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Heart of the North (1938)

Approved | | Adventure, Western | 10 December 1938 (USA)
Cpl. Jim of the R.C.M.P. is taking his daughter Julie to school in Edmonton on the Arctic Queen. Six men hold up the boat when they stop for wood and gun down Jim in front of his daughter. ... See full summary »

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sergeant Alan Baker
...
Joyce MacMillan
...
Elizabeth Spaulding
...
Corporal Bill Hardsock
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Corporal Jim Montgomery
Janet Chapman ...
Judy Montgomery
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Inspector Stephen Gore
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Constable Whipple
...
Red Crocker
Joe King ...
Mac Drummond (as Joseph King)
...
Dave MacMillan
Arthur Gardner ...
Constable Larry Young
Garry Owen ...
Tom 'Tommy' Ryan
...
Father Claverly
Alec Harford ...
Lunnon Dick (henchman)
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Storyline

Cpl. Jim of the R.C.M.P. is taking his daughter Julie to school in Edmonton on the Arctic Queen. Six men hold up the boat when they stop for wood and gun down Jim in front of his daughter. The new inspector sends Alan after them, but has him split his unit. This leaves Alan short and they are ambushed and forced to bring back his wounded comrade. At Fort Endurance, Alan is confined to quarters for not arresting Dave when some of the stolen furs are found in his shed. Elizabeth lies about Dave being part of the gang to have Alan thrown out of the Mounties. When the other Mounties go out on a long chase, the only chance Alan and Bill have in finding the bandits is to take the forestry plane and search the lakes and rivers. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FOR THE FIRST TIME YOU SEE CANADA'S HEROIC MOUNTIES in COLOR! (original ad - almost all caps) See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 December 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Coração do Norte  »

Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A Big Budget Makes for a Pretty Good Programmer
17 May 2008 | by See all my reviews

On the plus side, this movie comes with breathtaking photography, so delicately colored that this picture is always most attractive to look at. The backgrounds certainly have the appearance of actual locations, but as this movie is not listed in "Canadian Feature Films", the picture was obviously made closer to home.

Unfortunately, "Heart of the North" is not nearly so attractive to listen to. The dialogue is hackneyed and the plot no more than fairly exciting, but the action spots are staged with reasonable vigor and even panache — despite obvious special effects work and the use of doubles on one or two occasions.

Dick Foran comes over adequately enough as the hero, (and we're glad to say he sings a snatch of a song too). If you can accept the Hollywood convention that has every sympathetic character looking so sparklingly clean, neatly groomed and beautifully made up, despite living in a shanty town amongst the likes of Harry Cording, then the heroine (Gloria Dickson) and the hero's pals (Patric Knowles, Allen Jenkins and Arthur Gardner) are reasonably adequate too.

Fortunately, James Stephenson rates a cut above this lot as the easily-swayed Inspector Gore, whilst Gale Page seems even more convincing as the villainous Elizabeth Spaulding. Russell Simpson gives his usual rough-and ready interpretation of the heroine's pa, while Garry Owen takes out the movie's acting honors as the demented Tommy. The villains, led by Joe Sawyer and Joseph King, notch up as sufficiently pleasing.

Unfortunately, the producer didn't let well enough alone, but saddled the cast with young Janet Chapman. The whiny-voiced Miss Chapman inflicts a real pain in the neck. And would you believe it, there's also a dog. True, these misfits disappear from the action for quite long stretches. And we must admit the close-ups of the mutt are appealingly photographed.

The music score has that vigorous Warner Brothers' ring to it. While the film editor often seems to be bending over backwards to cut in all the many and various camera set-ups that director Seiler shot, production credits are agreeably polished. "Heart of the North" encompasses all the gloss we might expect of a top-budget Warner "A" production.


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