A rip-roaring view of early American history.
Allegheny Uprising, The same year that John Wayne hit mainstream success with the Western classic “Stagecoach”, he starred in a not so well-known classic, this “eastern”, a view of colonists in Pennsylvania dealing with the ruthless British who tried to keep them suppressed and falsely accuse Wayne of murder simply to prevent him from leading a rebellion against them. George Sanders plays a fascinating villain, a British officer so confident in his arrogance that he creates laughter simply by sniffing and looking down on the poor colonists. Sanders doesn’t have to do a thing other than become arrogant without stealing the scenery, and he doesn’t even have a mustache to twirl!
There’s also Claire Trevor as Wayne’s rough-and-tumble love interest (reunited with him from “Stagecoach”) and veteran leading man Brian Donlevy. Trevor gives a feisty performance, even standing up to her very Scottish father with threats of shooting him in order to get what she wants. This really makes you feel like you’ve gone back to pre-Revolutionary war America where the colonies really were under the thumb of the British, but a bunch of little pinkies were able to push that thumb up until it cried out in agony. Along with the colorful “Drums Along the Mohawk” (another “eastern” from 1939), early colonial life is explored in a way that is realistic and passionate. It is a great tribute to the forefathers who fought to the death to secure freedom for those who came here to escape the crown.