Virginia City

1940

Western

3
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 56%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 56% · 500 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.8/10 10 3003 3K

Director

Top cast

Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams as 'Marblehead'
Humphrey Bogart as John Murrell
Randolph Scott as Vance Irby
Errol Flynn as Kerry Bradford
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.08 GB
1280*934
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
Seeds 29
2.01 GB
1480*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
Seeds 49

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by salad1964 8 / 10

Fine Picture, Wonderful Ending

Firstly, it should be pointed out, that many of the reviews here, contain definite spoilers, with no warning. Shame on them.

Then, all of these movie review wannabes, who parrot words of Hopkins and Bogart being " miscast" are cute little homilies that serve no purpose, and are wholly incorrect.

These studios were adept at all matters of film production, and they knew what they were doing. This cry of "miscast", makes people not want to watch a great movie. Bogart is great as the bandit, and is cast correctly. For goodness sake, it's not really a Mexican role, and so what if it was? There were many people who associated with Mexicans then, or had mixed ancestry. Anyway, he did fine.

And Hopkins has one, not two love interests.

But the story is brilliant, acting superior, and a very happy and rewarding resolution.

Errol Flynn, is sheer genius here.

Reviewed by bobsgrock 8 / 10

Flynn makes all better,

Those who are not used to classic Hollywood productions will probably shun this picture if only because the plot is somewhat complex and there are some glaring mistakes. Nevertheless, the simple fact that Errol Flynn is the lead role makes up for many of the shortcomings and makes this yet another solid production featuring Flynn and director Michael Curtiz.

In a story somewhat reminiscent of Gone With the Wind and Flynn's previous film Dodge City, Union captain Bradford (Flynn) escapes with his two sidekicks (the same in Dodge City) and travels to Virginia City to try and stop a group of Southerners from bringing $5 million in gold back from the mines of Nevada in order to fund the war which they are badly losing. This creates for some great tension scenes which I found very provocative between Flynn and Randolph Scott as the leader of the Southerners. Miriam Hopkins plays the role usually reserved for Olivia de Havilland, and although she isn't as personable or warm as her, Hopkins holds her own with both Scott and Flynn.

As for Humphrey Bogart as a Mexican bandit, he is highly miscast, but still a solid part of this strong cast that all comes together in the end in a final shootout in the desert. Curtiz certainly knows how to stage action scenes and those here are some of his best. Of course, like most others, this film belongs to Flynn. He is one of the most charismatic and likable leading men ever and his talents are at their best here. He is one of the very few actors who can make a film better simply with his presence. This one is no exception.

Reviewed by jpdoherty 7 / 10

The Rich Man's Roy Rogers!

VIRGINIA CITY (1940) is not only a classic Warner western but is a classic Errol Flynn western as well! Flynn had great success with his playing in westerns which baffled and intrigued the actor no end and prompted him, on occasion, to refer to himself as "the rich man's Roy Rogers".

From a fine screenplay by Robert Buckner VIRGINIA CITY was solidly directed by Michael Curtiz and beautiful photographed by Sol Polito. The picture boasted a top notch cast! Besides Flynn it had stone-faced Randolph Scott (on loan from Fox) as Flynn's confederate adversary and, sporting a dubious Mexican accent, a pre-stardom Humphrey Bogart turns up as an unlikely Mexican bandit leader. The female lead is, unfortunately, taken by the awful Miriam Hopkins (where, oh where was Olivia?), who plays a saloon singer come southern spy.

The story has Flynn - fresh from the quarter deck of The Albatross in "The Sea Hawk" - playing a Union Intelligence officer in the closing days of the Civil War trying to prevent a shipment of gold bullion reaching the south so that the struggle of the confederacy could be prolonged. Not only do the opposing sides battle it out with each other over the gold but they must also contend with Murrell (Bogart) and his bandits who are trying to get their hands on the rich booty for themselves. And it all adds up to a very exciting movie especially when finally union and confederate join forces to thwart the onslaught of the Mexican outlaws.

The excitement is heightened by the terrific score written for the picture by the legendary Max Steiner. Alongside "They Died With Their Boots On" (1942) and "The Searchers" (1956) "Virginia City" is arguably Steiner's best score for a western! The rich and evocative main theme first heard over the titles is a powerful statement for full orchestra. This theme used later in the film, as the gold laden wagons inch their way across the plains heading south, is Steiner at his most emphatic. Then there's a rollicking theme for the Stagecoach and a menacing motif - scored for horns - for the bandits. One of the composer's most arresting love themes is used in the film's more tender moments and the score and the movie comes to a close with a spine tingling version of 'Battle Hymn Of The Republic'.

So VIRGINIA CITY is quite an enjoyable movie all round and is available in a Flynn western box set which also contains "San Antonio", "Montana" and the wonderful "Rocky Mountain". But it is curious that on its original release in 1940 "Virginia City" was shown in Sepiatone. How come Warner Home Video didn't follow suit with the DVD? Would've been nice to see what it was like in that colour!

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