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  • Barbary Coast

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on March 21st, 2005

    (out of 5)



    During the gold rush, Miriam Hopkins arrives in the lawless new city of San Francisco, onlyto discover that her fiancé has been killed. Penniless, but determined to make her way, she hastop-dog casino owner Edward G. Robinson fall in love with her, though she strategically holdshim at bay. She makes a financial killing, but the price she has paid is driven home when sheencounters poet/prospector Joel McCrea.

    McCrea is an odd casting choice as a poet, and he is a poe… very much cut from theHollywood cloth, i.e. deeply annoying and pretentious. He may be more masculine than LeslieHoward in The Petrified Forest, but he’s just as much of a twit. Hopkins, however, isrivetting as a hard-headed pragmatist, and Robinson, doing his usual fine tough guy work, isgiven a terrific final flourish.


    The mono soundtrack is definitely showing its age. By and large it’s perfectly audible, butso is a rolling wave of static, which crashes away like a pounding surf. In the last few minutesof the film, the dialogue is hit by frequent gurgles, too. Some allowances for the film’s age mustbe made, but I’ve heard older films that sound better.


    The picture is stronger than the sound, but isn’t perfect. Grain is visible, moreso in someshots than others. The black-and-white tones are excellent, though, and the flicker and printdamage are decidedly minor.

    Special Features

    Nothing here except the trailer. The menu is basic.

    Closing Thoughts

    Not a classic, and certainly not among Hawks’ best, but worth it for Hopkins’ sterlingwork.

    Special Features List

    • Theatrical Trailer
    Posted In: 1.33:1 Fullscreen, Disc Reviews, Dolby Digital Mono (English), Dolby Digital Mono (French), Dolby Digital Mono (Spanish), DVD, MGM, Western

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