The Call of the Wild (1935)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  9 August 1935 (USA)
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Reviews: 17 user | 16 critic

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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gold | dog | alaska | wolf | gambling | See All (13) »


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?


Like many films of the era, this production was originally slated to film in the Southern Sierra Nevada near Sonora. In fact, production had already begun when a warm front melted the snow and forced a hasty and expensive move to Washington state. See more »


When considering how to get a stake together, Clark Gable says, "Seven or eight hundred dollars is hard to get.... Ah, but we'll get it if we have to get a knife and stick somebody into it!" See more »


Jack Thornton: [Just having watched three men drown, weighed down and trapped underwater by bags of gold they had tied around themselves] Well, they wanted gold. Now they got it.
See more »


Referenced in Taxi: The Call of the Mild (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

As Good as It Gets
13 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gable has it all for a short while: easy pickings gold nuggets, a gorgeous girlfriend he found in the wilderness, a half-wild soul mate lead dog and a bashful wisecracking partner. But, his grasp on all of these is slippery, as the plot develops. I don't fault Hollywood for departing so flagrantly from London's story, which too was just a yarn. I found this version much more entertaining and profound, despite the stereotypical boss-sidekick relationship between Gable and Jack Oakie.

Gable seems to represent sort of an ideal adventurous entrepreneur: a riverboat gambler at heart, who is willing to take big risks and to work for his fortune when necessary, but who tries to grab all he can and beat out the competition. The chief villain is a stereotypical pretentious cutthroat tycoon: the worst kind of capitalist. In contrast, Gable recognizes certain limits in gaining his fortune and honors his commitments to his partners, be they human or animal. Loretta's creed is yet more tempered: You will get what you want only if you deserve it. See the movie to find out how these various creeds interact to determine the outcome.

This is perhaps Gable's most enjoyable role, along with those in "Mutiny on the Bounty" and "Boom Town". As in most of his best roles, Gable comes across as rakish: part hero, part scoundrel, but never dull. Like Gable, Loretta is at her physical peak at this time, making for a very romantic-looking couple.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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