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It's hard to say whether "Honky Tonk" or "Harmon of Michigan" is dragging them in by the hundreds at Loew's this week. But is doesn't take a great deal of cinematic insight to see that it's the later which is driving them out almost as fast as they can flock in.
Though "Honky Tonk" is by no means one of the outstanding pictures of the year, it stands out so far above its present partner in crime as to be practically celestial by comparison. It is the kind of western that Hollywood has been turning out in great quantities of late; they take a couple of good box-office attractions like Clark Gable and Lana Turner and put them in what is really an old-fashioned Class B horse-opera, except that the script is Class a and there are a few big names in the production and direction end. But all this extra expense can't hide the essentially slow and hackneyed character of the plot. It's the old story of the slick Western gambler who falls in love with a sweet young thing from the East. All the customary characters are present, from the honky-tonk girl with a heart of gold who loves the gambler, to the old reprobate who in the end Gives His Life that his daughter will not become What He Was.
There's not much to say about Tom Harmon's picture except that it is much, much worse than could be reasonably expected. The plot is slow, childish, and embarrassingly overdone in spots. The acting, except perhaps for Anita Louise, is spotty, too. And the script is a marvel of cliche-collecting. Tom Harmon should definitely stick to radio announcing.
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