Big Jim McLain (1952)
Big Jim McLain
Director: Edward Ludwig
Cast: John Wayne, Nancy Olson, James Arness and Alan Napier
Drama / Action / Crime
In this cold war drama, Jim McLain (John Wayne) and his partner, Mal Baxter (James Arness), are members of the United States House Un-American Activities Committee ferreting out suspected communist sympathizers and agents in Hawaii. The communists are attempting to start labor unrest on the island state with the hopes of turning the populace against the U.S. In the hunt for communist leader Sturak (Alan Napier), McLain develops a romance with Nancy Vallon (Nancy Olsen), but when Baxter is shot and killed, McLain vows to put a stop to the Red Menace !
Notes: Big Jim McLain is seen as controversial by critics for its portrayal of the communist threat in the 1950's. The film is very much a product of its time and has been considered a vehicle for the Warner Bros. Studio to throw off suspicion of liberal leanings as Hollywood was very much under threat from Joe McCarthy. The film has also been criticized for portraying communism as something akin to a disease or affliction like drug abuse.
Camp fans will recognize Alan Napier as the butler Alfred from the Batman series starring Adam West.
Actors: John Wayne