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Let Freedom Ring

Let Freedom Ring(1939)

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Working titles for this film were The Dusty Road and Song of the West. A Hollywood Reporter pre-release news item indicates that Allen Jenkins was originally set for the comedy lead that was taken over by Victor McLaglen in the film. Although a Hollywood Reporter pre-release news item lists actor Francis X. Bushman, Jr. in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter news items also note that exteriors were filmed in Arizona at Keene Camp and in the San Jacinto Mountains, CA., and that a desert sequence was filmed on a studio sound stage that housed the studio ice rink. Some actors reportedly complained of cold feet while performing on the sand-covered ice rink. Studio records note that McLaglen injured himself while filming a scene in which he was to tackle a mule after it kicked him. The mule bit McLaglen, and when he tried to bite the mule back, McLaglen slipped and pulled a ligament. According to information contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, German censors "deleted the song praising America as a land of freedom," a reference to one of the characters as an "Irish windmill," and a fight between "Mulligan" and "Steve." Censors in Estonia deleted the line: "You Germans, Italians, Jews...All you who are you are free." Variety commented that this film is "the first in the cycle of film offerings to stress the American type of democracy and freedom for the classes and masses." They praised the presentation of film's message, stating, "Showmanship is apparent in selecting historical background and episodes in which to stress the freedom of America and its advantages. Message is brought home through patriotic appeals to gang of more than 200 hunkies, and picture nicely stresses the nationalities represented in that group which came to America to enjoy the advantages of this country."