Classic cinema review: The Girl of the Golden West (1938)

This film was one of the series of eight films featuring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, the MGM operetta songbirds.  ‘Girl of the Golden West’ was fourth in the series, made in black and white and set in the Wild West of California, where MacDonald runs a gambling saloon and Eddy is a bandit on the run (!).

Although it isn’t quite on the same level as their best films (‘Rose Marie’, ‘Maytime’, and ‘Sweethearts’), this film is enjoyable.  MacDonald is pursued by the town’s sheriff (Walter Pidgeon), and befriended by the simple Alabama (Buddy Ebsen, known most these days for The Beverley Hillbillies).  However once Eddy determines to pursue her – in disguise of course – she’s smitten, and the ending is fairly obvious.

Songs include Soldier of Fortune, Ava Maria, Dance With Me, and a number of others.  However Eddy’s make-up is faintly ridiculous and the set is a bit on the cheap side for Metro.  A mixed bag of pleasures, then.

About Louise Penn

Writer, reviewer, fan. View all posts by Louise Penn

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