in teasing the toothless prospectors with low cut tops that on closer examination appear to be flesh coloured flannel.

Gold is in tham thar hills and so are claim jumpers, spoilers who try to make claims against the legitimate miners working on the legal precedent of ‘finders keepers’. To stop these carpet baggers a circuit judge is employed to vet the legal veracity of the claims. In Nome the Judge is due but so is Anne’s boyfriend and she tarts herself up in her finest duffel coat as the ship appears. But wait! Her beau Roy has hooked up with the Judge’s matronly looking daughter.

Happily for Anne she is not short of admirers and despite Roy’s protestations of innocence she’s soon showing an ankle to Alex, who is a dirty dog if ever I saw one. Roy’s mine is one of those challenged and he foolishly ignores his toothless hillbilly partner and turns his claim over to the Gold Commission for the Judge’s verdict. Alas this is delayed 90 days meaning the mine could be stripped clean by the time they get it back.

This can’t be good old American justice and of course it’s not as we soon learn that the Judge and ‘the Gold commission’ are a bunch of big fakers. What follows is a predictable sequence of bar fist fights and shoot outs before a toy train falls over and honour is restored. Roy gets a kiss on his dirty face and could that be a bit of real cleavage as the credits roll? Oh I’ve come over all faint!

This 1955 effort was a remake of a film from the 1930s - God knows what the bar room sluts looked like in that! Here they were a gaudy technicoloured bunch of hefty hoofers but no less fun for all that. Clearly no one could look nicer than Anne Baxter who shined in every scene - mostly due to intense lighting and a costume budget that would match King Kong’s.

The film skirted a thin line between comedy and drama with the drunken yokel and drunken maid playing it for laughs that never came against some pretty nasty schemes and murders. There was of course no doubt that right would prevail but I have to admit being wrong footed when the judge was revealed to be bent - can’t trust anyone these days!

The sets and costumes were as you’d expect with the location work kept to a minimum. There was a horse shit free main street and a basic mine set but you could tell the western was on the way out when the whole bar set was smashed up at the end in a scene reminiscent of ‘Blazing Saddles’.

It’s clearly an unsophisticated film made for simpler times with goodies versus baddies and no one catching syphilis. I quite enjoyed it for the most part but I doubt it’s one that I’ll ever revisit or even remember after this beer. Cheers!

The Tag Line : Not Authentic - It’s twoo, it’s twoo   57%

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