Dakota

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"A Romantic Spectacle of the West!"
  • Passed
  • 1945
  • 1 hr 22 min
  • 5.9  (1,685)

Dakota, a 1945 American Western film directed by Joseph Kane, features John Wayne as John Devlin, a wagon master pitted against a corrupt businessman named Mr. Pitt (played by Ward Bond). Vera Ralston plays the role of Sandy, a saloon dancer and love interest for John, and Walter Brennan plays the role of Chief of Scouts. The film is set in the fictional town of Fargo, North Dakota, during the late 1800s. John Devlin is tasked with leading a wagon train through the Indian territory to reach a new settlement. Along the way, he encounters numerous obstacles, including a harsh winter, hostile natives, and the aforementioned greedy businessman, Pitt.

As the journey progresses, John and Sandy become romantically involved, while the tension between Pitt and John rises. Pitt, who considers himself above the law, begins to illegally trade guns to the Indians in exchange for furs. However, John finds out about Pitt's scheme and resolves to stop him at any cost.

The film features some classic Western tropes, including shootouts, horse chases, and tense standoffs. The cinematography is also noteworthy, with stunning shots of the rugged, picturesque landscapes of the western plains.

Dakota has a strong supporting cast of character actors, including Ward Bond, who plays the villainous Mr. Pitt with convincing menace. Vera Ralston, in her first major Hollywood role, delivers a fine performance as the spunky and independent Sandy, proving to be a perfect foil for Wayne's straight-laced hero.

Wayne himself delivers an exceptional performance as John Devlin. This was one of the actor's earliest roles that showcased his talent and charisma, which would later make him an iconic figure in Hollywood. His chemistry with Ralston is palpable, and their love story is a highlight of the film.

One of the standout scenes in Dakota is the climactic shootout between John and Pitt, which takes place in a saloon. The tension is palpable, and the choreography of the fight is well-executed, making for an exciting conclusion to the film.

The film's score, composed by Walter Scharf, is also noteworthy. It features soaring orchestral themes that lend an epic quality to the film's action sequences.

All in all, Dakota is a classic Western film that exemplifies the genre in its storytelling, cinematography, and memorable performances. It features some of the most iconic actors of the era, including John Wayne, Vera Ralston, and Walter Brennan, and is sure to entertain fans of the genre even today.

Dakota is a 1945 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 22 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9.

Dakota
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Where to Watch Dakota
Dakota is available to watch free on Pluto TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Philo, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Dakota for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
    1945
  • MPAA Rating
    Passed
  • Runtime
    1 hr 22 min
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (1,685)