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Sutter's Gold [1936] [DVD]

Edward Arnold (actor)
Lee Tracy (actor)
Binnie Barnes (actor)

Format: all-region dvd (worldwide)
Runtime: 1h34m
Quality: Very good, b&w, 4:3

From imdb (spoilers) ~ "This film is more fiction than fact. It depicts Johann Sutter's rise and fall from grace, dying a pauper and that is about the only true thing in the film. The film begins with Edward Arnold as young Johann Sutter, itinerant flute player in Switzerland. A man is killed by some bar patrons where he is flute playing and he is blamed for that and killing the bar owner when he accidentally pushes him. Arnold heads home where he kisses his wife and young children goodbye and heads off to America. (In reality, Sutter escaped to America to avoid debts.) He winds up in New York where he is hired for $10 a day to drive a horse drawn trolley. Little does he realize that the man who hired him is a strike breaker and he and his flute wind up in the hospital where he meets the most annoying sidekick ever...a guy named Pat (played by Lee Tracy.) Together they set out to California. After a series of missteps (through Vancouver, the Sandwich Islands, a mutiny and meeting the Russians who have a fetching English Countess in tow played by Binnie Barnes); they arrive in California with some of the Sandwich Island men who had been taken as slaves. (In reality, Sutter had taken the Native Americans as slaves.) Gold is discovered on Sutter's and and sidekick Tracey, who can't keep his trap shut, announces it to world, which causes a mad rush to Sutter's land and it is ultimately stolen from him. The Countess, who only stuck by Sutter as long as he has cash leaves when she realizes he's broke. Reenter Sutter's wife and children, the children now grown. The film meanders some more with Sutter's wife dying, the daughter marrying a Mexican solider (Sutter's son in reality married a Mexican citizen and changed his name to Juan.) In another form of fiction, Johann Jr. is killed by land jumpers who think that Sutter got his land back. Over his son's dead body, Sutter makes an impassioned speech about greed and that they should give the land back so he could make it farm land (oookay...knowing what I know about Sutter, I doubt he would have done this.) Anyway, Sutter goes to Washington with sidekick Pat, hoping to see the President to get his land back. (By now, Arnold is made up to be a man in his seventies, looking like a hefty version of Colonel Sanders.) He is rudely shuffled from office to office given the brushoff when he asks who to see about his case. Disheartened, and in his General's uniform given to him on the day his son was killed, he sits on a bench with his flute, summons the the pigeons. Two newspaper boys cruelly play a trick on him, saying he got his land back. He then runs to the steps of the Capitol, where he see the paper, which says that Congress adjourned without making a decision. (Which was the one thing in this picture that WAS the truth!) Sutter collapses and dies on the steps of the Capitol, Pat saying he'll be joining him. (Unfortunately, not soon enough.) BTW, the real Sutter did die in Washington, but not on the Capitol steps. He died in a hotel. For a work of fiction, the movie's okay, but it's nowhere a biography. Not only did Universal play fast and loose with the facts, they played fast and loose with the shareholders' money to make this picture, which lost millions for Universal and caused Carl Laemmle and his family to be shown the door."
Price: £14.95


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Sutter's Gold [1936] [DVD]
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Sutter's Gold
[1936] [DVD]
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