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  1. It’s an interesting film, and Irene Dunne, in particular, gives a good performance. I would agree that the storytelling does not consistently work. And while the handling of the African-American characters is racist, consider that it appears the same year as Trader Horn, which you mention and which I review here. If that has a higher rating, it is because of it is such a fascinating cinematic curiosity. It features remarkable footage of period Africa– and a story and characterization that serve up a racist, trope-filled vision of Africa and its people. The novel / “memoir” that inspired it is also worth reading, though again, as a piece of history, and very much the history of ideas and cultural mindset, rather than reality.

    The set, as you mention, became the backbone of the original RKO lot. In addition to the old west portions appearing in many a later western, many of the buildings became part of the massive Bedford Falls set created for It’s A Wonderful Life.

    I look forward to your commentary on Grand Hotel. Seldom has a past Oscar winner so entirely disappointed me– though it, too, features memorable sets and some interesting performances. Like Cimarron, it feels like a film time has left behind, save as a piece of history. You may, of course, feel differently!

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