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George Loane Tucker
Joseph J. Dowling
In the mountains, the beautiful Nanette waits for her lost love Raoul to return to her. When the villainous Buck McDougall persuades her that Raoul is dead, she consents to marry him, that is until Raoul suddenly turns up at the ceremony right before vows are exchanged. She returns to the man she loves, which angers Buck. He proceeds to frame Raoul for murder. When Raoul and Nanette run away into the wilderness, Buck gets Corporal O'Connor on their trail, since he also harbors unrequited feelings for Nanette and believes she has been kidnapped. Written by
Betty Blythe and Lon Chaney were burned while filming the forest fire scene when a blaze that popped up unexpectedly blocked their escape. They were rescued through a tunnel that had been previously built for just such an occurrence, but filming was stopped for ten days while the actors recovered in a local hospital. See more »
Lon Chaney, the "Man of a Thousand Faces," has but one face in this tepidly plotted melodrama about Raoul Challoner away from the woman he is to marry as she is being cruelly coerced into marriage by the landlord's son - seeing her aging and deathly father has not paid anything for the last two years. Add to the mix Lewis Stone, a Canadian Mountie who loves Nanette but she loves Raoul. Such is the premise behind Nomads of the North, and while not a wholly unsatisfying story - it is a certainly incredible one. Too much is asked of the audience to believe. Nonetheless, the timing and pace of the film oozes energy. Some of the cutesy moments with the bear and dog were entertaining(though does grow old quickly). Chaney wildly overacts and gives none of his customary pathos to this earlier role. He is pretty one-dimensional to be quite frank. Stone fairs much better actually having some range, and the female lead Betty Blythe is credible. There are some terrific action scenes culminating with the raging(real) fire in the woods that did indeed give Chaney, Blythe, and Stone real burns and landing them in the hospital for weeks. Those were the days of film-making when lives were deemed cheaply in order to make a good film. Nomads of the North is certainly not a great film but definitely is an entertaining film. Most people tracking it down today are doing so to be Chaney completists(guilty as charged) and would/should find this one of his most lackluster, weak portrayals.
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