The Spoilers is a real corker of an Old West adventure-cum-romance, Alaskan style. Just about everything comes together the way it's supposed to in Spoilers, and does so in a lean 88 minutes that never feels rushed. Director Ray Enright uses that temporal economy to its best advantage; Spoilers moves at a quick but not nervy pace, taking just enough time here and there to slow down for a lovely moment with Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne or to linger for just a second on a particularly amusing grimace on Harry Carey's face. It establishes the world of the Alaskan gold rush with a few well-placed, concise lines and some shots of an elaborately clad Dietrich navigating the muddy streets via a few well-placed two-by-fours; nothing is belabored, simply shown and established so that the film can then move forward. Enright is helped in all of this by a cast that couldn't be bettered. Dietrich is heavenly, less morose than she's sometimes forced to be, a happier and more hopeful presence; even when pigheadedly letting her pride get in the way of her eventual reunion with John Wayne, her melancholy is less tragic than is often the case. For his part, Wayne displays a magnificent chemistry with her, and it brings out some of his most surprising line readings -- always natural and correct, yet somehow a bit unexpected. And as the third side of the romantic triangle, Randolph Scott is a wonderful heel. Spoilers had excitement, adventure, romance, comedy -- in short, it's a hell of a lot of fun.
by Craig Butler review