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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Loretta Young had a romance with Clark Gable while making this film, resulting in the birth of an out-of-wedlock daughter, Judy Lewis. For years, Ms. Young claimed she went away for a while, found the girl and adopted her. In 1994, Judy Lewis revealed the truth (which had long been the subject of speculation because of her resemblance to both parents) in her book "Uncommon Knowledge". See more »
The last time Clark Gable got loaned out for a film was the year before and he won an Academy Award. This time Louis B. Mayer got a good price for him from Fox for Call of the Wild.
Fox also did something unusual in that the film was shot on location with the mountains of Washington state serving as the Canadian Rockies. Some really stunning cinematography is done for this film, especially in the river scenes. Too bad color was not in use back then.
Watching Gable, Loretta Young, and Jack Oakie on a raft pulling it to shore in what must have been freezing water reminded me so much of the stunts Gable did for The Misfits. Of course back then he had the youth and vim and vigor to do such things.
The film served as the meeting place for Gable and Young they carried on a torrid affair that resulted in Loretta Young giving birth. Back then it would have been a career death sentence for a star to give birth to an out of wedlock daughter, especially for the very Catholic Ms. Young. A whole elaborate charade was concocted with Loretta adopting her own daughter as a single mom.
No Oscars this time for Gable, but a good strong performance as a rugged prospector up in the Klondike during the gold rush. Of course being involved with Loretta sure helped in the love scenes. Young plays a woman apparently abandoned in the snow by her husband who's presumed dead.
Jack Oakie as Gable's sidekick and Reginald Owen as the English villain engaged in some claim jumping are the best two of the supporting actors. Of the human variety.
Then there's Buck, Gable's trusty St. Bernard who he rescues from Reginald Owen. In that rugged country good sled dogs can come in mighty handy and Buck sure proves his worth. Up there, they are indeed man's best friend.
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