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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from Arizona (1931)

Arizona

1931 | United States | 70 min
aka:
  • The Virtuous Wife
  • Men Are Like That
  • Watched on Wed Jan 20, 2021 via DVD (2012 | Sony Pictures)
    C-: 3 stars (out of 5)

    John Wayne’s fourth credited role. The film opens during the big Army-Navy football game. Wayne plays Army’s star senior quarterback, so beloved he’s not expected to end his sentences with “sir” when talking to the brass. He’s also a womanizer. After the game, with graduation and an assignment to Arizona looming. he jilts his longtime girl, played by Laura La Plante.

    Seeking revenge, La Plante marries Wayne’s commanding officer and follows to Arizona. Wayne absorbs the shock of her marriage well, much to her chagrin. Worse still, he strikes up a relationship with her younger sister, played by June Clyde. This enrages La Plante, prompting her to ruin Wayne.

    It’s an efficient, if unremarkable, hour-and-ten minutes. The pre-code script delivers some surprising edge in how far La Plante goes to destroy Wayne. For his part, Wayne seems more comfortable than in The Big Trail but remains unpolished.

    Part of the Columbia Pictures Pre-Code Collection, the DVD looks fantastic.

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