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Flame of the Barbary Coast 1945
Republic Pictures could be downright bewildering when they tried for sophisticated entertainment (mostly the studio specialized in B-movie-with-a-plus knockabout). Exhibit A is this San Francisco wannabe that, despite the presence of John Wayne in a Stetson, is not a Western because it's all citified, takes place six years into the 20th century (when is that earthquake due?), and spotlights romance, capitalism, and civic virtue instead of gunplay. Montana cowhand Duke Fergus (Duke Wayne), effectively robbed by big-time gambler Tito Morell (Joseph Schildkraut), studies up on gambling and returns to beat the simpering...