Friday, May 23, 2014

A low key review of the low key Yukon Gold (1952)

Strangely low key Webb and Chinook film seems to throw out the violence and large scale bad guy activity for a slightly more measured plot.

The film opens when a man is killed on a riverboat heading down the river to Dawson City. The room is ransacked. Webb investigates and when he contacts the dead man’s niece he senses that all is not right with boom town where the dead man had a claim. Deciding to travel undercover with the niece to the boom town they find a gold rush town where only one mine seems to be producing anything thing. As Webb investigates several attempts are made to stop him.

While the film is fine on its own terms, it plays very much like any number of countless program westerns films from the period, the film is kind of a lesser film in Webb and Chinook pantheon. Compared to other films in the series this one is kind of static. There isn’t quite the level of violence that we saw I the previous films which ended up with most of the casts abused in one way or another. The other surprising thing is that the mystery of who is behind it doesn’t involve most of the cast. Strangely this isn’t a huge conspiracy where the machinations of the baddies leaves everyone either arrested or dead. I like it but I don’t love it.

Worth seeing since it comes as the bottom film in a triple bill from the Warner Archive, but I’m not sure its worth searching out on it’s own.

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