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Sundown

"Sundown is a fine example of the type of movie craftsmanship widely prevalent in the early '40s and now, apparently, non-existent. An exotic hybrid which merges the war picture with the action-adventure African genre, Sundown features the fine photography of Charles Lang Jr. and a lush, exciting score by Miklos Rozsa. Last but not least, it is probably the high point of Henry Hathaway's career as a director, though you wouldn't know it if you read movie critics. Shot for shot, scene after scene, the film is beautifully controlled directorially, well edited, and well performed. Of course, Gene Tierney has never looked lovelier or Bruce Cabot and George Sanders more heroic, but there are other exotics in store. For instance, there is an attempted assassination of Crawford (Cabot) at night which chillingly reveals the haunting and mysterious quality that Africa has always possessed for foreigners to the North and West. Furthermore, there is a definite 'Korda-like' look to it, which puts it directly in line with such features as Four Feathers and the Sabu pictures Thief of Bagdad and Jungle Book. The only problem with the film comes with the ending, possibly the low point in Walter Wanger's continual production interference, a bad habit that seems to have extended over a thirty-year period. Wanger produced interesting pictures and boners, but nothing he did was worse than this obviously tacked-on ending in a British cathedral with Sir Cedric Hardwicke exhorting the troops at full pitch for victory in the name of God and country. Apart from this lapse, Sundown is an entertaining picture and a visual feast."

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