|CALIFORNIA STRAIGHT AHEAD! (director: Arthur Lubin; screenwriters: story by Herman Boxer/W. Scott Darling; cinematographer: Harry Neumann; editors: Charles Craft/Erma Horsley; music: ; cast: John Wayne (Biff Smith), Louise Latimer (Mary Porter), Robert McWade (Corrigan), Tully Marshall (Harrison), Grace Goodall (Mrs. Porter), Olaf Hytten (Huggins), Harry Allen (McCorkle), Emerson Treacy (Charlie Porter), Theodore von Eltz (Jim Gifford), LeRoy Mason (Padula); Runtime: 67; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Trem Carr; Universal Pictures; 1937)|
to watch the young John Wayne in a B film not
by Dennis Schwartz
to watch the young John Wayne in a B film not a
Western. Arthur Lubin ("Francis in the
Navy"/"Star of India"/"Rhubarb") adequately directs.
It's based on Herman Boxer's story and is written by
W. Scott Darling.
fired as a bus driver Biff Smith (John Wayne) partners
with his pal Charlie Porter (Emerson Treacy) to be in
the trucking business. Biff romances Charlie's cute
sister Mary (Louise Latimer), but she jilts him when
her brother dies in a truck explosion carrying
nitro-glycerine. Mary blames the accident on the
innocent Biff, and goes to work for Biff's rival, the
new railroad freight boss in Chicago, Jim Gifford (Theodore
von Eltz). Biff soon partners with the fish
trucker McCorkle (Harry Allen).
The ambitious Biff then works for the trucking firm
run by the high-strung Corrigan (Robert McWade).
When the trucking firm competes with the railroad for
making long hauls, Biff has a fleet of Corrigan's
trucks, without the knowledge of the boss, race
Gifford's railroad from Chicago to LA. The winner is
to be rewarded with a million dollar contract to
unload a boat waiting at the LA harbor. Biff also wins
Mary back from Gifford, when she realizes Biff's the
man and Gifford's an oily scoundrel.
Wayne is heroic, tender and appealing. He acts in a natural way, and stands head and shoulders above anyone else in the flick.
REVIEWED ON 11/14/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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