The Fighting Seabees (1944) John Wayne, Susan Hayward. A highly fictionalized account of how the U.S. Navy's Construction Battalion, aka "Seabees", came to be formed early in World War Two to operate in the Pacific. Not bad for what it is and it's entertaining. It's also a product of its time. This is another Wayne war film that was on tv constantly when I was growing up in the '70s.
The pq on this BD is breathtaking it is so fantastic. It has clearly had a lot of restoration and it is one of the best I have seen on archive BDs.
The film also stars Maureen O'Hara and Stephanie Powers. It is also a John Wayne family benefit with his son Michael producing, son Patrick co-starring and 6-year-old daughter Aissa also in the film. There is also the usual bunch of Wayne buddies on display, Bruce Cabot, Chill Wills, etc.
Filmed on location in Arizona where the countryside looks fantastic and the sky is so blue and incredibly bright.
The story in this comedy western is that GW (George Washington) McLintock (Wayne) is a wealthy landowner who is joined by his daughter Becky and his estranged wife Kath (O'Hara) and they have the usual fights before the obligatory obvious ending. There is one very long fight scene where all and sundry get involved. It seems like most of the cast are in on the scrap. There isn't much of a plot really other than the obligatory family squabbles. There is a sub plot where McLintock helps some displaced Indians in their fight against resettlement. Wayne was keen to portray the Indians in a more realistic way than a lot of westerns that preceded it.
It is a good Wayne western, not that funny but perfectly enjoyable.
NB this film is in the Public Domain so make sure you get a Paramount release. There a lot of dodgy DVDs of this film out there that suffer from appalling pq.
There are loads of Extras dating from 2005 including interviews with Maureen O'Hara and Stefanie Powers. There is a look at the career of producer Michael Wayne, how they staged the fight scenes, etc.
Honestas non est optimum consilium est: consilium non solum est.
A woeful film. I cannot remember if I’d seen it before or not. If I had, I’d wisely deleted it from my memory banks. Mclintock’s this arrogant, fat old land baron, who sashays up and down the place, like a man that’s accidentally cr@pped his pants.
In the western there are all these stupid characters and unlikely events, in which King Poopy Drawers (Wayne) forces himself onto women. Abusing them mentally, physically and sexually. What a b*****d! There were at least two scenes of women being publicly spanked, countless others dealing with physical abuse, humiliation and misogyny. Which the makers attempt to pass off as ‘good ol battle of the sexes’ style humour. Absolute drivel. Not a single amusing moment throughout. Zero wit, charm or cleverness.
Before the film started, Leonard Maltin*, the American film critic, comes on to endorse the movie, giving it his seal of fanboy approval. Only he looks like a complete twerp and pretty much states: ‘the film sucks and everyone hates it, except me, as I am a professional critique, able to see beyond how lousy the film is and recognise it as a well planned, satirical, hilarious lampoon of the genre.’ No Leonard, it’s not. It’s not clever, it’s not a ‘hoot and a holler’, it’s just a dated, hackneyed, unfunny, tiresome piece of sexist horseshit that has no appeal and little to recommend it.
This is up there with Wighill: US Marshall, as a Wayne film to avoid. Seriously, put this up against Wayne’s best output and you’ll see I’m not being overly harsh. 3/10.
* I heard a rumour that Leonard Maltin always got picked last at school when the other kids were choosing players for their team in the playground.
Another fairly lousy Wayne comedy western. This time it sees him transporting a woman from Seattle to Alaska for Stewart Granger to marry. Only for John Wayne to fall for her. I actually liked the characters in this, which sort of keeps it from becoming too tedious. The actual ‘humour’ and slapstick bar fights are pretty lame though. It’s a mile better than McKlintock and Wighill: US Marshall though.
Also watch for how much better a comedy actor Granger is than Wayne. He’s actually got timing and delivery. Wayne should really have steered clear of the comedies..
As a newcomer to John Wayne westerns I enjoy them very much and I loved The Shootist with Wayne and Ron Howard! I'll have to keep my eyes open for any of his cop films next time I go into a CEX or charity shop too but they seem to be short in supply! JB