160. Belle Star (1941)

Leonard's Rating : 

Should be : 

IMDB Rating : 5.9

Rotten Tomatoes Rating :    no ratings

In his review Leonard says"Sophisticated Tierney miscast as notorious female outlaw in slowly paced account of her criminal career."

Leonard doesn't love the movie but he does give it 2 1/2 stars. He also doesn't say anything about how racist it is. 

The movie opens with a former slave plowing the field, talking to his granddaughter in broken English, and telling her what a great woman Belle Star was.

We also have the sympathetic Mammy character who stays with Belle, even when the war is over. This is a Gone with the Wind wannabe but is even more racist, if you can believe it.

Randolph Scott, who plays Sam Starr says "Get that Ethiopian elephant off of me", when Mammy Lou (yes, that is her name), tries to help him with a wound.

The movie portrays the Southerners who are still fighting, when the war is over, as heroes and the carpetbagger Northerners as villains. The former slaves all side with the Southerners. It is pretty repulsive to have the slaves testifying by their actions, that they were happy with the slave system and resented the Northern interference.

The Northerners, led by Major Crail (Dana Andrews) capture Sam Starr, and then the Major says he has been ordered to burn all houses that Starr had been hiding in (and this with the war already over!), and Belle's house is burned down.

Belle orders Mammy and Jake to go stay at the Colonels until they hear from her, and then she joins the resistance. 

Belle breaks Sam out of jail and then  gives an impassioned speech to her brother saying "Sam is fighting for the South and everything that it stands for".  

Sam and Belle lead their men on robberies and raids and then they get married to the singing of Dixie.

Belle gets shot and killed while riding to warn her husband of an ambush.

A racist movie that ignored the real historical events. I gave it 1 1/2 stars instead of zero because it is interesting as a pro-Confederacy film.

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