Monday, October 26, 2009

Union Pacific

Last night I watched Union Pacific for the first time.

Union Pacific was released in 1939 and directed by legend Cecil DeMille. The film stars Joel McCrea, Barbara Stanwyck, and Robert Preston.

One of the last bills signed by President Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad across the wilderness to California. But financial opportunist Asa Barrows (Henry Kolker) hopes to profit from obstructing it. He hires gambler Sid Campeau (Brian Donlevy) and his partner Dick Allen (Robert Preston) to basically provide gambling, booze and women to the railroad workers so they cannot complete the project on time. The Union Pacific railroad hires Jeff Butler (Joel McCrea) as chief troubleshooter. Jeff Butler has his hands full fighting Barrows' agent, gambler Sid Campeau and partner Dick Allen who is Jeff's war buddy and rival suitor for engineer's daughter Molly Monahan (Barbara Stanwyck).

Robert Preston as Dick Allen shows genuine charm and gives a double-layered performance as McCrea's longtime pal caught under the influence of the bad guys who want to cause havoc and his friendship with Butler.

Akim Tamiroff as Fiesta and Lynne Overman as Leach provide some great comic relief as Butler's bodyguards.

I really enjoyed this movie and if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.

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