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Jubilee Trail
Musical, Drama, Western

1954 | FULLSCREEN | COLOR | Quality: Good - print shows some signs of age but very watchable

Vera Ralston

Joan Leslie

Forrest Tucker


Oft-maligned Vera Ralston is back, this time she is a mysterious saloon singer known only as "Florinda" and she's on the run from the authorities, accused of murder! She befriends newlyweds Oliver Hale (John Russel) and Garnet (Joan Leslie) who help her make a getaway. Oliver's brother, an ambitious California landowner named Charles Hale (Ray Middleton) had hoped to add to his empire by marrying Oliver off to a wealthy Spanish family, and his marriage to Garnet ruffles a lot of feathers which sets off a series of events leading to Oliver's murder! Now Garnet is left to raise their newborn baby alone, but Hale demands she turn over the child to him to raise. Now it is Florinda's turn to help Garnet! But the wicked Hale will stop at nothing to have the child and poor Garnet, who has subsequently fallen in love with John Ives (Forrest Tucker), realizes there may be no escape from his evil clutches.

Republic Studio boss Herbert J. Yates was 40 years Ralston's senior when they married and he promised to make her a star. So committed to this goal was Yates, that he was later sued by the shareholders of Republic for constantly shoehorning her into starring roles. Ralston never did achieve the fame Yates planned for her, and she has often been among discussions of Worst Actress of All Time. Well, I've seen far worse. Say what you will about Mrs. Ralston, but the woman certainly did give her best, and she had guts - famously insulting Adolf Hitler to his face at the 1936 Winter Olympics where she was a figure skater for Czechoslovakia. Hitler asked her if she would "like to skate for the swastika," where Vera replied, "I would rather skate ON the swastika!" Hitler was reportedly furious.

Somewhere in the afterlife, Herbert J. Yates is probably still plotting for a way for audiences to accept Vera Ralston as a star.

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