18 user 15 critic

Call of the Wild (1935)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 9 August 1935 (USA)
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 »


(as William Wellman)


(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Tall Men (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two brothers, Ben and Clint, join a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. While heading for Texas they save Nella from the Indians, and she decides to ride with them. Ben and Nella start to ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Clark Gable, Jane Russell, Robert Ryan
China Seas (1935)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When earthy Dolly Portland is rejected by Captain Gaskell in favor of a socialite, she aids Jamesy McCardle, in league with Malay pirates, in his plot to seize his ship.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery
San Francisco (1936)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Barbary Coast saloonkeeper and a Nob Hill impresario are rivals for the affections of a beautiful singer, both personally and professionally in 1906 San Francisco.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Clark Gable plays a card cheat who has to go on the lam to avoid a pesky cop. He meets a lonely, but slightly wild, librarian, Carole Lombard, while he is hiding out. The two get married ... See full summary »

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Dorothy Mackaill
Hell Divers (1931)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Story of rivalry between 2 Navy aircrewmen on and off duty.

Director: George W. Hill
Stars: Clark Gable, Wallace Beery, Conrad Nagel
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The friendship between two orphans endures even though they grow up on opposite sides of the law and fall in love with the same woman.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, George Cukor
Stars: Clark Gable, William Powell, Myrna Loy
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Mantha Starr grows up as a privileged southern Belle in the ante-bellum South but after her father dies broke, her world is destroyed when she discovers her mother was black.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo, Sidney Poitier
Test Pilot (1938)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Jim is a test pilot. His wife Ann and best friend Gunner try their best to keep him sober. But the life of a test pilot is anything but safe.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A jewel thief and a con artist are rivals in the theft of a valuable gem as the Japanese army invades China.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell, Peter Lorre
Call of the Wild (TV Movie 1992)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young boy heads off to the Yukon after hearing tales about the Gold Rush, and he forms an unwavering friendship with a heroic Alsatian dog called Buck.

Director: Michael Toshiyuki Uno
Stars: Ricky Schroder, Gordon Tootoosis, Duncan Fraser
Adventure | Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Opportunistic con man Dan Kehoe ingratiates himself with the cantankerous mother of four outlaws and their beautiful widows in order to find their hidden gold.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Clark Gable, Eleanor Parker, Jean Willes
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A talented boxer and a gifted dancer hope to increase their waning popularity by inventing a fictitious love affair for the benefit of the tabloids.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Marion Davies, Clark Gable, Allen Jenkins


Complete credited cast:
Frank Conroy ...
Joe Groggins
James Burke ...
Lalo Encinas ...
Thomas E. Jackson ...
'Tex' Rickard (as Tommy Jackson)
Russ Powell ...
Mounted Policeman (as George McQuarrie)


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 <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gold | dog | alaska | wolf | gambling | See All (12) »


An Epic Novel . . . An Epic Picture !


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 August 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Goldfieber in Alaska  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(original release) | (re-release) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Madeleine Carroll was originally set for the female lead, but it was eventually given to Loretta Young. See more »


Why call this a goof? It's just a funny way of saying he'd knife someone. See more »


Jack Thornton: Did I ever tell you about my grandpa? Died when he was a hundred and six.
Bartender: What interrupted his youth?
Jack Thornton: He quit drinking.
See more »


Featured in Clark Gable: Tall, Dark and Handsome (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Lust for Gold
11 May 2009 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

THE CALL OF THE WILD (20th Century Pictures, 1935), directed by William A. Wellman, released at the time when classic literature becomes classic cinema, ranks one of the finer Jack London based stories transferred to the screen in spite the fact that it's actually a free adaptation to his classic 1903 novel. In true Hollywood tradition, this version plays like a matinée western, handsome hero, comic sidekick, pretty heroine and nasty villain. Instead of a horse, there's a tough St. Bernard by the name of Buck, who, unlike the novel, is a secondary character, leaving much of the story to its hero, Jack Thornton.

Opening title: "Yukon, 1900, Skagway - mushroom metropolis, the first stop on the long trail to the gold fields." After gambling away his fortune at the gambling tables of The Great Northern where people gather together for wine, liquor and cigars, Jack Thornton (Clark Gable) meets up with his old pal, "Shorty" Houlihan (Jack Oakie). Having served a six month jail sentence for opening another man's letter containing a map to a gold mine compiled by the late Martin Blake, Shorty, who copied the map by memory after destroying the original, invites Thornton to accompany him in the search. Along the way, Thornton acquires vicious St. Bernard named Buck from Joe Groggins (Sidney Toler), saving the animal from being shot by the demanding Mr. Smith (Reginald Owen), whom the dog despises; and Claire (Loretta Young), of San Francisco, camping alone in the woods surrounded by wolves, who happens to be the wife of John Blake, son of the late gold prospector. Blake, who's been missing for a week, is believed to be dead. Not wanting to leave the Blake woman alone in the wild, Thornton takes her with them. Together they form a partnership searching for gold while Blake (Frank Conroy), very much alive, having fallen victim to Smith and his murderous assistants (Charles Stevens and Lalos Encinas) out to get the claim for themselves.

With THE CALL OF THE WILD having been screened earlier by Pathe (1923) with Jack Mulhall; adapted again in 1972 starring Charlton Heston, and a several more in later years, it's the Gable version that's remembered best. Gable, on loan from his home studio of MGM, makes one of the finer Jack London heroes, forceful and confident; and perfect Hollywood leading man by the way of romance. Buck, having little to do plot-wise, serves the film's purpose with a key scene in the Dawson City sequence where he pulls a thousand pound load sled through the cheering crowd of spectators a hundred yards on slippery snow towards his calling master as part of a $1,000 bet Thornton made with Smith. Aside from fine chemistry between Gable and Young (who worked together again in the 1950 MGM comedy, KEY TO THE CITY), Buck has his call of the wild with a female dog companion as well.

Anyone reading the closing cast credits will notice that Katherine DeMille, listed for the role of Marie, is non-existent in the final print. According to Bob Dorian, former host of American Movie Classics, during one of its many broadcasts during the 1990s, mentioned that DeMille's scenes were cut after its initial premiere due to her questionable character, reducing its original 95 minute length to 81, where it has been since. It's believed her character appeared during the latter portion of the opening saloon sequence, prior to Thornton's purchase of Buck, which explains the immediate cut from one scene to another. As it stands now, no prints involving "Marie" exists today. What has survived, according to an episode of the 1970s TV documentary, "That's Hollywood," narrated by Tom Bosley, is a cut scene involving Smith's shooting Shorty over a gambling debt. Because audiences couldn't accept comedian Jack Oakie getting killed, it was cut with Oakie's scenes rewritten. Unlike most movies at that time, filmed mostly inside the studio set, THE CALL OF THE WILD ads touches of realism with its location shooting in the Washington State mountains. Rumor has it that freezing temperatures  caused production delays. Overall, THE CALL OF THE WILD is best noted for the off-screen romance chemistry between Gable and Young, as profiled during A&E's "Biography" on either Gable or Young.

Of all the Gable movies placed on VHS and DVD, it's a wonder why THE CALL OF THE WILD was never distributed on home video, considering its popularity due to frequent commercial TV revivals in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, unlike the now forgotten WHITE FANG (20th-1936), another Jack London based story transferred to the screen. Starring Michael Whalen and Jean Muir, it's opening titles read "A sequel to "The Call of the Wild." Aside from the title character being an offspring of Buck, and no sign of Clark Gable's Jack Thornton, there is a villain in the story named "Beauty" Smith, as portrayed by John Carradine, but not the same Smith wonderfully portrayed by Owen. Besides its former broadcasts on American Movie Classics prior to 2005, THE CALL OF THE WILD has also appeared on the Fox Movie Channel and Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: November 7, 2012)(***)

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Bluray to be released ktvalve
Why prices were too high when they in Dawson? murattaslak
Underrated Tomatish
Stuning picture quality on Youtube shocker! simonrosenbaum
No music score Tomatish
Reginald Owen p25735-261-505738
Discuss Call of the Wild (1935) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: