Promoted as a follow-up to the popular 1939 western Dodge City (which, indeed, was left wide open for a sequel in its closing scenes), Virginia City bears only surface resemblance to the earlier film. Indeed, the only discerning links between the two pictures are the western setting and the presence in the cast of Errol Flynn, Frank McHugh, Alan Hale and Guinn "Big Boy" Williams. After escaping from a Confederate prison during the Civil War, Union officer Flynn vows to stop a $5,000,000 gold shipment from reaching the South. He is challenged by Southern sympathizer Randolph Scott, whose interest in the gold is patriotic, and by outlaw Humphrey Bogart (complete with a Mexican accent that wouldn't convince a cow), whose interests are purely mercenary. Adding spice to the proceedings is Miriam Hopkins as a dance hall chanteusse-cum-Confederate spy. Better in individual components than sum total, Virginia City pleased the crowds in 1940, assuring that the Tasmanian-born Errol Flynn would continue appearing in westerns in the future.
by Hal Erickson synopsis