View Full Version : I Cover The War (1937)
January 21st, 2006, 07:47 AM
I COVER THE WAR
DIRECTED BY ARTHUR LUBIN
PRODUCED BY TREM CARR/PAUL MALVERN
INFPRMATION FROM IMDb
Bob Adams (John Wayne), ace newsreel cameraman, is told by his boss, "Get the picture---we can't screen alibis." He heads for Samari, a desert hot-bed of tribal unrest in Africa, to do just that, which includes getting footage of El Kadar (Charles Brokaw), bandit and rebel leader. He gets his pictures but only after a romance with the Colonel's daughter Pamela (Gwen Gaze), saving his wimpy, hacked-off brother Don (James Bush) from being a dupe of the gun-runners, and run-ins with spies and throat-cutting tribesman. For a finale, he saves the British Army.
John Wayne .... Bob Adams
Gwen Gaze .... Pamela Armitage
Don Barclay .... Elmer Davis
Pat Somerset .... Captain Archie Culvert
Charles Brokaw .... El Kadar/Muffadi
James Bush .... Don Adams
Arthur Aylesworth .... Logan
Jack Mack .... Graham
Franklin Parker .... Parker (as Franklyn Parker)
Sam Harris .... Colonel Armitage (as Major Sam Harris)
Earle Hodgins .... Blake
Frank Lackteen .... Mustapha
Keith Hitchcock .... Sergeant Major (as Keith Kenneth)
Olaf Hytten .... Sir Herbert
Abdulla .... Abdul
Richard Tucker .... Army Officer
Early in the film, Bob Adams's boss tells him he is going on assignment to Samarra, "near the Iraq border."
But when points to the local on a globe, he points somewhere north of the Arctic Circle, thousands of miles from Iraq.
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California, USA
Watch this Trailer
January 21st, 2006, 07:54 AM
I Cover the War is a 1937 American drama film
directed by Arthur Lubin and starring John Wayne.
This was Duke's 4th. film of a 6 picture Universal deal,
and it was not a happy time ,the films were mediocre,
but things were about to change, because, just after
Duke returned to REPUBLIC,
for The Three Mesquiteers
and thereafter Stagecoach
Athur Lubin, whose films with Abbot and Costello, saved Universal
from going bankrupt, he was promoted to director of the epic
Phantom of the Opera, which was a huge success.
However, he wasn't quite so successful with the films,
he made with Duke.
There were 4 films,
California Straight Ahead
I Cover the War
Idol of the Crowds
The action films, were entertaining, but were cheaply made,
and proved to be disappointing at the box office
The War In Iraq
20 February 2008 | by bkoganbing (Buffalo, New York)
John Wayne and Don Barclay are a couple of daredevil and irreverent newsreel cameramen, as adept at driving their boss crazy as Clark Gable and Walter Pidgeon were in Too Hot To Handle. They've drawn a lovely assignment, cover a war brewing in Iraq. A mysterious Red Shadow like leader named Maffadi is stirring up all kinds of problems with the British puppet government running things in Baghdad. Nobody even knows who this Maffadi character is.
In addition to his newsreel assignment, Wayne's got a romance brewing with Gwen Gaze the daughter of the British colonel Sam Harris. And a younger brother played by James Bush who wants to follow the Duke into the newsreel business.
Bush's eagerness to show up Wayne make him an easy mark for a couple of unscrupulous gunrunners who are arming Maffadi and his tribesmen. It's up to the Duke to straighten all things romantic, political and familial before the 68 minute running time of I Cover The War.
I Cover The War is done in the same tongue in cheek vein as MGM's Too Hard To Handle. It's not as good a film, on the other hand MGM spent a lot of money on their movie, far more than Universal did on I Cover The War.
Charles Brokaw who plays Maffadi is a clever and unscrupulous villain who comes pretty close to winning. It would be interesting what point of view a film like I Cover The War would take today.
I Cover The War is one of six films Wayne did with Universal in 1936-1937, none of them westerns, but all of them action films in an effort to broaden his casting potential. This is neither the best or the worst of them.
February 4th, 2006, 01:36 AM
While the availability box on IMDb indicates that this movie is not available in any format (the box is sponsored by Amazon), we found it at Hollywood's Attic (http://www.hollywoodsattic.com/shopping/pricelist.asp?prid=3517), although it is only available on VHS.
I have not yet seen this movie, so cannot offer any other comments about it.
April 10th, 2007, 12:16 PM
I remember seeing this film on tv looooong ago. There was a scene where Duke and his cameraman were faking Jap planes being shot down. They lit wooden models and filmed them sliding down a wire as they crashed in flames in a big wooden bucket of water, for lack of any other stories to film at the time!
April 10th, 2007, 12:28 PM
I bought it from the Film Society a year or so ago. It's not a bad film nor a great one. The villain is a lttle man who looks ludicrous. There is also a man named Abdullah who if I remember walks into a tent looks around and go out never to be seen again.
This man was reputed to have been adopted by Victor McLaglen when he served in Bagdhad after the Ist World War.
November 5th, 2009, 08:24 PM
i bought dvd in july or so off e-bay its not a great film but i love seeing the duke in a movie ive never seen before-has a pet monkey in movie
October 12th, 2010, 02:44 AM
Thanks for the tip. I don't have that movie either. I'm going to check e-bay
November 15th, 2010, 01:19 AM
Wanda, I found it on eBay so you should be able to--eventually. It takes time, but these old movies do show up. I have a pretty complete collection except for the Three Musketeers films.
The best search term is "John Wayne rare DVD." The same guy sells most of them and I think he's an OK seller.
Some of the '30s movies, including "I Cover the War," are not in the best shape, but I don't think that's the seller's fault. Restoration of ancient JW films doesn't seem to be much of a priority. Wish it were.
I'm happy that we have them at all, considering how many of JW's earliest parts are in films have been lost.
It's kind of an odd movie. Duke plays a newspaper reporter trying to cover some sort of Mideast war and manage his kid brother at the same time. His acting has more breadth than in the Bs, showing how his craft was maturing.
It's later than most of the Bs, 1937 I think. This was during a time when the studio was trying Duke out in what might be called B+ or A- movies--not exactly full-length feature films, and not made with that kind of care. But they were longer than the 55-minute Westerns Duke had been making. "Conflict," with JW and Ward Bond as rival boxers, is from the same period.
Anyway, Duke sets it all right of the end as always. It's hardly a distinguished movie, but it's worth watching as an indication of the studio's experimentation with JW in roles outside the Western hero he was by the late '30s playing with such authority.
March 12th, 2011, 02:41 AM
April 20th, 2011, 01:28 PM
April 25th, 2011, 11:59 AM
I agree that "I Cover the War" is a bomb. The Arabs are all stereotyped; I suppose that's what to expect in a 1930s film, but I still don't like it. The worst part is that Duke has this clueless younger brother who is always doing stupid things and getting both of them in trouble. This evidently is supposed to be an entertaining subplot, but it doesn't work any better than the movie as a hole.
The only thing worth watching is Duke doing his best with rotten material.
May 13th, 2013, 01:05 PM
May 13th, 2013, 02:45 PM
Of those five universal films , this is probably the weakest one of the bunch. Could have done without the dopey brother and the monkey. Its OK, but that's all I can give it.
May 15th, 2013, 05:49 AM