The Earth Moves for Duke and Dvorak

John Wayne in Flame of the Barbary Coast (1945)

Montana cowboy Duke Fergus (John Wayne) arrives in San Francisco in search of Tito Morell (Joseph Schildkraut), the owner of The Eldorado, as he is there to collect on a debt he has a bought from one of his ranch hands. But after collecting what he is owed and having become smitten with showgirl Flaxen Tarry (Ann Dvorak) Duke loses it all to the deceptive Morell. Determined to get his own back Duke heads off to learn how to play cards and then returns with all his money to not only get his revenge on Morell but open his own gambling house. But whilst revenge is Duke's motivation so is Flaxen who he has become smitten with putting him up against Morell again who wants her all to himself.

Well "Flame of the Barbary Coast" is certainly a good looking and entertaining movie it is the sort of movie which as a movie reviewer leaves me kind of at a loss as to what to say. Part of that is because of what this movie builds up to and whilst I won't say there are many a review of "Flame of the Barbary Coast" which basically reveals all. But I am also at a loss for words because "Flame of the Barbary Coast" is such a straight forwards movie. As such we have Duke not only trying to teach the crooked gambling hall owners of the Barbary Coast a lesson but also finding him rivalling Morell for the attractive and playful Flaxen who whilst flirtatious towards Duke is in love with Morell.

Ann Dvorak in Flame of the Barbary Coast (1945)

The thing is that whilst "Flame of the Barbary Coast" is a straight forward movie it is still a little charmer firstly because of the simple musical element with a handful of pleasant show numbers which crop up once in a while. But secondly you have the acting and John Wayne is in full control from start to finish with a real glint in his eye be it when Duke gets one up on Morell or whenever he is around Flaxen. That brings me to Ann Dvorak who is not only gorgeous in this but she makes Flaxen this mix of flirtatious playfulness but also trouble especially when it comes to playing Morell and Duke off against each other.

What this all boils down to is that "Flame of the Barbary Coast" is certainly an entertaining movie and also a good looking one with great sets and nice cinematography. But it is a straight forward movie with the exception of one major event it plays out pretty much in a routine manner.

Movie Recommendations

Dakota

Dakota (1945)

After John Devlin (John Wayne) elopes with Sandra "Sandy" Poli (Vera Ralsto ...

They Were Expendable

They Were Expendable (1945)

This is going to be a bit of a ramble and I apologise for that but I am kin ...

Without Reservations

Without Reservations (1946)

After she sold her best selling novel to Hollywood for it to be turned in t ...

Tycoon

Tycoon (1947)

Hired by Alexander (Cedric Hardwicke) to build a tunnel through the mountai ...

Back to Bataan

Back to Bataan (1945)

With the American army having been forced to pull out of Bataan due to the ...

The Fighting Seabees

The Fighting Seabees (1944)

As the manager of a team of civilian construction workers Wedge Donovan (Jo ...

Reap the Wild Wind

Reap the Wild Wind (1942)

With ships running dangerously close to the rocks in Key West as they ship ...

The Shepherd of the Hills

The Shepherd of the Hills (1941)

Young Matt Masters (John Wayne - Dark Command), a moonshiner in the Ozark M ...

The Long Voyage Home

The Long Voyage Home (1940)

"The Long Voyage Home" is based upon 4 nautical plays by Eugene O'Neill and ...

Three Faces West

Three Faces West (1940)

Having fled his native Vienna with his daughter Leni (Sigrid Gurie) in orde ...

Wake of the Red Witch

Wake of the Red Witch (1948)

Captain Ralls (John Wayne - Red River) and first mate Sam Rosen (Gig Young ...

Operation Pacific

Operation Pacific (1951)

For the first half you do wonder where "Operation Pacific" is going as ther ...

The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man (1952)

Returning to Ireland from his life in America, Sean Thornton (John Wayne - ...

Sands of Iwo Jima

Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

In a way you can split "Sands of Iwo Jima" into 3 elements starting with th ...

Flying Tigers

Flying Tigers (1942)

Capt. Jim "Pappy" Gordon (John Wayne) is in charge of the famous Flying Tig ...

Follow The Movie Scene

Follow The Movie Scene on Twitter Like The Movie Scene on facebook Join The Movie Scene on Gplus Subscribe to The Movie Scene's RSS