One That Technicolor Kept Afloat
John Wayne Blows Up in Tycoon (1947)
It's easy to knock Tycoon as a weaker-than-weak John Wayne vehicle, which it undeniably is, despite Technicolor and lavish spend on RKO's part (negative cost: $3.2 million). The pic lost money despite being one of the company's top grossers for 1947, another instance of expending more costs than could be got back. Since then, Tycoon has been labeled a "bomb," which it may be aesthetically, but not so commercially. Recovering such outlay would have been a challenge even to biggest and best product in the 40's. Tycoon showed up lots on syndicated TV, especially in primetime, because it had color in addition to John Wayne. Black-and-white, and movies made that way, were being eased out from late 60's through the 70's, programmers falling back on a Tycoon for crucial color alone, never mind it's weakness elsewhere.
And Tycoon was long, mighty long, at 128 minutes. All this to build a tunnel, and then when that caves in, a bridge, all to accompany of Duke losing his temper with friend and foe alike. And that's where Tycoon derives modern interest, being glimpse of offscreen John Wayne spilling onto a character he'd play. How so? Tycoon's "Johnny" is the straight-ahead and goal-oriented
|There Was Glorious Technicolor Sunset For John Wayne and Laraine Day|
To See in 1947, But We'd Not Share It in Latter Day Prints
Dross shows through clearer in Tycoon due to prime ingredient missing since the film was new, that being Technicolor in what would have been nitrate summit in 1947. Since then, Tycoon has run a three-legged race. It looks alright on W-Instant's HD, better so than videos and a DVD also available. None, of course, rise above whisper of color values meant to lift Tycoon past pat story and situations. I got swallow of this from a 16mm collector in