Three Faces West C-
During WWII, John Wayne had his share of mediocre flag-wavers, such as Bernard Vorhaus's Three Faces West, about the fate of refugees escaping Nazi-dominated Austria.
Dr. Karl Braun (Charles Coburn) and his daughter Leni (Siogrid Gurie) escape to the U.S. and settle in Asheville Forks, a community in the Dust Bowl. Wayne portrays the farmers' dogged leader who is against deserting the land after the government had condemned it as “hopeless.” However, when his plea is futile, he organizes the farmers' departure for a better land in Oregon. And he persuades Leni, with whom he is now romantically involved, and her father to stay on despite the hardships.
The film's worst element is its incredulous subplot. Leni's former lover turns out to be a Nazi who wishes to take her back to the Reich to reap “the benefits and glory of its conquests.” Another problem is the incoherent combination of the themes of the Midwest dustbowl and the flight from Anschluss. Three Faces West inevitably suffered from comparisons with John Ford's classic The Grapes of Wrath, starring Henry Fonda, which deals with the same issue, though much more powerfully, and was released just a few months earlier.
This time, even less discriminating audiences considered the movie to be too propagandistic. In 1940, the public's reaction to the anti-Nazi movies was so mild that many studios, trying not to irritate the moviegoers, changed the original titles of their films about those themes. Hence, The Man I Married was initially titled I Married a Nazi, and the original title of Three Faces West was The Refugee.
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