Saturday, April 6, 2013

1926 - THE WINNING OF BARBARA WORTH, a large scale western epic

This is an epic silent western film from classy producer Samuel Goldwyn and director Henry King.  The film is well cast with Ronald Colman, Gary Cooper and silent actress Velma Banky in one of those romantic love triangles, he loves her, she loves another guy, the other guy thinks she loves the other guy, etc. 

The Winning of Barbara Worth has large scale production values and much of the film was shot on location on some hell hole Nevada desert location. Watching the film today you can't help thinking this was nobody's idea of a fun production. 

The end of the film features a spectacular flood sequence which is a good example of mixing models and optical effects integrated together.  The effects still hold up very well a film that is over 80 years old.

As usual what shoves pictures like The Winning of Barbara to the back of the bus is it's status as a silent film.  But this is as good a film as anything John Ford directed.  The director Henry King was  a complete pro behind the camera and had a long run making successful entertaining films for 45 years.

89 minutes.

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