Burr and Dave, two close friends who have backed each other up in countless difficulties, are torn apart by the arrival of a woman, Manette, who becomes stranded with them in their cabin ... See full summary »
William 'Stage' Boyd
When four men rob a bank, one is killed and the other three escape into the desert where they lose their horses in a storm. Finding a woman who gives birth, they are made godfathers only to... See full summary »
There was no way for me to go back in time an hour and tell myself not to watch A House Divided, since time travel doesn't exist. How I wish it did, because then I wouldn't have had to watch this very upsetting movie. If you're renting it because of the interesting title, I'd tell you to rent Walter Huston's Abraham Lincoln instead to hear him say the famous phrase, but after sitting through that lousy movie, I can't recommend it in good conscience.
In A House Divided, Walter Huston is made out to be a royal jerk in the opening scene. He and his son, Douglass Montgomery, attend his wife's funeral, and as soon as it's over, he drags them to the local bar and gets rip-roaring drunk. He sings, dances, starts fistfights, and encourages his son to do the same. He has no intention of grieving or letting his son feel his feelings. Then, he sends away for a mail order bride so he can get someone to do the chores around the house for free instead of hiring a new housekeeper. When Helen Chandler shows up, nineteen years old and afraid, Douglass feels he has a bond with her because they're close in age and don't particularly care for Walter. It's very clear it's only a matter of time before they fall in love.
Now here's the problem with the movie. Everything bad that happens, with the exception of the funeral scene, is Douglass's fault. Walter is gruff and a little crude, but he never does anything really wrong. Helen answered a mail order bride summons; she expects the guy who sent for her to not want to marry her? What is she complaining about anyway-her husband-to-be could have been a sadistic monster or someone enormously ugly. She gets Walter Huston! I don't understand. Her first impression of him is that he's handsome, a hard worker, generous with his money, well-liked in town, and prepared to give her a fancy wedding reception. He says, "I'll make you happy," and her response is, "I'm afraid." Do you understand her?
So, if you're a masochist and want to watch a movie where tons of bad things happen and for no reason Walter Huston is supposed to be the bad guy, be my guest. He does put his heart and soul into his performance, and under normal circumstances he might have gotten an Oscar out of it. Of course, he wasn't nominated by the Academy, which begs my famous question of, "What does it take?"
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this