I wanted to like this movie, but I thought it was so dated as to just about cancel out the strong story line and how the story was crafted into a movie.
I like Cary Grant a lot, but here he was the no-nonsense, grim, man-among-men leader that, to my mind, played to none of his strengths. Richard Dix could have done almost as well up to the last three minutes. (Okay, I'm exagerating.)
Jean Arthur was a strong, strange actress who could hold her own with any lead actor. Here she's reduced to waiting anxiously for Grant to glance at her and to holding back the tears while she stands by her man. The subplot involving Rita Hayworth and Richard Barthelmess becomes tedious after a while. Thomas Mitchell, who seems to be in every movie made between 1935 and 1945, played Thomas Mitchell again. (Sometimes he could be great.)
It seemed to me that the tensions were self-evident; nothing was unexpected given the premise of the movie...unlike a movie with a similar premise, Wages of Fear, where your socks were scared off every time a truck approached a pot hole.
Most people seem to love this film. I dunno. There are a number of older movies that have held up well over the years. Even many which, while dated, still retain a great deal of charm. I can see how this movie would have been a hit when it came out. For me, it just seems dated.