Three Faces West (1940)

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    There are 32 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.

    • Three Faces West (1940)

      aka The Refugee


      Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas


      Plot Summary
      Viennese surgeon Dr. Braun and his daughter Leni come to a small town in
      North Dakota as refugees from Hitler.
      When the winds of the Dust Bowl threaten the town,
      John Phillips leads the townsfolk in moving to greener pastures in Oregon.
      He falls for Leni, but she is betrothed to the man who helped
      her and her father escape from the Third Reich.
      She must make a decision between the two men.
      Summary written by Jim Beaver

      Full Cast
      John Wayne .... John Phillips
      Sigrid Gurie .... Leni 'Lenchen' Braun
      Charles Coburn .... Dr. Karl Braun
      Spencer Charters .... Dr. 'Nunk' Atterbury
      Helen MacKellar .... Mrs. Welles
      Roland Varno .... Dr. Eric Von Scherer
      Sonny Bupp .... Billy Welles
      Wade Boteler .... Mr. Harris, Department of Agriculture Official
      Trevor Bardette .... Clem Higgins
      Russell Simpson .... Minister
      Charles Waldron .... Dr. William Thorpe
      Wendell Niles .... Man-on-the-Street Radio Announcer
      Frank Brownlee .... Bill, a Farmer (uncredited)
      Bob Burns .... Farmer (uncredited)
      Horace B. Carpenter .... White-Haired Farmer in Oregon (uncredited)
      Jim Corey .... Churchgoer (uncredited)
      Douglas Evans .... We the People Radio MC (uncredited)
      Mary Field .... Mrs. Stebbins (uncredited)
      Francis Ford .... Farmer Bill, with Higgins (uncredited)
      Byron Foulger .... Joe Stebbins, a Farmer (uncredited)
      Stuart Holmes .... Extra Farmer at Meeting (uncredited)
      Si Jenks .... Train Conductor (uncredited)
      Darwood Kaye .... Boy Patient sitting in chair (uncredited)
      Arthur Millett .... Farmer (uncredited)
      Jack Montgomery .... Joe, a Farmer (uncredited)
      Bill Nestell .... Farmer (uncredited)
      Manuel París .... Refugee Doctor (uncredited)
      Hank Patterson .... Pool Player (uncredited)
      Rose Plumer .... White Haired Farmer's Wife (uncredited)
      Victor Potel .... Postman (uncredited)
      Dewey Robinson .... Bartender (uncredited)
      John Sheehan .... Man Asking When Wedding Will Be (uncredited)
      Ted Stanhope .... Farmer (uncredited)
      Frederick Vogeding .... Herr Schmidt, Eric's Assistant (uncredited)
      Bill Wolfe .... Farmer Driving to Oregon (uncredited)
      Wolfgang Zilzer .... Dr. Rudolf Preussner (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      F. Hugh Herbert (screenplay) &
      Joseph Moncure March (screenplay) &
      Samuel Ornitz (screenplay)
      Doris Anderson (screenplay)

      Original Music
      Victor Young (musical score)

      John Alton

      Wendell Niles, the "man on the street" reporter after the big dust storm, was a real radio announcer. He worked on many shows of the golden-age of radio including "The Burns and Allen Show."

      Two of the movie's main characters are introduced via a radio program called "We The People." This was a real radio show that ran on the CBS blue network (originating on WABC, New York) from circa 1937 to circa 1949. The sponsor was Calumet Baking Powder. The show was created by Phillips Lord (of "Gangbusters" fame) to give "a half-hour to the people of this country so we can hear their experiences." The radio program shown in this movie is essentially the same as in real life--real people spoke at the microphone telling their own stories.

      Douglas Evans, shown as the master of ceremonies for the radio show "We The People," was a radio announcer in real life. He worked for KFI (Los Angeles) in the 1930s.

      Character error
      Doctor Braun's "Austrian" accent briefly reverts to a distinct Irish brogue at around 29 minutes.

      At c.6 minutes Dr Braun and his daughter suddenly switch seats on the train.

      Errors in geography
      The US Department Of Agriculture Soil Conservation Officer tells John Phillips (John Wayne) that the Government considers the soil in his small, North Dakota town "doomed". The Officer shows John the entire "doomed" area, which is highlighted on his map of the United States. The northern part of the highlighted area starts around the same latitude as Chicago. This areas is probably at least 400 miles south of the North Dakota's southern border.

      Revealing mistakes
      During the final scenes of the North Dakota town (c.55 minutes) there are taller, modern buildings in the background.

      Memorable Quote

      Filming Location
      Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California,
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 9 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Three Faces West is a 1940 American drama film starring
      John Wayne, Sigrid Gurie and Charles Coburn.

      I really like this film, and find it very interesting.
      OK, it may not be a true factual story about the dust bowl,
      but it sure, shows the how brutal it was.

      Duke acted his part well, and looked credible, in his task.
      It had a superior script, and included such distinguished actors,
      as Charles Coburn, and Norwegian Sigrid Curie.

      The chemistry between Duke and Sigrid, was obvious,
      mainly because, Sigrid was a sultry, aggressive woman,
      whom Duke found irresistible.and the two enjoyed a brief flirtation.

      The film suffered as a result of being released after,
      The Grapes Of Wrath and was therefore classed,
      a cheap imitation

      User Review
      Epic John Wayne neo-western in dusty Oklahoma
      2 September 2004 | by emdragon (Reno, Nv)

      An old fashion moral tale with sweetness. John Wayne gives a great performance,
      and Sigurd Gurie shines as the daughter of a Viennese Surgeon (Charles Coburn).
      The historical significance of this picture is accurate and compelling, though rather melo-dramatic.
      Ms Gurie gives a kind and sensitive performance in one of the finest roles of her brief career.
      The Oklahoma dust bowl is the setting for this early 20th century tale that keeps an eye on several moral issues.
      It tells the brave tale of poor farmers who were strongly bonded with "good honest sweat",
      and who face a decision to stick together and head west. Spencer Charters,
      playing the town veterinarian/comedian gives a fine performance
      as do many of the players in this one. Well worth a watch.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 4 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • We watched this fairly recently, and enjoyed it.

      The depiction of the Dust Bowl conditions was quite graphic. It makes you realize how much suffering people went through at that time.

      The character development of Leni was interesting to watch, from wanting to leave, to falling for John Wayne's character, to dealing with her feeling of obligation towards the man who had helped to escape from Nazi Germany, to her reaction to learning that he was a serious Nazi.

      Of course I think the best thing that happened to these folks was that they moved to Oregon :D .

      Chester :newyear:
    • Re: Three Faces West (1940)

      I only now realised this was released just after Grapes of wrath. It is like a poor man's version of the same topics, but pretty good as such. Perhaps not exactly a history lesson, but the Austrians and the nazi character combined with dust bowl farmer story make it interesting
      I don't believe in surrenders.
    • Re: Three Faces West (1940)

      Super little movie which is well worth getting. John Wayne is particularly good. It is paced well with good support from Sigrid Gurie and Charles Coburn. I see Francis Ford is in there somewhere I must try and spot him next time round. were doing a 2 film deal with Shepherd of The Hills at £3.99 so check it out.

    • Re: Three Faces West (1940)

      I watched this movie today , and thought it had a good storyline. I had never heard of, or watched Sigrid Gurie before in a movie, apparently she was known as " The Siren of the fjords !!?? " hmm ......

      Good support from Charles Coburn , I last watched him and the Duke in Trouble Along The Way, obviously not watching the Duke's Filmography in chronological order !!! Thought the Duke had an interesting and compelling part, as the leader firstly trying to save the farmers and their lands and secondly the love story between himself and " Leni ", a good example of just what a fine actor he was.....