Bucking Broadway (1917)

Bucking Broadway Movie Review

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Bucking Broadway Movie Review

Bucking Broadway is a 1917 western romance film directed by John Ford and starring Harry Carey. It is a solid, but very flawed movie.

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Helen and I, we’d like to get married

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Bucking Broadway Movie Review

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First let’s get the negatives out of the way. A girl leaves the cowboy for a rich city slicker but eventually realizes that she has made a mistake and gets back to him. How many times have we seen this exact scenario played out in the movie? Countless is the answer.

This triangle was boring and the story is beyond slight and melodramatic. I was definitely not a fan of it despite it having some really wonderful romantic scenes that I liked. I wished that it had more of that instead of a cliched melodrama.

Bucking Broadway is apparently restored to full length, but I do not buy that. The film feels ridiculously rushed at times and I do not blame the movie, but I honestly think that some segments are missing. I am most positive of that.

So let’s get to the good stuff. Although the characters are highly typical and regular, the actors are anything but. Harry Carey is very memorable in the main role and quite sympathetic whereas Molly Malone also gave a surprisingly strong, subtle performance. Overacting was not present here which is admirable given that this is 1917 we are talking about.

The film has a wonderful romance and I loved that gift he gives her and the significance of it and the ending was nice, although that fight was getting on my nerves how silly it felt, not to mention overlong.

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Bucking Broadway Movie Review

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Bucking Broadway looks beautiful thanks to stunning cinematography. Really, some of the shots here were just amazing to behold and it truly felt like a glorious early western with beautiful desert landscapes. It was all the more great watching it in HD. I also liked its spare use of intertitles and I have to commend John Ford for his abilities. He was only 23 years old during this year and this was one of his first movies and he just knocked it out of the park completely with such a superb, competent direction and this movie truly signaled the arrival of a great director.

Bucking Broadway’s overly familiar and cliched story, a melodramatic approach and typical characters do not take away from how gorgeous its cinematography is and how terrific the direction is. It has its romantic and lovely moments, but mostly this was just a solid film that still brilliantly signaled the arrival of John Ford who really excelled here.

My Rating – 3.5

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Posted in 1910s, 1917, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Romance, Silent, Western and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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