Last week, 18 Cinema Lane received 80 followers! I was going to post this review last weekend. However, because of the Gold Sally Awards and the unexpected success of my Book Adaptation Tag post, I chose to postpone my 80 follower dedication review to this week. Since this post is a celebration of achieving 80 followers, I will review a film that was released 80 years ago (in 1939). Before this accomplishment became a reality, I was contemplating which movie I should review; Allegheny Uprising or No Place to Go. In the end, I chose Allegheny Uprising because, prior to this review, the only movie of John Wayne’s that I’ve ever seen was Stagecoach. I’m always excited when I create movie reviews because it gives me a chance to watch films that I probably would have never seen otherwise. Before this review officially begins, I wanted to say thank you to all my 80 followers! If it weren’t for you, this post would have never been a reality.
Things I liked about the film:
- The acting: I thought the cast of Allegheny Uprising was good! Everyone’s performance came across on-screen very believably. Throughout this film, the camaraderie between Jim Smith, MacDougall, and Professor was very well portrayed. This is because John Wayne’s, Wilfrid Lawson’s, and John F. Hamilton’s performance had the right amount of versatility and sincerity. Even though Claire Trevor was the only starring actress in this entire cast, she definitely finds a way with shine within this film! Her portrayal of Janie MacDougall had a good amount of versatility. Claire’s performance also appeared very convincing. The acting within this film was definitely a highlight!
- The historical accuracy: I was very impressed with the amount of historical accuracy within this movie. From the costumes to the sets, everything looked and felt like it came straight from the 1700s. The dialogue between the characters was also very reflective of the film’s time period. These details show how much the creative team behind this project cared about the story they chose to tell. This amount of care was also present within the overall quality of the film.
- The educational aspect: It was surprising to find some educational aspects in this specific story. Allegheny Uprising is inspired by true events, so I received a little bit of a history lesson while watching this movie. Also, in this film, there was a scene where Jim Smith goes on trial for a crime he didn’t commit. Within this scene, it was interesting and informative to see how court trials, specifically in film, were depicted in the 1700s compared to today. Seeing these similarities and differences made me think about the significance of the court system within cinema.
What I didn’t like about the film:
- No “big battles”: Whenever I think about John Wayne’s movies, I think of a story that features at least one climatic battle led by John Wayne’s character. In Allegheny Uprising, however, there wasn’t really a climax. Because of this, there weren’t any large-scale battles within this narrative. All of the action scenes lasted for a few minutes. This caused the majority of the film to be dialogue heavy.
- The character of Janie MacDougall: While Claire Trevor gave a good acting performance, I was not a fan of her character. Janie MacDougall was not only poorly written, she was also one-dimensional. During her time on-screen, Janie either whines, complains, or talks about how much she loves Jim Smith. The only time Janie serves a legitimate purpose within the overall narrative is in the last twenty minutes of the film. Honestly, I think this is too bad because she could have been a really good character.
- The subplot including the kidnapped children: Toward the beginning of Allegheny Uprising, there was a subplot about Native Americans kidnapping two children from a nearby neighborhood. Within the context of the overall narrative, this subplot didn’t seem to go anywhere. It also wasn’t referenced in any other moment of the film. During this subplot, as well as in another scene, it was never explained why Jim Smith and his comrades chose to disguise themselves as Native Americans. All of this made me wonder why this subplot was featured in the story at all.
My overall impression:
In the grand scheme of things, Allegheny Uprising was just ok. I don’t think it was John Wayne’s worst movie, but it wasn’t his best movie either. Personally, I’m glad I chose this movie for this blog follower dedication review because I was able to expand my cinematic horizons. I was also able to add another John Wayne film to my personal movie repertoire. What’s so great about these movie reviews is that, with the support of my followers, I get the chance to watch movies that I probably would have never seen before. This helps me become the best movie blogger I can be as well as make 18 Cinema Lane the best movie blog it can realistically be.
Overall score: 6.1 out of 10
What are your thoughts on my review? Have you seen any of John Wayne’s films? Let me know in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!