Jack Thornton has trouble winning enough at cards for the stake he needs to get to the Alaska gold fields. His luck changes when he pays $250 for Buck, a sled dog that is part wolf to keep ... See full summary »
Jack Thornton has trouble winning enough at cards for the stake he needs to get to the Alaska gold fields. His luck changes when he pays $250 for Buck, a sled dog that is part wolf to keep him from being shot by an arrogant Englishman also headed for the Yukon. En route to the Yukon with Shorty Houlihan -- who spent time in jail for opening someone else's letter with a map of where gold is to be found -- Jack rescues a woman whose husband was the addressee of that letter. Buck helps Jack win a $1,000 bet to get the supplies he needs. And when Jack and Claire Blake pet Buck one night, fingers touch. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
This is my first exposure to anything regarding THE CALL OF THE WILD. Meaning that I haven't read Jack London's original novel, never saw any of the earlier film versions, and did not see any of the later remakes. Even as a Charlton Heston fan I've so far avoided his 1972 edition because it's said to be pretty bad; even Heston begged his fans not to see it! But all that may soon change, as I enjoyed the 1935 version, starring Clark Gable and Loretta Young.
Gable is well cast as Jack Thornton, a rugged and adventurous type who travels the Yukon on a hunt for gold with the aid of his comical sidekick Shorty (Jack Oakie) and man's best friend, Buck the dog. In the midst of their quest they stumble upon a shaken woman (Young) whose husband has disappeared in the wilderness and may or may not be dead. Fearing the worst, Young joins the expedition and the expected romance with Gable gradually takes shape.
For me, one of the highlights of the picture was British actor Reginald Owen who scores high with his portrayal of a nasty rich man who's also competing with Gable for the loot. Never short on snobbish insults, and harboring a personal vendetta against Thornton's dog Buck, Owen is a delight in every scene he's in. The same cannot necessarily be said for Jack Oakie, however... as Shorty, his goofy shenanigans sometimes verge on the overbearing.
A nice mixture of adventure, villainy, romance, and some comedy that occasionally works, makes for a mostly good time. I was a little let down by the convenient ending.
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