MovieChat Forums > The Walls of Jericho (1948) Discussion > I found this movie a great disappointmen...

I found this movie a great disappointment

It starts of nice and leizurely. A story set in early 1900s Kansas. I think the story might have worked better if it had been set in a more contemporary time like the 1920s, 30s or 40s. However, the early period 1900s setting is outstanding. The problem is the film doesn't work. Dave Connors {Cornell Wilde) is the good guy. A small-town Kansas lawyer. Director Stahl starts off having him walking around town saying hello to everyone and even aiding his now drunken mentor Jefferson Norman. (Henry Hull) Dave Connors is obvously a real nice guy. He is married to Belle (Ann Dvorak) who drinks for no apparent reason. This is director Stahl's biggest foul-up direction-wise with this story. He lays absolutely no groundwork as to why Belle Connors drinks and is so petulent. None. So we're left in the dark. The film's most unsympathetic character. In response to a gentlemenly plea from Dave to attend a garden party is met by her petulently tearing up a dress. I guess that settles that. Dave's childhood pal Tucker Wedge (Kirk Douglas, who is totally wasted in most of the film} returns to town with his beautiful but opportunistic wife Algeria. (Linda Darnell) Oh, by the way, there is no explanation given as to why Dave's mentor Jefferson Norman is a drunk either. Anyway, Tucker decides to run for congress. So does Dave but he decides not to when drunken Jefferson Norman's daughter Julia (Anne Baxter) returns and is herself a lawyer. Dave becomes smitten with her and decides not to run for congress. Not to take anything away from Anne Baxter but I thought that Anne Dvorak was prettier. What eventually hurts this movie is director Stahl deciding to interject a secondary storyline involving local teenager Majorie Ransome who decides to dress up in man's clothes one nite and run away to the local train station because she is distressed that her parents are not truly married. Rather than be molested by local tough Gotch McCurdy {Barton MacLane}, Marjorie conks him with a shovel and inadvertently kills him. So she takes off and joins up with lawyer Julia Norman and Dave goes to meet Julia and Marjorie. Of course Dave and Julia must help Marjorie. Never mind that Dave Connors has an alcoholic wife Belle who needs even more help...alot more! But of course teenager Marjorie takes precedent. Lawyer Dave has a petulent alcoholic wife but he goes around town greeting everyone like he is happy? Go figure. Tucker Wedge's wife Algeria decides to link Dave to his lovely legal partner Julia in order to forment scandal as a means to propel husband Tucker to the senate. Of course throughout the picture Tucker doesn't quite realize what he's married to. The link is made. Petulent Belle plugs Dave with a bullet when he returns home to explain and Julia saves the day with courtroom dramatics. This film became muddled when director Stahl decided to veer the movie off kilter with the Marjorie Ransome storyline. Peyton Place this ain't!


I found this movie in the back of TJ Max.

Nothing is more beautiful than nothing.