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High, Wide and Handsome
     

High, Wide and Handsome

Director: Rouben Mamoulian, Irene Dunne, Randolph Scott, Dorothy Lamour

Cast: Rouben Mamoulian, Irene Dunne, Randolph Scott, Dorothy Lamour

 
High, Wide and Handsome almost defies classification: Perhaps it's best referred to as a historical musical western comedy melodrama. Irene Dunne plays an itinerant circus performer who marries oilman Randolph Scott. The couple heads to Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859, where Scott is among the lucky prospectors who strikes oil. With no train service to the

Overview

High, Wide and Handsome almost defies classification: Perhaps it's best referred to as a historical musical western comedy melodrama. Irene Dunne plays an itinerant circus performer who marries oilman Randolph Scott. The couple heads to Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859, where Scott is among the lucky prospectors who strikes oil. With no train service to the refineries, the townsfolk are obliged to build a pipeline, which is accomplished to the accompaniment of several rousing musical numbers by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein. The villainous element is represented by Alan Hale, who does his best to block the project to serve his own evil ends. Dunne's old circus friends come to the rescue with a herd of trained elephants! High Wide and Handsome confused too many filmgoers to make money in 1937; today it's regarded in some circles as a classic.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
High, Wide and Handsome is one of the finest "unknown" film musicals ever created, and is especially a triumph for director Rouben Mamoulian and screenwriters Oscar Hammerstein II and George O'Neil. The setting and subject matter alone -- Pennsylvania during the "oil wars" of the 19th century -- are unusual for a musical, and they're used for more than just window dressing. This is a musical that interweaves serious subject matter with a traditional musical romance plot, without giving short shrift to either. It's a richly textured film that uses rituals, both those of special occasion and of every day, as the framework in which it tells its tale. While its stringent use of opposites (male vs. female, morality vs. immorality, etc.) may be too schematic, it's still quite effective. And Mamoulian's visual sense is in full bloom here, clearly differentiating the look of the "action" sequences from those of the "romance" sequences, and using metaphor to add underlying strength to many sequences; the wedding sequence and the pipeline sequence in particular are especially effective. Randolph Scott is a bit stiff at times, but Irene Dunne makes her character ring 100% true. The Jerome Kern-Hammerstein score is a delight, highlighted by the beautiful "The Folks Who Live on the Hill." At times Handsome strains credulity for some people -- as in the use of the elephants in the finale -- but overall it's a rare gem and unique among the film musicals of the 1930s.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/17/2015
UPC:
0025192262937
Original Release:
1937
Source:
Universal Mod
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
15,533

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Irene Dunne Sally Watterson
Randolph Scott Peter Cortlandt
Dorothy Lamour Molly Fuller
Elizabeth Patterson Grandma Cortlandt
Raymond Walburn Doc Watterson
Charles Bickford Red Scanlon
Akim Tamiroff Joe Varese
Ben Blue Zeke
William Frawley Mac
Alan Hale Walt Brennan
Irving Pichel Mr. Stark
Stanley Andrews Lem Moulton
James Burke Stackpole
Roger Imhof Pop Bowers
Lucien Littlefield Mr. Lippincott
Purnell Pratt Colonel Blake
Edward Gargan Foreman
Constance Bergen Singer
Billy Bletcher Shorty
Monte Blue Actor
Ray Brown P.t. Barnum
Tommy Bupp Boy
Marjorie Cameron Blonde singer
Jack Clifford Wash Miller
Sherry Hall Piano player
Dell Henderson Bank president
Russell Hopton John Thompson Civil Engineer
Edward Keane Jones
Lew Kelly Carpenter
Paul Kruger Man
Helen Lowell Mrs. Lippincott
John Marshall Teller
Claire McDowell Seamstress
Ivan Miller Marble
Philip Morris Teamster
John T. Murray Mr. Green
Rolfe Sedan Photographer
Harry Semels Bartender
Frank Sully Gabby Johnson
Fred Warren Piano player
Pat West Razorback
Ernest Wood Hotel clerk
John Maurice Sullivan Old Gentleman

Technical Credits
Rouben Mamoulian Director
Travis Banton Costumes/Costume Designer
Hans Dreier Art Director
A.E. Freudeman Set Decoration/Design
John B. Goodman Art Director
Oscar Hammerstein Screenwriter
Hornblow Hornblow Producer
Arthur Hornblow Producer
Gordon Jennings Special Effects
Jerome Kern Score Composer
Archie Marshek Editor
Victor Milner Cinematographer
Boris Morros Musical Direction/Supervision
George O'Neil Screenwriter
LeRoy J. Prinz Choreography
Theodor Sparkuhl Cinematographer

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