Blu-Ray Review: The Fighting Kentuckian

While time hasn’t been on his side, Marion Robert Morrison, aka John Wayne, was one of the most iconic stars of his generation. Working during the Golden Age of Hollywood, usually starring in westerns or war films, The Duke was a household name across America and beyond. In the course of his career, he made over 150 films. The Fighting Kentuckian demonstrates why he became so popular.

John Breen (Wayne), a Kentucky militiaman, is on his way home from war along with his compatriots. A chance encounter with the beautiful Fleurette De Marchand (Vera Ralston) changes his life forever. She part of a group of French exiles looking for a new home in America following Napoleon’s defeat. Along with his hapless partner Willie (Oliver Hardy), he must uncover a plot in order to win her hand.

The Fighting Kentuckian never takes itself too seriously, as the inclusion of Hardy attests. It’s a vehicle for Wayne to show both his charisma and macho charm. There’s also a fair bit of fighting. While the story itself probably doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny, there’s an affable lightness which makes it easy to enjoy. The cast ensure that even the most serious moments are accompanied with a smirk. One of the reasons why The Fighting Kentuckian is such fun.

The Fighting Kentuckian is released on Blu-ray by Signal One on 16 January.

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